UAlg medical students present community intervention work

Works were carried out in the municipalities of Albufeira, Faro, Loulé, Monchique, Olhão, Portimão and Tavira

Students of the first year of the Integrated Master in Medicine (MIM) at the University of Algarve (UAlg) presented last week, at the Teresa Gamito Amphitheater, on the Gambelas Campus, 21 community intervention works carried out by various municipalities in the Algarve, with the motto of cerebrovascular diseases.

This approximation of MIM to the community takes place within the scope of the curricular unit “Health and Community Intervention”, of the 3rd year.

«To better transmit the intended message, the “MovIMement” project was created. It is important to realize that one cannot remain inert and wait for changes. Literacy allows choosing to improve, and thus transforming habits and thus promoting change. We want our students to understand the impact that health intervention has on the community», explained Manuela Castro, creator of the project and conductor of the curricular unit.

The connection to the municipalities through this curricular unit, thus materialized through the “MoviMento” project, is now in its second edition and this year it took place in the municipalities of Albufeira, Faro, Loulé, Monchique, Olhão, Portimão and Tavira.

According to the responsible teacher, it is intended that this initiative has expression in the 16 municipalities of the Algarve in an equitable way.

«We want to reach more people, but for that it is necessary that there is openness to receive us». In the beginning, there is a certain resistance, he explains, “it is not easy to gather groups in the community, and institutions and companies have some difficulty in subtracting employees from their working hours to participate in these sessions. Schools, which are usually an excellent partner for these interventions, are going through a difficult phase that limits the carrying out of extracurricular activities. There are many projects that never get implemented due to all the difficulties that have to be overcome, but when you manage to reach the end, the results are very positive», he assures.

If this initiative allows students to acquire skills within the scope of community intervention, Manuela Castro considers that it is also an added value «rooting them in the Algarve since the beginning of the MIM, not only because we want them to stay in the region, but also because many of them come from other regions and this is a way of integrating them, making them feel part of this community».

In a note, the University of Algarve warns of the fact that cerebrovascular diseases are associated with high morbidity and mortality and Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA) is the main cause of death.

«These sessions are important for people to understand that by controlling the risk factors they are significantly reducing the probability of suffering a stroke», says Manuela Castro.

«It is a disease in which much can be done to avoid it», he warns.

«The objective of this project is to make people aware of the fact that their behaviour, good or bad, affects not only their health, but also the lives of the people around them», he continues.

As a doctor, she has the perception that it is difficult to change lifestyle habits. As such, UAlg medical students also work to train people to identify the signs and symptoms of the disease at a very early stage, also explaining to them that there is a nationwide Via Verde stroke, created by the National Institute of Medical Emergencies (INEM), which allows users with signs and symptoms of stroke to be correctly assisted and referred to the hospital unit best prepared to receive them.

In this context, the platform was presented Learning, developed by INEM, which provides a wide range of educational products in the area of ​​medical emergencies for professionals and the community in general. Here you can also find fundamental training for health literacy and the acquisition of essential skills for all citizens, such as Basic Life Support (BLS), and it is possible to obtain certified online training under the heading “Reanimate with INEM ”.

The community intervention work carried out by UAlg students was thus based on the prevention and identification of risk factors, reinforcing the modifiable ones, and on identifying the first signs and symptoms of stroke. A BLS session was also held with all participants.

These sessions were developed in the following entities: University of the Algarve for the Elderly, Senior University of the Portuguese Red Cross, Parish Council of Tavira, Associação Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes (Ilha da Culatra), Traffic School of Albufeira, Danças do Mundo_Sul, surf club Faro, motorcycle club Faro, GNR Tavira, Colégio Oficina Diversão, Escola Profissional Gil Eanes, Grupo de Escolas Dra. Laura Ayres, Tavira Secondary School and Loulé Secondary School.

The initiative is a partnership between MIM UAlg and the Algarve Biomedical Center (ABC) for the communities of the Algarve, which this year had the support of INEM, the “Kid on Top” project and the scientific sponsorship of the Sociedade Portuguesa de Literacia em Health (SPLS) and the Portuguese Society of AVC (SPAVC).