In response to simultaneous annual community outreach programs before summer ends, the MHAM Caduceus Rescue Unit (CRU) conducted a joint ‘Operation Tuli’ held at Basak, San Nicolas, Cebu City last May 4, 2019.
A MHAM-led whole day activity in partnership with the Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS) students from the University of the Philippines-Cebu, Red Cross Cebu and Barangay Health Workers (BHW) in San Nicolas, the free circumcision operation was part of CRU’s invaluable service to local communities since the organization was officially established.
Committed to bring the school organization’s mission for essential healthcare to indigent areas inside and outside Cebu City, CRU’s founder and current associate dean for Basic Sciences, Dr. Allan Librando, led the ‘operation tuli’ drive together with twenty-five (25) volunteer-members mostly from the class of 2022.
Mark Caesar Flores, Dayang Feineliza Bahjin, Michael Ryan Alimpoos, Charrie Alburo, Kristine Marie Arreglo, Rosemyrn Danuco, Christian Mae Baldonado, Jeqria Abdulhalim, Geraldine del Castillo, Angelli Duhaylungsod, Reen Jia Micame, John Paul Mumar, Kimberly Bragat, Fatima Nyara Laja, Anthony Nino Ranoco, Kathleen Joy Carilla, Noelle Chiong, Novelyn Plasabas, Jeffrey Yuson, Shareen Gaspillo, Oscar Gaviola, Vincent Sarande, Alnico Surpia, Clarinda Surpia, and Athena Marie Anog were among the CRU volunteers who made the joint medical mission remarkably possible.
Started in 2009, CRU, as one of the school organizations in MHAM, was aimed to produce highly capable medical students through rescue operation trainings in light of the increasing role of emergency responses in the community.
Moreover, the organization’s function was also designed to instill its growing volunteers to place the heart to the community along with the services they can bring to various areas in Metro Cebu and other neighboring partner communities outside the city.
Working together as officers since 2018, the activity was well-coordinated by the following active student-leaders namely; Mark Caesar Flores as president, Michael Ryan Alimpoos as vice president, Kristine Marie Arreglo as secretary, Mara Aubrey Cisteine Escoreal as treasurer, Eloisa Jean Custodio as auditor, Frester John Luzano and Girlie Geraldine del Castillo as press relation officers, and Lindale Jay Tabasa as head of training.
According to Kristine Marie Arreglo who serves as the secretary of the organization, CRU offers a lifetime membership to all aspiring doctors in MHAM with free trainings before they are sent to medical missions.
A resident of Toledo City, Cebu who finished Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology in 2017, the CRU secretary stated that to serve the less fortunate people by providing quality medical care that is both affordable and accessible has been one of her inspirations as she decided to become part of the organization.
“The CRU-led free circumcision operation in Basak, San Nicolas embodies the unity and shared aspiration among the members of CRU and its partner organizations towards providing free, safe, and quality healthcare services to the people in the community. Nowadays, minor surgeries cost considerable amount of money aside from the post-surgery pain management and antibiotic medication, and a number of families simply cannot afford to have the procedure done. With CRU’s minor surgical procedure and post-surgery services, several families won’t have to decide between putting off having the procedure done or, doing without day to day essentials, so as to be able to afford the circumcision since the service is being served to their respective areas for free”, 22-year old Arreglo said.
While pursuing medicine is undoubtedly challenging yet rewarding, the incoming second year student-leader fully believed that a medical mission is a message of inspiration which is worth emulating for the youth. “As a CRU member and volunteer, I aim to embody the character of an earnest and efficacious healthcare provider. As our mission entails, we should always be ready to respond to emergency situations and give the best assistance to our patients. Being a first-year medical student, I will continue to seek ways to improve myself, to augment the knowledge and skills I’ve acquired such as participating in training sessions provided by CRU, and as my skillset grows, translating this mission to the community will passionately be part of my journey”, she added.
Looking forward to become part of full-pledge Matias doctors by 2022, the medical technologist, who is part of the current four hundred twelve (412) first year students, chose MHAM among other medical institutions in Cebu City because it still offers the traditional method of teaching with faculty doctors who are collectively known for their dedication and passion in their craft in shaping the future doctors’ medical milestone in the years to come. “Community outreach programs such as ‘operation tuli’ are a big help to communities in the locality owing to the fact that these programs are offered free-of-charge and, as these services are brought to the residents’ doorstep, these significantly cut, if not eliminate the barriers that typically low-income families face whilst obtaining the most basic forms of healthcare”, Arreglo concluded.
At present, there are eight school organizations in MHAM including the Student Council, Student Advocates for Public Health and Environment (SAPHE), Askleptians, MHArMony, MHAM Upbeat, MHAM Acoustics, MHAM Saline Options, and CRU that actively bring out their goals by sharing their time, talents and leadership skills in the service of the less fortunate.
Geared to renew the organization’s vision channeled in community outreach programs by forging linkages with government and non-government agencies in the service of the community, the current and past member-volunteers of CRU are always bound to promote their advocacies and to bring a ray of hope to both young and old recipients where leadership and learning are indispensable. (Ana Liza Abao)