A life-saving to life-changing MHAM Medical Mission was conducted in Calidngan Elementary School during the simultaneous activities of the “Pasko sa Kabukiran Season 3: Halad-gugma gikan sa MHAM” in Barangay Calidngan, Carcar City, Cebu last November 30, 2018.
The Free Medical Clinic, which was started in 2016 through the MHAM Community Extension and Services Office (CESO), was one of the major year-ender events to a partner community to continue to bring hope to the less fortunate especially during Christmas season.
The MHAM volunteers composed with faculty members, administration, non-teaching staff, medical clerks and aspiring doctors were divided into small groups to facilitate this year’s activities on minor surgery and hypertension and diabetes lecture; lectures on dental care, personal hygiene, proper handwashing, supplemental and milk feeding; and lecture, demonstration and return demonstration of Basic Life Support (BLS) and Disaster Preparedness.
Out of thirteen MHAM mavens of the field who graced this year’s outreach program in Barangay Calidngan, Dr. Ted Marcerey Gallo, Dr. Axel Elises, Dr. Renna De Leon and Dr. Joseph Alfred De Leon were among the volunteer-surgeons who made the MHAM Medical Mission something to relive to.
This year, the medical clerks of batch Nexus facilitated the simultaneous activities together with the Student Council officers who brought joy to 200 families with the seasoned gift-giving known as the Shoe Box Project.
The future doctors of batch Nexus led the lecture on Hypertension and Diabetes where the elderly listeners gained insights and better understanding that high blood pressure or hypertension can lead to many complications of diabetes and the risk factors of having both conditions.
To complete, the minor surgery services for three years in a row have benefited the resident-patients who went through cyst, abscess, warts, lumps, bumps, and foreign bodies removal under surgical procedures that do not require a general anesthesia and whose conditions were treated quickly by the MHAM surgeons.
Relatively painless with fairly quick procedure, the minor surgical services led by Dr. Gallo, Dr. Elises, and couple-doctors Dr. De Leon, were also assisted by some of the junior student-leaders who completed the surgical team this year.
The immediate care clinic being availed by the Calidngan patients without the costly and inconvenient trip to the hospitals in Cebu City was a great advantage to the residents who were also provided with immediate medicines right after the minor procedures.
The free surgical outreach program lasted at 1:00 in the afternoon where the patients were forever grateful to the MHAM surgeons who administered and performed the surgeries at no cost.
One of them was Catherine Ochia who, for almost a year, have experienced uncomfortable sleeps due to a pea-sized lump at the back of her body.
A high school student of Carcar Academy, the youngest patient of the day expressed her gratitude to the MHAM team who removed the lump for free. Delighted and relieved, the daughter of the former Barangay Captain of Calidngan, Mr. Ignacio Ochia, was attended by Dr. Joseph Alfred and Dr. Renna and De Leon.
“Happy kaayo ko nga niari na sad ang MHAM kay naka-avail ko sa free surgery. Hapit na tuig nga maglisud ko ig higda tungod sa sagabal sa akong likod ug salamat kaayo sa MHAM kay na-removed na siya (I am very happy that MHAM is here once again because I was able to avail the free surgery. For almost a year it bothers me whenever I lay down because of the lump at the back of my body and I thank MHAM because it is now removed)”, Ochia said in an interview.
Consistent with its goal to provide free medical services for partner communities in the season of sharing and giving, the Medical Mission was also an opportunity for the MHAM student-volunteers to develop their skills that they can take with them into their career as future medical doctors with the willingness to serve the less fortunate beyond providing a necessary service with care.
A memorable year with remarkable countless mission to the community, the ‘Pasko sa Kabukiran Season 3’ was in full cooperation with the Calidngan Elementary School teachers, Calidngan barangay officials and health workers.
Motivated with the byword that the greatest gift is not wrapped but is served with a heart, this year’s free medical services were indeed life-saving to life-changing gestures for the people of Calidngan for three years in a row of love and charity. (Ana Liza Abao)