At a time when Operation Smile activities (missions, speech camps, activities in the cleft centers) are put on hold because of the pandemic, when some of our volunteer doctors, nurses, biomedical technicians are risking their lives in the frontline providing life-saving care to our fellowmen.
Are you wondering what are our volunteer speech-language pathologists doing? Well, while one on one speech therapy sessions are suspended, our volunteer speech-language pathologists continue what they do best, by providing opportunities for better communication by creating and distributing communication boards (Commboards).
What are communication boards? These are picture laden boards with functional words used by individuals who have difficulty talking because of some physical limitations. They have words like “pain”, “yes/no”, “hungry”, “thirsty”, words that can convey direct needs like the ones below;
The commboards have been translated into several languages such as Kapangpangan, Cebuano, Filipino, and Chinese. These are used by patients who have been intubated and are hooked to a ventilator which makes it difficult for them to talk. These boards become their mouthpieces to communicate their needs to the doctors, nurses, and caregivers.
Our speech pathology volunteers together with the Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists (PASP) AAC special interest group, the Speech-Language Pathologists of Cebu (SOC), volunteers from Davao, Pampanga, and Manila have distributed over 200 kits of communication boards in hospitals in the following hospitals:
Metro Manila (Chinese General Hospital and Sta. Ana Hospital)
Cebu (Cebu Doctors University Hospital, Cebu North General Hospital, Cebu South General Hospital, Mactan Doctors Hospital, Cebu Velez General Hospital, Chong Hua Hospital – Fuente, Chong Hua Hospital-Mandaue, Perpetual Succor Hospital, University of Cebu Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and ARC Hospital)
Davao (Southern Philippines Medical Center, Davao Regional Medical Center, Integrated Provincial Hospital office, Maguindanao, Cotabato Regional and Medical Center, and the Metro Dave Medical and Research Center) and soon in the province of Pampanga.
As of April 18, 2020, the Cebu group has distributed 115 kits, the Davao speechies have distributed 156 kits, while around 30 kits have been distributed in both Chinese General and Sta. Ana hospitals respectively.