Around 2,500 Catandunganons benefitted from the five-day surgical-medical mission hosted by the Catanduanes International Association, Inc. (CIA) starting Jan. 20.
According to a report from the Eastern Bicol Medical Center, a total of 2,488 people treated by the mission, with 910 benefitting from pediatrics services, 340 from medicine, 63 from ob-gyne services, 284 from dental services, 155 from surgical services, 30 from ENT, 554 from optometry, 67 from x-ray services, 9 from ultrasound, and 76 from lab services.
About 175 volunteers from abroad participated in the mission along with local volunteers, CIA Chairman of the Board Lydia Mendez told the Tribune.
“I had, or we had, from 22 States (of the US] and Canada. Igwa man na diit-diit haring UK and Middle East, isa, dalawa… Including the local volunteers, nagsobra sa 200,” she said.
Mendez added that there were no problems during the group’s 10th medical mission due to the constant funding from local governments.
“Ang gabos na tabang ning provincial capitol buda munisipyo, dai man gabago. It’s always there. Kaya dai kaming masyadong problema dahil sa local na tabang ning satuyang… whoever is sitting,” Mendez said.
The CIA chairman also revealed that the organization was also granted a special resolution by the provincial government.
“’Yan ang nagtao sa CIA ning free hand, na maghagad ning tabang sa gabos na ahensya kang local government para matabangan ang mission. Ang proponents kaan si PBM Zafe and PBM Tanael,” Mendez explained.
Also, according to Mendez, the organization plans to push for more frequent medical missions in Catanduanes.
“Pigahurun-hurunan mi ang feasibility na gibuhon na ang mission every two years, hindi tatlong taon. Dahil nareparo ko, baging kadakol ning nahuhubon na dai na-operahan sa kadakulan. There’s a backlog ning mga dapat operahan, ta kasu naka-aging mission, it was cramped,” Mendez explained.
She noted that some patients who have no funds for surgery and other medical expenses merely wait for the triennial medical mission.
“So we are planning to make the mission every two years. I hope mangyari. It’s only a matter of good planning and commitment kang mga miyembro ning CIA. Otherwise without commitment and proper planning, it will be very hard,” she added.
Mendez hoped that with “good planning and commitment,” they can continue the mission, adding that three years is barely enough to gather specialist volunteers.
“Dahil first, it will be quite hard to get volunteers, especially those specialists, mga doctor, from surgeons, to anesthesiologists, gabos… Two years, medyo magabat, pero we will try to do it for the people of Catanduanes,” she concluded.