AIHO Annual Summer Immersion

Preparing the next generation of health professionals to provide health for all in the Philippines

The AIHO Frontline Health Systems Immersion Program was established in 2016. Through this program, AIHO endeavors to formalize the engagement of students, the community, and the local preceptors in a frontline health systems immersion program responsive to the dynamic teaching, learning, and service needs of all parties involved. The program seeks to provide medical students opportunities to appreciate the Philippine health system through direct community-level immersive learning experiences. It is hoped that the lessons they gain from these experiences engender aspirations towards strengthening local health systems to ensure the provision of quality, rights-based, equitable, and patient-centered health care for all Filipinos.

To date, there have been four cohorts for the immersion program. The first cohort saw 20 students fielded to four immersion sites. The past two cohorts have seen a marked increase in the demand of medical students for immersive and experiential health systems learning opportunities. Over 240 medical students signed up for the program in 2018 and over 400 in the 2019 immersion held from June to July 2019.

AIHO Summer Immersion is featured in “Sparks of Hope", a collection of innovative activities aroudn the world promoted by South Africa-based The Elders.

Immersion Reflection Excerpts

“I knew I somehow had the gist of the Philippine healthcare delivery system through my previous employment as a community nurse in a depressed municipality in Lanao del Sur prior to medical school. Two years since I finally pursued medicine, I got involved again, but this time bearing the mindset of being a physician-to-be. I strongly realized and understood how politics affects the healthcare delivery system. Indeed, the whole experience was both humbling and fulfilling."

Abdel Hazziem B. Datumulok
Liceo de Cagayan University
Tubajon, Dinagat Islands

“The whole experience fueled my desire to go back to my town of Cabusao, Camarines Sur and to serve them with the skills I gained and the love for humanity I built for almost two decades now."

John Woodrow Ramos
UERM Memorial Medical Center
Bacacay, Albay

“I joined the immersion to gain a wider and deeper understanding of working for and in an underserved community. Despite all my reservations, the desire to serve the underserved is stronger than ever. Everyone deserves to live a full and comfortable life with their loved ones. Everyone deserves to feel secure that there are people who are invested in making sure they do live their full life. Everyone has the right to health."

Prestine Shealtiel A. Subido
SLMC College of Medicine
Sta. Fe, Cebu

Interested about AIHO Immersion? Contact us at aiho@aiho.org.ph