BY LIZA A. JOCSON
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Doctors here are promoting holistic health quite literally in their own backyard which is also designated as a COVID referral hospital in Zamboanga Peninsula.
Last week, medical workers at the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC) trooped to a portion of the hospital premises to harvest the first batch of leafy greens from its very own urban vegetable garden, a joint project by ZCMC Hospital Administrator Dr. Afdal Kunting together with Kids Who Farm and the ZCMC dietary staff.
Initial harvest includes pechay, which was given to patients, and lettuce, which was sold to hospital staff. Proceeds will be used for the medical facility’s revolving fund.
“This is part of social accountability. We need to focus on the overall health of the clientele. “This is also intended as a stress reliever for our staff,” said Kunting.
Workers are still waiting to harvest okra, lemon grass, eggplant, water spinach (kangkong), tomatoes and chili pepper placed on a 30 square meter patch of land near the hospital’s dietary section and tended to by dieticians and other hospital staff.
The project was started February this year upon the recommendation of farming consultant Muneer Hina. There is also a plan to expand the program to the medical facility’s parking area, pediatric section and even at the rooftop of a new tower presently under construction.
Kunting, who was appointed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in November last year, said the goal of the project is to have a sustainable food source for patients and employees.
Kunting explains that the establishment of the vegetable garden enables them not only to focus on treating patients but in promoting overall health care even after the patient recovers from their sickness.