Monday, October 19, 2009


Dear little Jane was brought again to the hospital last Friday, October 16. She had some convulsion again and had to undergo laboratory tests and xray. She was given antibiotics again for her urinary tract infection. She wasn't confined to the hospital, but she had to go back on Saturday for the stool exam, but no stool would come out, so the doctor advised some measures to stimulate bowel movement. On Saturday she was given laxatives, and still no stool came out. Yesterday, at Holy Mass, she caused her mother embarrassment and joy when she moved her bowel. Today, finally, her stool sample was brought to the lab, and it was good to find no problem in the fecalysis.

Ian and his mother happily prepared to meet with the surgeon today to determine if he can be admitted for surgery already.

Rico has not gained weight yet, because he despised the taste of the high-nutrition formula given for his rehabilitation. The challenge is how to make the formula more palatable for one whose palate is defective. We will have to schedule special visits to improve the feeding program and to give it a close watch. Two surgeons are impatiently awaiting his weight gain in order to operate.


The typhoons, floods and landslides in Luzon have caused billions of dollars in damage. Business people and farmers lost their livelihood. Hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and vital infrastructures were damaged across Luzon. Conservative assessment placed the damage at some 22.83 billion pesos. Some 50 billion pesos will be needed to pay the damage bill, in the cleanup of debris, and in repairing or rebuilding the structures. And yet another major typhoon is poised to strike the country by Wednesday.

The President has called on the people to unite in prayers to God to spare the country from another disaster, while thousands are still trying to rise from the mud and tons of debris.

ACIM-Asia, through the Rosa Mystica Health Mission, is now on its 11th day of medical missions. The team is now in Tanay, Rizal. The people there are happy to be visited again and a number of the patients from July's mission again lined up for treatment. What joy to see them alive and thanking God again for the medical relief.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

FLOOD and water-borne diseases

As of today, ABS-CBN has reported 96 deaths from leptospirosis, out of the 1,336 cases reported. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection, easily acquired by wading through floodwater contaminated by rat urine which carries the bacteria.

The Rosa Mystica Typhoon Relief Medical Missions in the flooded areas is still going on. Since October 3, eight barangays had already been served in Quezon City, Marikina, and Rizal Province.

Total Cost of Mission (as of Oct. 15, 2009): 167, 586.16

Oct. 3 Tanyong, Marikina. 280 patients
Oct. 5 Tagupo, Tatalon. 346 patients
Oct. 6 Malanday National High School, Marikina. 92 patients
Oct. 7 Malanday, Marikina. 288 patients
Oct. 8 Tumana, Marikina. 358 patients
Oct. 9 Tumana, Marikina, 392 patients
Oct. 11 Nangka, Marikina. 142 patients
Oct. 12 Silangan, Novaliches, Quezon City. 262 patients
Oct. 13 Holy Family Parish, Gulod, Novaliches, Quezon City. 679 patients
Oct. 15 Silangan, San Mateo, Rizal Province. 565 patients

Relief Goods Distribution:
October 3 : 400 families served.
October 15: 116 families served.

Distribution of Rosaries:
Oct. 3: 500 rosaries
Oct. 6: 250 rosaries

Baptism: No. of children baptized: 22
The team is moving to Tanay, Rizal Province next week. God-willing, maybe they will proceed to Benguet the following weeks, to try to relieve the suffering of the victims of the landslides there.

The country is bracing for another typhoon, which is predicted to be a supertyphoon. God have mercy on us all!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

TYPHOON RELIEF OPERATIONS in Marikina and Quezon City

As typhoon Ketsana ("Ondoy") brought disastrous floods to the nation's capital, ACIM-ASIA was called to conduct relief operations for the victims of the disaster.

A medical team from Gensan was hurriedly prepared and 62 boxes of medicines and medical supplies flown from Gensan to Manila free of charge by the PAL Foundation on October 2. The series of medical missions started on October 3, and is still going on. Additional medicines were purchased by the Society of Saint Pius X in support of the mission.

A charity drive continues to collect relief goods for distribution during the medical mission. On Monday, hopefully, another batch of goods which includes sleeping mats, dinnerwares, clothings and food items will be shipped to the mission area.

The charity of God presses us on.


Thanks be to God for generous agencies, our patients needing surgery are given hope.

Michelle, the 1 year old girl from Tanay with fronto-ethmoidal encephalocele is now having her evaluation at the Philippine General Hospital in preparation for her surgery, with the help of the Noordhoff Foundation.

John, the 1 year and 8 months old boy from Alabel, Sarangani Province with an enormous meningoencephaloecele is now at the PCSO Child Home in Quezon City, waiting to be admitted to the Philippine General Hospital tomorrow, for his first surgery: ventriculoperitoneal shunting. He is being assisted by Help-wirhelfen Foundation and the Noordhoff Foundation.

Caroline, the 1 year old and 4 months old girl from Barangay Fatima, General Santos City, with a ruptured meningocele has been accepted by the Noordhoff Foundation for surgical assistance and is now waiting for her time to fly to Manila.

Jane, the 1 year and 2 months old girl with meningoencephalocele from Ladol, Sarangani Province, had miraculously survived a critical period of severe seizures and coma after contracting pneumonia and enduring a dislodged VP Shunt. She was rushed to Davao Medical School Foundation Hospital on an ambulance on September 20, 2009. Her VP Shunt was repositioned on October 28. And was discharged on October 5, 2009. Thanks be to God and to Dr. Eun Mi Kim who sponsored her surgical bills.

Ian , the boy from Alonan, General Santos City, with Hirschsprung's Disease, has been chosen for assistance by a merciful US Army Sgt. Aaron Walla. He is being managed by Dr. Jerry Rafael. He will have his surgery after he is treated for pneumonia.

Rico, the boy from Maribulan, Alabel, Sarangani Province, who has a cleft lip and bilateral cleft palate, bilateral scrotal hernia, otitis media and pneumonia, and malnutrition, has found kind sponsors who would help him get over his many problems. When his malnutrition is corrected and he gains 1.5 kilograms and he overcomes his upper respiratory tract infections, his surgeries will follow. The US Army and Dr. Rafael will work on his hernia repair. Dr. Gonzales and the Craniofacial Center Foundation of St. Elizabeth Hospital will work on his cleft lip and palate. Please God, may he respond to the nutrition rehabilitation effort.

Aldy has been going back and forth from Gensan to Davao for his diagnostic tests and treaments. Doctors had been baffled over his case and for 2 years his biopsies and xrays had confused them. Osteomyelitis? Adenoma? Fibroma? TB adenitis?

Joshua had his first surgery for cleft lip by Dr. Gonzales. He has a whole face now, and is looking happily forward to his next surgery.

Ms. Nelda had her total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingooophorectomy, after the discovery of a uterine cancer. She is still recuperating.

July 26-31: Rosa Mystica Health Mission 2009 in Tanay, Rizal

Swine flu control measures, kidnapping of Italian Red Cross volunteer Eugenio Vagni, and the bombings in Southern Philippines filled the preparations for the 2009 Rosa Mystica Health Mission with suspense, with foreign volunteers kept guessing where they would be landing to do the mission.

Alternative venues were considered including Butuan, Leyte, Bohol, and Benguet, until finally the decision was made to conduct the mission in Barangay Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal.

It was a fortunate choice. As the mission progressed the difficulties of availing medical services in the locality were felt by the volunteers who were faced with the reality that in Barangay Sampaloc, one had to drive one hour to buy ventolin anti-asthma spray or to have one's x-ray or ultrasound taken, and had to wait for 2-3 days to get the result! A boy who had a bad fall from a tree who was rushed to the mission had to be driven some 4 hours to the Philippine Orthopedic Hospital in order to be properly assessed and treated. The inaccessibility of basic health services was keenly felt. Emergency purchases of medicines took between 5 to 24 hours to be delivered.

Rain was continually pouring heavily over the mission area, but the line of patients asking to be served never let up, even to the last day of the mission. The mission had to be extended another day, though a number of volunteers had already gone home. It was sad to leave still many sick poor who were not served, but we had to go because our resources (time, medicines, food, energy) were not infinite.

During the 6 days, the patients served at the different departments of the mission totaled 3,130. A week after the mission some 30 more patients were served at the mission headquarters, and another 60 served by a partner doctor in the locality. Follow up care was done, sutures removed, referrals facilitated. At the moment there are still patients on medication for asthma, pulmonary tuberculosis, and myopathy. A girl with fronto-ethmoidal meningocele has been enrolled in the free surgery program offered by Noordhoff Foundation. Thirty persons with goiter are still waiting for their relief. Follow up visit will be conducted within this month to check on the status of the patients.

Volunteers of the mission came from 7 different countries: Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Ireland, USA, France, Japan). A volunteer came from Switzerland to help prepare for the mission but he had to go home two weeks before the actual mission.

THE SPONSORS OF THE MISSION who made the mission possible were:
PAL Foundation
Roche Pharma
3M Rodge Pharmamed Sales
Tanay Commnunity Clinic (discounted price for xrays)
Society of Saint Pius X District of Asia
James Negroso (transportation of medicines, volunteers, patients)
Col. Honorato Etis and Madam Virgie (overall assistance: lodging, coordination of mission activities, tour of foreign volunteers, transportation of patients)
Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp Capinpin (security, tents, dentists and dental assistants)
Ma. Isabel Ponayo and Sierra Madre Hotel (lodging, medicine procurement, follow up care of patients)
Villa Pilar (free lodging)
Cathy Kowzun and Barandilla Restaurant (discounted price for food catering)
Legion of Mary (community relations and catechism)
Bagwis Guardians (security)
Major Alfonso Besario (President of Townsite Home and Lot Occupants Association, Inc.)
Nery Ripalda and Department of Agriculture employees cooperative (tables and chairs)

Photos of the mission are available at: