Roland Dimaya, MPH '11
Vientiane and surrounding provinces, Laos; Manila and Batac City, Philippines
Before I left for Southeast Asia, I knew that I would experience the intersection between health policy theories that I learned about in the classroom and real-life applications. What I walked away with, though, was a comprehensive appreciation for the policy development process and the complexities of implementation. In June, I joined Dr. Pia Britto of the Yale School of Medicine on a UNICEF-sponsored project assessing health and education programs for children in Laos. I encountered the full scope of policy stakeholders, from administrators in the central government to provincial health workers, village chiefs and mothers. In this rich cultural setting, I found myself deeply entrenched in the cultural environment and I saw firsthand how such traditions effect health care provision. During July and August, I pursued research project supported by the Wilbur G. Downs International Health Travel Fellowship in the Philippines. Seeking to characterize the country’s policy response to nurse migration, I interviewed government and private-sector administrators and held focus groups with Filipino nurses from urban and provincial settings. Utilizing the skills I developed during coursework on policy and research at YSPH, I was able to conceptualize important policy points and understand how the Philippines, as a leader in global labor migration, is seeking to balance its economy with its health care. I value the experiences I had abroad and they have enriched what I learned in the classroom. But more importantly, I value the realization of my own skills and abilities as a young health care professional immersed in the field.
Roland Dimaya - Philippines and Laos
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- My project team (from left to right) Dr. Richard Seder, an educational economist; Dr. Pia Britto, an early childhood development specialist at the Yale School of Medicine; Maliphet Soukhasem, a UNICEF education specialist; myself; and Mr. Soulivanh, a translator.
- Interviewing villagers in Thachock, Laos
- We talked with villagers in Thachock, Laos, about health and education programs for children.
- With parents and children in Thachock village, Laos.
- Interviewing senior staff nurses of the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital in Batac City, Philippines.
- With senior staff nurses of the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital in Batac City, Philippines.
- With Dr. Josefina Tuazon, dean of the University of the Philippines Manila College of Nursing and director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Leadership in Nursing Development.
- With Dr. Kenneth Ronquillo, director of the Philippine Department of Health Human Resources in the Health Development Bureau.
- While exploring Xaysomboun, Laos, I happened upon a group of teenagers waiting for the local “bus” to school. After some brief hand gestures and head nods, they agreed to a photo.
- Laotians, especially in the provincial towns, began their day as early as 4:30 a.m. A morning walk was incomplete without passing by women doing laundry, with their children playing in basins, and men setting up their storefronts.
- The historic Plain of Jars in Ponhsavanh is the Lao equivalent of England’s Stonehenge. The original uses of the jars remain unknown. The site is also home to fields of unexploded mines and bombs dropped during World War II.
- Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila, is a bustling square of vendors, students, and churchgoers attending hourly mass at St. John the Baptist Church. Here, I purchased some candles for prayer at the statue of the Nazarene Jesus, where Filipinos line up for blocks to adore.
- Distinctly Asian, the open-air market in the Philippines was not unlike those in Laos. Available here are local vegetables and aromatic dried fish.