Day 1- Brain Picking

Updated: Oct 9, 2018

Normally a 4 hour drive would seem like it would take forever, especially that is the equivalent of just taking a 24hr flight and then driving to Dallas from Houston after landing. But it flew by because of how many things I was eager to learn about.

To let you be a fly on the wall of our conversation, here is a quick summary of what I got to pick their brains about:

  • What is a Botika Barangay? Turns out it is a discounted pharmacy, but there was not any in our nearby towns

  • Is it different than RHU? RHU stands for Rural Health Unit and my mom had described it as a place where healthcare provides volunteer as a part of their schooling requirement, which provides free screenings,healthcare and some medications to the community. So yes it is different, one is a pharmacy and one is a clinic that also provides some medicines.

  • Where is the most affordable and usual place for people to purchase food? Before we start counseling on diet suggestions, we need to see how feasible our recommendations will be. If we suggest a “Mediterranean diet”, are those items even accessible or affordable for those recommendations to be realistic? I’ll dive into this topic more soon because it was quite eye opening



Learned about:

  • The 4P (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) program that is similar to our food-stamps program in the US. Families receive a small amount of money per child to be able to afford food for their family. Also, the schools provide free meals, vitamins and toothbrush/paste to the malnutrition kids as well

  • Insulin Clinics exist to where patients can get free insulin (which is pretty expensive here) but the patients still have to purchase their syringes, which results in them reusing needles multiple times to be able to afford their therapy. There is also lack of education on how to prevent infection with proper cleaning prior to injection

  • Insulin Prevalence: I was surprised to hear that insulin seems to be a first line therapy and is quite common. My family was surprised to hear that there are other oral medications typically tried first, but it could be that those were tried and insulin was necessary. So I am interested to learn about the prescribing algorithm here.

  • Neighborhood Zumba Classes- My mom always talked about starting this when she retired and moved back here. It made me happy to hear it was already started and that many of the women participate in this daily from 5-6 pm. As for the men, Zumba participation is nonexistent, but if they do exercise, then it is by walking or jogging.




Thing I had asked about, but still need to search for answers:

  • What does health education already look like for patients with a history of diabetes and hypertension?

  • Does the supply of medicine ever run out for the patients who can receive it for free?

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