The Visayas Primary Healthcare Services, Inc. had a visit by a foreign anthropology student in January 2020. Carolin Viehweider is a student in Austria, Vienna taking about masteral studies in Anthropology.
She had written to VPHCS after searching through the internet for non-government health organizations last December 2019 in order to do a research about health care in the Philippines. She said in her communication that she was interested about VPHCS and would like to do her masteral thesis about it, particularly on the organizational and intrapersonal dynamics of the organization.
The VPHCS staff welcomed her and gave her an orientation of the vision, mission, goals, programs and services of the organization on January 22 in its office in Guadalupe. In order for her to understand better the practice of community-based health programs (CBHPs) she visited the community in Purok Tambis, Barangay Umapad in Mandaue City on January 23 where she integrated with our trained community health workers (CHWs) and participated in the processing of an herbal medicine. Hemlock, moringga and temple flower plant stems were shredded of their outer coverings which were then cooked in coconut oil, which was later separated from the plant parts and cooked again with melted paraffin wax that was later poured into small cups to become skin ointment effective for skin problems.
The CHWs also shared with her how they serve their community residents in providing preventive, promotive and selective curative care that they learned from basic health skills training provided by the VPHCS.
The following day, January 24, she also visited another urban poor community in Barangay Ermita and talked with the leaders and CHWs of the Ermita Fisherfolks Association, and learned about how they have provided health services to indigent residents through their CBHP.
She later showed appreciation for her visit and insights on how marginalized communities are working together to uplift their plight and improve their health and living conditions.