Santa Barbara

Report byMarlene Cordero, MD

The 33rd medical mission was held in Santa Barbara, Iloilo, Philippines on January 22-26, 2018. The medical mission was requested by Mayor Dennis Superficial. Providing assistance for local planning was Dr. Annie Hayag, retired pediatrician from San Diego, CA. 175 volunteers answered the call to service including 39 physicians, 2 dentists, I optometrist, 9 allied health, 54 nurses, 48 support and 22 student volunteers. 5095 indigent residents of the city received direct services. Surgical services were provided at the Western Visayas Sanitarium and the Iloilo Doctors Hospital. 228 patients received surgery which included 40 major (thyroidectomies, mastectomy, repair of cleft palate, release of burn strictures, herniorrhaphies), 139 minor and 49 ophthalmology procedures (39 cataract surgeries). Outpatient services were provided at the gymnasium across from the Western Visayas Sanitarium. 4,867 patients received consultations, lab testing, ultrasound imaging, medications, health education, dental care, and refraction and prescription eyeglasses. Several other patients requiring surgery but could not be accommodated during the mission week were referred to the City Mayor’s office.

Continuing medical education was provided to volunteers and local physicians with lectures provided by Dr. Sudesh Rattehalli on Graves Ophthalmopathy and by Dr. Janice Manjuck on Methamphetamine Abuse. A team of CPR certified providers led by Gerardo Caritan, RN gave training and lectures on the Basics of CPR, Review of Neonatal Resuscitation, Fundamentals and Essentials of ACLS in Trauma and Critical Care and Basic Life Support were provided to physicians, nurses, medical and nursing students at the Western Visayas Sanitarium, Iloilo Mission Hospital, University of San Agustin, St. Paul University, Iloilo Doctor’s College of Medicine and Western Visayas State University College of Medicine.

All services, medications and supplies were provided free of charge. Funds to support this mission came from volunteer fees, donations and fundraisers held by PMSNC throughout the year. Planning and preparation included applications to the Professional Regulatory Commission of the Philippines for special temporary licenses for physicians, dentists, nurses, optometrist and pharmacist; application with the Philippine Department of Health for the medical mission and special application with the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Karen Francia, President of the Western Visayas Ophthalmology Society was very supportive with the application for POA approval, screening and selection of patients and coordination with our ophthalmology team led by Dr. Stephen Post.

At the conclusion of the mission week, we were able to donate surgical supplies, medications and a set of CPR mannequins to the City of Santa Barbara through Mayor Superficial.

This, indeed, was a mission that was able to fulfill its goal despite challenging circumstances. Several residents of Santa Barbara are now pain-free, no longer blind or disfigured. Several have received helpful information to improve their health. Many can now provide life-saving CPR and several more will be able to receive CPR training.

Click here to view photos of this mission.