September 19, 2023
In the past months, the WMSU University Health Services Center (UHSC) has undergone a remarkable revolution. It has evidently introduced proactive initiatives in improving the healthcare of the WMSU community. Under the guidance of the young and dynamic Medical Officer III, Dr. Felicitas Asuncion “Iya” C. Elago, and her team of dedicated professionals, the UHSC is on a transformative journey to bring significant changes to meet the medical needs of the students and the WMSU personnel.“It is a slow process but we are getting there,” said Dr. Elago when asked about the realization of her plans for the UHSC.  Presently, the center offers medical consultations and dental services. They also provide free common over-the-counter medications for symptom relief and as of this writing, there are pending deliveries for antibiotics, cough and cold medicines, and medical equipment such as stretchers, wheelchairs and other rescue equipment.

The UHSC recognizes the efficiency of digitalization thus they have shifted from paper-based to electronic forms for the health assessment of incoming first year students. This initiative makes the requirement for obtaining a medical certificate easier for the new enrollees.

One of the challenges that students face today is mental health. “Since January of this year, the leading reason for medical consultations among students is related to mental health. We have been collaborating with the University Guidance and Counselling Center to address this concern. We also intend to have a tie-up with the Zamboanga City Medical Center Department of Psychiatry for a consultation schedule exclusively for the students of WMSU. To further assist the students, we will make arrangements for our clinic to be the access site of their medications. We are also looking into the possibility of conducting a baseline study to shed light on the mental health needs of our students,” Dr. Elago expounded.

As for the healthcare of the university personnel, the UHSC will implement the employees’ annual medical examinations. In coordination with the Administration Personnel Association, they have also recently launched the Biggest Loser Competition which will conclude in December 2023.

Several programs are also lined-up for the UHSC staff this year. Last February they had a Basic Life Support Training. In July, they will undergo a First Aid Training and conduct a Rabies and Dengue Prevention Program. By the last quarter of 2023, they will hold medical and dental missions at the WMSU San Ramon Campus and selected external studies units located in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.

The expansion of services and increased presence of the University Health Services Center have undoubtedly brought about positive changes to the university community. Through its holistic approach to health and well-being, the UHSC is contributing to a more vibrant, productive, and supportive academic environment for everyone involved.