The Little Nurses of Sulu Inspire Their Communities

On August 17 and 18, the second group of 50 nurses’ assistants representing more than ten elementary schools concluded their training session to conduct first aid and promote safety measures in their schools. The girls and boys, between the ages of 10 and 12 years old, have become enthusiastic helpers of their school nurses. The Training, conducted by Red Cross volunteers, introduced them to healthy lifestyles and opening their young minds to consider careers in public health services.

The training for “mini nurses” is crucial to places such as the Philippine islands of Sulu where unstable militancy and natural disasters seem to be never-ending. By empowering the 4th to 6th graders, their joyful awareness of public health reaches the whole community and creates a continuous source of health services.

The Mini Nurses program on Jolo island is supported by the private NGO, Asia America Initiative, the Sulu Department of Education, the Red Cross, local nurses, teachers and college volunteers. The program has expanded in its second year from three schools to almost thirty. The recent mass training is the first community-wide “Child To Child” [C2C] peer learning opportunity since the idea blossomed in 2014.

Red Cross volunteers and the Sulu’s Department of Education school nurses instructed attentive mini nurses how to create bandages for head wounds in the case of earthquakes or other natural disasters. “The children’s focus speaks highly of the encouragement from their families and teachers in their communities,” AAI Director Albert Santoli said.

The program is intended to prepare future generations of healthcare professionals within isolated communities. This is essential in rural areas where public health is not available. Positive results, starting with a positive attitude, are already apparent.