To All Participants:
I was in the lobby when a man approached me and said in very broken english, his name is Cesar. That he came from a village some 10 Kms away, and just wanted to thank me… I said did he receive medical treatment from us? … No … Did his wife or one of his family members receive treatment? … No … Then why are you thanking me? … I just came to say thank you for helping the poor people here… after some tears and a big hug, this is the “Thank You” one really feels for a great work done. So, direct from Cesar…. I thank you all too….
Infanta Location Map
Medical Mission Report
For 13 — 17 February 2006.
Dear Friends of The Mission:
It is with great pleasure I present to you my version of our number 13 medical mission to the Philippines.
Well…. Actually for me it started 25th of January. Leaving USA during a mild winter, just 30 Degrees, off we went to Manila where it was a nice humid 90. Jet lag not withstanding, a couple of days getting acclimatized to the weather and time zone, we started the paper-work to clear our 2 containers through the Philippine Customs.
It was a headache but finally after 9 days, with a LOT of help from Mr. Eusebio De Castro, a Rotarian from Laguna, (who also is a Broker). Then 10:30 at night, the “Impossible” was achieved. Saturday we went to the V. Luna Hospital to oversee the unloading of that container. Local Military folks soon had boxes and machines being piled up onto their basket ball court, to await sorting and then delivery to the department each item belonged to. With lots of “Wow, look at that,” and “Can I have some of these”, another long day ended.
While this was going on, our other container was transported to Infanta. Here our Rotarian friends met it. They organized and assisted in the unloading and moving of the 32,000 Lbs of equipment and Supplies up to the second floor storeroom of the Claro M. Recto district Hospital. The time was just 4am, but no matter the container had to be returned ASAP to Manila, so with much grunting later, this container was also unloaded. The hospital staff placed beds and other equipment direct to the ER, Surgical rooms, and Wards. Sitting there to await the arrival of our group of excited volunteers. I say excited as adrenalin was pumping with some “Old timers” along with new folks that had come along on this medical Mission. Just a 4 hour bus ride later, through the mountains from Manila to Real. (pronounced ree – al)
Arriving at the Club Manila East resort, our accommodation for the next week, lunch was ready in just a few moments. Our bags thrown into the rooms, then all aboard for a drive to Infanta to check out the location where we were to work the next 5 days.
Monday 13th February 2006.
Here our mission really starts. Every one wanted their entire specialty supplies NOW…. So the supplies team with lots of patience and perspiration started sorting out the 300 boxes of supplies to try and comply with all the medical teams needs. Patients were already out into the street, waiting to get through the lines of Open Clinic. The numbers at the end of this story does not show the Frustration, Tension, Panic, filled moments of trying to get some 400 patients all wanting to be first to see a doctor. But the professionals of this team worked wonders in achieving this record. No patient was turned away, and the Doctors inside were kept so busy that snack time was a forced STOP, to get a break, potty stop, ingest some water and sustenance, then bouncing back into the fray. Surgery teams set up shop wherever they could find space, sometimes in the hallway, or if lucky, actually in one of the surgery rooms. The volunteers from the V. Luna (Philippine equivalent of the USA Veterans System) started Ophthalmology along with Out Patient Surgery, Clinic and any place there was a patient. Rotary Club of Infanta provided patience and patient guiding care, not just this day 1, but throughout our entire stay. Electricians, Carpenters, and anyone with a willing pair of hands had more jobs than they could instantly handle. But never a word of complaint was heard. A true day of “Service Above self“, Rotarians and Non Rotarians alike.
Tuesday 14th February, 2006.
Nothing changed this day other than there was more patients, more patients, and even more patients… with our teams now getting into the flow of things; this was the program for the next 4 days. Wake up early, because we were wide awake at 4am. Being not yet acclimatized to the time change, or just plain eager to get going… I think it was the latter.. We were usually ready to go even before the bus arrived for our 30 minute trip to the Hospital. Wandering along the narrow roads, watching the farmers go to work, the small shops starting to get their produce, cooking, and unbelievable fruit stalls into order for their day, spirits were always high, as we took photos, laughed at all the different stories told about the previous days activities, our trip went so fast, we hardly noticed the travel time.
Wednesday 15th, Thursday 16th, went so fast I had no time to write who did what, but fortunately all teams kept a good record of their patient load, I just remember sometimes it rained, some times it didn’t. In between it was just HOT and HUMID. Patients came from different areas each day, Infanta area, Real area, General Nakar area, Polilio Island area; and next thing you know the week is almost gone.
Friday 17th, Our last hospital mission day. This day patients came from all over the area. Following all the advertising, plus word of mouth, we were really swamped with folks seeking medical care. Pharmacy gave out pills, Plastic surgery’s work of art was every where, Ophthalmology patients with one eye patch following their cataract surgery, and OB patients smiling after their clinic visit, knowing their unborn babies were OK. Surgical patients had more visitors than normal I think, there just seemed to be so many people coming and going, it was hard to know a patient from a visitor… but it didn’t matter, our Volunteers worked on through, many local folks came to help, Student Nurses, Dentist’s, Doctors, Hospital Auxiliary Ladies, Cooks. There was never a job that needed to be done, that didn’t get done. Assistance was never in short supply, but I have to admit our supplies team was worn to a frazzle, going up and down all the steps, from first to second floor. No elevator in sight .. But suddenly after arriving back at camp they saw the whole area was set up for a party. The Rotary Club of Infanta arranged their meeting night, our going away party night, plus some visiting Rotarians from other districts, (some had even stayed with us during a GSE and GFE trip) all were waiting to help us Karaoke or just let off steam for our last official get-together of the trip.
The swimming pool was the ideal setting for us to just sing (yell off key) have a few drinks of soft or hard.. Food every where with lots of comments of “What am I eating now” and replies of “You don’t want to know”.. providing interest and laughter with our new friends across the Pacific ocean.
Saturday 18th. We were supposed to go on a picnic this day, but it rained hard early in the am, so the small boat trip was cancelled and we just chilled out. Some folks NEEDED to go shopping, others lolled about with snacks and drinks and so the day passed.
Sunday 19th, February 2006. Early after lots of good byes, we boarded the bus for the 4 hours back to Manila and so this Mission ended, with participants going off in all 4 directions, many for last minute shopping, others to visit relatives close or far.
Here are the documented numbers for our Teams:
Out Patient Clinic: 1,789
Plaza Dental Group: 500
Ophthalmology Surgery: 108
Out Patient Surgeries: 292
Plastic Surgeries: 27
General Surgeries: 27
Gynecologic Surgeries: 10
OB/GYN Clinic 112
Plus 4 Babies.
Plus 32,000 Lbs of Equipment and Supplies delivered to Infanta, Quezon Province.
Plus 30,000 Lbs of Equipment and Supplies delivered to V. Luna Hospital in Manila.
Plus a lot of: “How do I sign up for the next Mission”, even without knowing the where and when it will be. Such is the success of our Medical Missions to the Philippines.
Denys B. Collins.
Rotary Club of South Platte
Medical Mission Coordinator.
Open Clinic: 1,719
Plaza Dental: 500
Plastic Surgery: 27
General Surgery: 27
Out-Patient Surgery: 292
OB/GYN Surgery: 10
OB/GYN Clinic; 112
Plus 30,000 Lbs of supplies and equipment delivered to the V. Luna, VA hospital system in Manila.
Plus 32,000 Lbs of supplies and equipment delivered to the Claro M. Recto Hospital, Infanta, Quezon Province,
A Special thanks to:
“The Rotary Club of Infanta”
District 3820, in Quezon Province, Philippines.
The support throughout the year of preparation, the 2 weeks before the Mission, and of course all the paper-work afterwards.
Dr. Manuel (Manny) Maniebo: President.
All the workers and this means the total club, that helped with our Bus transportation, and of course Merienda supplies… (this means drinks & snacks at 10am and 3pm, with lunch catered for 12Noon.) The behind the scenes details that kept things going, without your support of true “Service Above Self” our Rotary motto, the smiles recieved from the patients also should go to you.
Dr. Romeo Protesta
Rotarian and CEO of Claro M Recto Hospital.
Let your name also stand out. When I noticed your office being used as an operating room, it really meant you were offering true support for the Medical Mission, and not just word service. Actions speak volumes more than just words. We thank you here personally for the whole world to see. We know the items we have brought to your Hospital will be put to the very best use to treat Indigent patients for many years to come. It is our pleasure to have met you.
All the best for the future of your club, and we were priviledged to have been a part of your lives.