World War II veteran Eugenio Barboza, 68 years old from Malasiqui, was so happy to receive quality medical attention and free medicines from specialists last March 4 at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center Gymnasium.
“Napakagandang proyekto ito ni Governor Amado Espino. Malaking tulong ito para sa aming mahihirap at may edad na,” he said as he left the gymnasium clutching the free medicines he got after his consultation.
Barboza is but one of the thousands who availed of the three-day free medical and surgical missions scattered into three venues in the province, spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Pasay Manila International Airport (MIA) and the Makati Medical Center Group in cooperation with the Provincial Government.
Danny Paragas, past president of RC MIA and over-all chairman of the mission, said they have chosen Pangasinan to be this year’s recipient of the undertaking because it is one of the most devastated places after the onslaught of typhoons Pepeng and Ondoy.
Paragas was glad to note the positive response they got from the local government leaders, especially Gov. Espino, and the community as also one of the reasons that enticed them to bring the project in the province.
The medical mission was held at the NRSCC while the cataract surgery and pterygium excision were conducted at the Lingayen District Hospital.
Meanwhile, operations of cases requiring major and minor surgeries were made at the Provincial Hospital in San Carlos City.
A similar medical mission by German Interplast was also held at the PPH from February 21 to March 5 which had a team of German doctors, anesthesiologist and nurses operate on patients with cleft palate and hair lip.
Dr. Philip Cruz of UP-PGH and the team leader of the medical mission at the NRSCC in Lingayen said they expect to render consultations to children and adults at 1,500 or more cases a day.
As usual, he said, majority or about 60% of total cases are pedia-related, while the rest are for adults.
For children, they usually treat allergies and infections while hypertension, high blood, arthritis and diabetes were the common sickness among adults.
They gave away vitamins, antibiotics, anti-allergy and anti-hypertensive medicines, among others, after the consultation.
“We give everything for free to indigent patients who cannot afford any amount for surgery,” Dr. Victor Gisbert of Makati Med Group and head of the surgical mission in San Carlos City said.
Major and minor surgeries for cases of goiter, parotid mass, thyroglossal duct cyst, hernia inguinal, hydrocoele, cholecystolitiasis, hemorrhoids, breast mass, cleft lip, myoma, ovarian mass/cyst and circumcision were done at the PPH.
The team expects to do 100 major surgeries and 300 minor for three days.
A large influx of patients with cataract and pterygium went to Lingayen District Hospital hoping to avail of the free medical services. Over 200 patients were already screened for possible operation.
Dr. Zagala Meriales, Eye Surgeon from MMC, said they aim for about 50 cataract surgeries but pterygium excision has no limit for as long as the team is here and they have medical supplies. She also said that they will provide post-operative care medicines for the patients.
Meanwhile, Raul Urgello of Phillipine War Veterans Foundation bared that their group will give away two wheelchairs. (PIO/Rafael Manuel)