Monday, November 29, 2010

November 27, 2010 - Brgy. San Isidro, General Santos City

In line with the anniversary celebration of Mindanao Bulletin and Sapol News Bulletin, a Medical-Dental mission was conducted to serve the residents of Purok Mapailubon, Barangay San Isidro, General Santos City.

ACIM Asia was one of the partners invited to serve in the mission,  along with other partners such as the Joint Task Force, Pinili Clinic, RD Foundation, Philippine Eagles, and Catanios catering.  At the end of the mission, the tally was:  250 medical patients and 110 dental patients served.

Needless to say, but we're saying it anyway, we distributed catechism pamphlets and conducted signature campaign against the RH Bill.  Of course we also distributed rosaries.  It was a lively mission all in all, with passionate debates on the RH Bill.  There were pro-RH bill patients who would not let our campaign go without a challenge, so they made the campaign come to life.  It was exhilarating to argue for Christian doctrines and win some points. May those arguments take root in good soil. God bless us all!

November 8, 2010 - Poblacion, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat

Due to the recent outbreak of Filariasis among the residents of Palimbang, a medical civic action program was organized to address such problem. Filariasis screening was conducted and 13 out of 30 tested positive for the disease.  Free medicines were given to those who tested positive.  A second phase of treatment will follow to stop the outbreak.

ACIM Asia was one of the partners of this particular MedCAP which served 931 medical patients, 68 dental patients, 110 circumcision clients, and 40 cyst-removal patients.  Seventy-five children were given supplementary high-nutrition feeding.  

Health teaching on dengue fever was also conducted simultaneously. 

November 4, 2010 - Tinumigues, Sadsalan, Madanding, Udtong, and Sigayann of Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat

Red Cross volunteers conducting health assessments
For almost a month now, a number of barangays in the Municipality of Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat had been submerged in water from the overflowing Allah River.  One of the dikes that divert the water away from the residential areas had broken down. Most of the communities suffered water up to the chest level, which made it almost impossible for land transportation to reach the communities.   Community boats became the mode of transportation for the local residents.

US ARMY CAT 734 Medic, SSG Edwin Torrescortes
assessing a pediatric patient.
A medical mission was organized by the 33rd IB of Philippine army, in partnership with LGUs and NGOs, to assist the flooded communities in the Municipality of Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat namely: Barangays Tinumigues, Udtong, Sigayan, Sadsalan and Madanding to address the proliferation of water-borne diseases.

Health Education on the prevention of Dengue Fever
The team was divided into four groups to serve the barangays simultaneously, ACIM Asia along with the Red Cross- Tacurong chapter was assigned at barangay Tinumigues serving about 296 patients. 

The Sadsalan team served 232 patients, Madanding team served 281 patients and Udtong and Sigayan teams served 285 patients.

School supplies, used clothing and relief goods were also distributed among the affected families, alongside the medical missions.

October 16, 2010 - Datal Bukay, Glan, Sarangani Province

Here we are again on a medical mission organized by the 73rd IB of the Philippine Army.

We went off to serve the indigent tribal families in the hinterlands of Datal Bukay, Glan, Sarangani Province.  It was a 2-hour drive from Glan town proper.
 We embarked on a four-wheel-drive truck then went forward, bouncing along the very rocky roads, crossing rocky rivers, bumpy and muddy creeks, and traversing steep and rugged mountain sides.  

ACIM Asia team was composed of 9 volunteers: 2 French, 1 Swiss, 5 Filipino Nurses, 1 Filipino Aide, and a  local doctor from Glan who confirmed his participation at the very last minute. 

The lone doctor labored with complete devotion and managed to serve 330 medical patients at the end of the day.  The dental team served 120 patients and  the circumcision team attended 55 patients. 

While the health mission was going on, a     
peace advocacy campaign was conducted by Kapatid Kapayapaan Council to promote peace awareness among the local residents.

As we traversed our way back to the city, we  solemnly wondered at the experience we just had. Behind the mountains and beyond the river lies a village of humans longing for medical services which were beyond their reach.  What a profound wonder we felt, like we had been some kind of Columbuses who navigated oceans to see a world beyond our consciousness, seeing  people like us who had needs like ours, which we were able to humbly serve.  Some time in your life have you ever felt like a little hero? Well, that's how we felt that day.

And do you know how it felt to see the joys of the villagers in receiving rosary beads?  We felt like we were some kind of St. Francis Xavier.  

But of course, we were just feeling dramatic.  Some more heroic missionaries had served the village before.  How else could the people have known how to pray the rosary before we came? In each of the few houses that we had visited we had seen a simple picture of the Sacred Heart.  So really, it wasn't as if we planted the first Cross in that remote village.  A humbling experience, indeed.  Someone else was more heroic, who traversed the rivers and the slopes BEFORE four-wheel drive trucks were invented!  Cheers to the first missionaries.  God bless and keep their souls.