After an hour of operation, a cyst as big as a chicken egg was removed from his left shoulder for free. For Trinidad, who is paid for carrying loads of lumber to earn for living, a P300 consultation fee to see a specialist in a nearby city is so hard to produce.
“The lump on my shoulder worried me a lot for seven years. I was so afraid it was cancer,” Trinidad said in his own language.
Trinidad is one of 65 poor patients from remote villages of Sarangani who availed of the three-day free surgical operation by two American doctors, Dr. Samuel Evans and Dr. Peter Autchinson.
Trinidad expressed his deep gratitude to Dr. Evans who performed the operation.
Evans and Autchinson were tapped by the local government of Sarangani to sponsor minor operations for free during the three-day Joint Medical, Surgical and Dental Missions spearheaded by the offices of the governor and vice governor of Sarangani with the support of the municipal governments, non-government organizations and volunteer medical practitioners.
In the three-day medical outreach program held from Feb. 28 to March 1 in Barangays Upper Biangan and Malandag in Malungon and Barangay Kling in Kiamba, around 1,055 beneficiaries availed of medical consultation with free medicines.
At least 300 availed of tooth extractions, 14 kids were circumcised and 65 patients underwent minor operations, majority of which suffering from cystitis.
In Malandag, a team of dentists from the Metro GenSan Dental Society provided their services in celebration of the National Dental Health Month with the theme “Isang Siglong Pangangalaga ng Ngiting Pilipino Kaisa ng Bung Mundo.
Dentists Joel Aklan, Ma. Theresa Antoque, Claris D. Cereso, Asesclo and Leonora Madrid gave their services to beneficiaries in Barangay Kling and nearby villages Gasi, Lagundi, and Kayupo. Board Member Nicanor Balian and Kiamba Councilor Rosemarie Young, both dentists, also shared their services for free.
Provincial health officer Antonio Yasaña, Dr. Roel Cagape, Dr. Edwin Pinili, and Dr. Elmer de Peralta, the vice-mayor of Kiamba, attended to the medical needs of the beneficiaries composed of Muslims, Christians and Lumads.
The medical mission was made possible through the manpower and other logistics provided by the barangay council of Kling, Upper Biangan and Malandag, the local government units of Kiamba under the leadership of Mayor Rommel Falgui and Malungon under Mayor Bongbong Constantino, the provincial health office, the Provincial Barangay Affairs (PROBA) office, and Kalinaw Sarangani Unit.
Karl Vincent M. Quiepo, executive director of RD Foundation, brought medicines that could cater to 250 beneficiaries in Barangay Kling. Other medicines were provided by the International Monitoring Team, the municipal government of Malungon and the PHO.
The Lingap sa Mamamayan project of Mayor Constantino, providing his constituents with agri-tech support such as seeds and seedling dispersals as well animal vaccination, were likewise brought to Upper Biangan and Malandag, and also in Kling.
The Philippine National Red Cross also participated in Kling through free blood typing and blood letting. (Gandhi C. Kinjiyo / MindaNews)