Health screening is now a more common sight in many public spaces, as Malaysians in general have become more conscious of their health. To provide easy access to health check-ups, students and academicians from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at INTI International University (INTI) recently embarked on an outreach programme in Melaka, and the quaint towns of Ayer Hitam, Yong Peng, Batu Pahat and Kangkar Bahru in the state of Johor, to provide local communities access to free health check-ups and consultations based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Physiotherapy.

 


A student from INTI International University lends a listening ear to a patient
describing her ailment in Kangkar Bahru, Johor.

The visits were spread out over a period of five months and the team collaborated with local community clubs such as the Lions Club to ensure the effectiveness of the outreach. Each visit included about 20 TCM students and five Physiotherapy students, who were accompanied by at least five TCM academicians and two Physiotherapy academicians. During these visits, the team provided free TCM health consultations, acupuncture treatment, physiotherapy health screenings and also dispensed approved Chinese traditional medications. Common ailments that arose and were treated during the programmes were geriatric-related diseases and gynaecological concerns, with most local residents participating in the outreach being between the ages of 35 to 60 years old.

Dean of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Professor Dr Wong Ling Shing shared, “The local communities were grateful for this free health screening and free consultation for TCM and Physiotherapy, and it was an encouraging experience for our students who will one day be health professionals, as well as the academics to see how simple acts of services like these can touch lives. An example was a patient in Melaka who had a serious skin disease and is now on the road to recovery after consulting our TCM Physician, Mr Chong Teek Foh. Our students greatly benefited from these experiences as it taught them how to be good practitioners by enhancing crucial soft skills such as listening and interacting with patients, showing empathy and working as a team. By giving these students real-life experiences and encouraging them to interact with actual patients, the programme helped them prepare for the challenges of the profession and also to give back to their society.”

 


All smiles as INTI and the Lions Club members take a group photo at Batu Pahat, Johor

The students and academicians have also served communities through other outreach programmes, including a trip to Bangalore, India, where Physiotherapy students engaged in volunteer social work.

INTI’s TCM school also co-organised a symposium in Kuala Lumpur together with the Malaysian Chinese Medical Association (MCMA). The objective of the symposium, titled the “Global Classics Class”, was to improve the standards of TCM and to promote the use of “Shang Han Za Bing Lun”, one of the oldest clinical textbooks in the world, and one of the four canon works that TCM students must study. This was the first ever event held in Malaysia to establish TCM as a professional alternative healthcare option and was open to all TCM practitioners and students in Malaysia.