Our mission at Iskul has expanded beyond our core goals of education. Thanks to the incredible support from Yayasan Gamuda, Dr Carmen from UNSW, and University Community Transformation (UCTC) UPM, we have built a new space for our Mini Clinic. This expansion allows us to support the rural and stateless community who are in need of access the medical services. On the 8th and 9th of june, representatives from the UCTC UPM visited Omadal, to discuss our plans for the Iskul Mini Clinic, and to the training of Community Health Helpers (CHH.) Four community members will be selected to go for a health internship with a private clinic in Semporna. This will give them the skills to help their community and sustainably run the clinic. The representatives from UCTC also sat down for a conversation with the seaweed entrepreneurs based in Omadal (facilitated by our headmistress).
We hold the belief that a person cannot learn to the best of their ability if their body is not healthy. However, hospitals and clinics are not an option for the Bajau Laut as their lack of citizenship makes it unaffordable to obtain private healthcare. Iskul thus became a makeshift clinic for students to get medicine and emergency treatment. Ringworm, boils,
wounds, fever, and toothache are common ailments we attend to. When necessary, we do seek support from private clinics or government hospitals for treatment of patients from our community. We also assisted the Semporna Health District Office (PKD) when they came to Omadal for their preventing cholera and polio campaign.
On August 11th 2020, a health team from the PKD paid a visit to Iskul to provide cholera medicine to the children. Cholera cases in Sabah had increased sharply in July 2020 to a total of 43 cases. Without immediate treatment, Cholera, a normally curable disease can become fatal.
Similarly, on December 4th 2020, PKD sent a team to provide polio vaccines to children of Omadal Island. Our team on the ground helped gather the children of the island to be vaccinated. In 2020, there were at least 4 cases of polio in Sabah leading to a mass distribution of the polio vaccine to children in the state.