By Farkhanda Qaiser (2nd Year) and Shafaq Tabassum (3rd Year)
From 3rd to 7th May 2011, SPWS with the collaboration of APPNA took the initiative to launch a unique yet interactive week long campaign to educate the general public especially patients and barbers about Hepatitis C. At the onset, it seemed like it would just be another seminar held by just another society: same old lectures listened by none, a good 3 hours spent sleeping in the air conditioned auditorium, followed by the long-awaited refreshments (this applies especially to the kemcolian guys =p ). However the actual story was quite the opposite.
Infact the project advisor, Ahmad Naseer and project director, Shafaq Tabassum ensured that it was so by organizing the following events for the campaign:
1) Interclass Poster competition
2) Interactive Seminar
3) Awareness Campaign in various wards of Mayo Hospital
4) Visit to the barbers and beauticians
They were helped in this task by 5 Project Managers and 20 Project Organizers who coordinated and meticulously organized all these activities.
Name of the Campaign:
After a lot of deliberation with the entire team of the project, it was decided to be:‘Beat Hepatitis C, Treat Hepatitis C Campaign’
Colorful and eye catching charts, detailed notices and banners were pasted in all parts of the campus of KE. In addition, announcements were made in all classes to ensure that the message reached to the maximum number of people.
This was an exclusive attempt to spread awareness about Hepatitis C in a way that would appeal the general public. It was open to all students of KE. And Boy…did they show enthusiasm! All those innovative and artistic posters that kept pouring in the SPWS office in OPD 19 proved that kemcolians can surely paint as well as they do surgery or dissection (as applies to 1st and 2nd Year students).
The Judges for this competition were Madam Tauseef, the college artist, KE; Madam Sara from PIPO and Dr. Inamulhaq from Mayo Hospital, Lahore.
The judges’ criteria for this poster competition were:
Only hand made posters were allowed.
Caption was compulsory.
Poster should depict some aspect of hepatitis C (precautions, causes, outcome etc)
Poster should be understandable by general community.
All the participants definitely followed these rules and so their posters were displayed in the KE auditorium on the day of the seminar. The fact that people were seen taking pictures of these posters was proof enough that they were really liked by all.
The winners were:
Farah Huma (2nd Year)
Amber Batool (4th Year)
Rukhsaar Naseer (3rd Year)
2011 is definitely the year for 2nd year…! Getting first position in sports day skit then kaps video competition and then the 2 interclass photography competitions…! Wow..! 2nd Year truly rocks….!
The highlights of the seminar were an interactive lecture, quiz competition, multimedia educational videos and a superbly acted skit. The Chief Guest was the honorable Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr Asad Aslam Khan. Among other distinguished guests were Prof Dr. Fareed (Registrar KEMU) and Prof Mahmood shaukat (prof of paed. surgery). All other professors were also invited to witness this great effort by the students.
After recitation from the Holy Quran, the hosts, Farkhanda Qaiser and Humaira Sarfraz officially inaugurated the seminar by showing an introductory video about SPWS and its achievements. Then there was a very informative lecture on the causes, symptoms and treatment of Hepatitis C by Dr Asif Mahmood, senior registrar, South Medical Ward. This lecture was followed by an interactive question & answer session with the audience. It was evidence enough that all the viewers had been attentively listening to their Professor’s lecture especially because it was aided by an interesting multimedia show.
However the best test of audience response was the subsequent quiz competition. Questions were shown on multimedia and audience given a chance to answer those questions. The main attraction was the gift hampers that were given to the winners and that encouraged a lot of students to actively participate in this competition.
This hyped up event was then proceeded by a video presentation about hepatitis C.
Then came the last and the best part of the seminar which was a very amusing skit acted and directed by students of MBBS 2nd Year. It highlighted the typical attitude of illiterate people towards social health workers whose task is to spread awareness of such infectious diseases as hepatitis C. After a series of events that included a reused blade at the local barber’s shop, the protagonist of the play contacted hepatitis C. He was then informed that this disease is very much curable and should have been prevented in the first place if all the precautions had been followed. Due to witty one liners and amazing acting, this play was a huge success among the audience.
And so this seminar ended after addresses by VC, Staff president and Staff Advisor. All of whom applauded the students on holding such a wonderful event.
Lastly refreshments were given to all.
Permission was granted by VC and M.S. to the team of Hepatitis C campaign to visit different wards of Mayo Hospital to spread awareness. 15 teams were formulated and 3 teams were sent to the wards daily. The following wards were covered,
4 surgical units
4 medical units
Urology (units 1 &2)
Dermatology (units 1 &2)
Psychiatry (Drug Addiction & Rehabilitation Centre + clinical psychology and child psychiatry floors)
Orthopedics (units 1 &2)
OPD (All rooms and laboratories)
Each team was led by one of the members of the organizing team. The total number of volunteers was about 150. They were first given instructions by their team leaders about the transmission, signs and symptoms, precautions, diet plan for hepatitis C patient, treatment and duties of medical and paramedical staff. Then these volunteers educated the patients, their relatives, nurses, ward boys and paramedical staff.
As most of these volunteers were 1st and 2nd year students so it was a totally new experience for them. Thus they were enthusiastic about interacting with patients and guiding them through their limited knowledge. Even the patients were eager to listen to these friendly young doctors and tell them all their past history of illnesses.
Moreover Posters about Hepatitis C were also displayed in all wards and brochures were distributed among all patients. All the organizers captured a lot of photographs of these memorable moments.
Total patients dealt with were 300. Out of them, 25 were HCV positive.
Thus another chapter of the Beat Hepatitis C, Treat Hepatitis C campaign came to an end.
Visit to Barbers and Beauticians:
A team of 6 Volunteers visited about 13 barbers (1 of them was HCV +) and 6 beauticians in the adjoining areas of Neela Gumbad and educated them about hepatitis C. Informative posters were also pasted in Anarkali.
An information desk has been established in SPWS office in opd 19, mayo for continous awareness of general public where APPNA hep c brouchers shall be available for patient education.
Thus a very extensive and well thought out awareness campaign was concluded at last. It is hoped that this event will have far reaching affects and will be a means of saving lives. Kudos to SPWS and APPNA!