Despite the recent bombing and threats in Jolo Sulu, Southern Philippines Medical Center together with Halad Mission Group Foundation of Mati and Social Concerns Foundation Davao held a free surgical mission in Tawi-Tawi on February 9 – 14, 2019.
The lack of medical equipment, health care staff and medicines in Tawi-Tawi makes it difficult to attend to the sick. Thus, this surgical and cataract mission is a real blessing to the patients and residents of the province.
“The only way for them to go to the hospital is through riding a boat since their municipalities are scattered in islands. It is really hard for them whenever they have emergencies. It will take 16 hours for them to go to Zamboanga by boat and taking a plane would be too expensive for them,” Dr. Rolley Rey Lobo said.
There are about 250 patients catered by the volunteers of each institution led by Dr. Lobo at the Datu Halun Sakilan Memorial Hospital. Of this total number, 87 of them are minor cases, 100 eye surgery patients, 16 with thyroid cases, 11 Chole patients all laparoscopic with one laparoscopic CBDE T-Tube, 7 Hernia cases, 3 fistulectomy cases, 7 excision cases under GA or spinal, 12 cleft lip & palate cases, 20 patients are given pedia clinic consultations and 4 patients with stat cases catered.
“The mission was a success. We are happy that the people in Tawi-Tawi were very thankful because we were able to help and serve them. We have seen that the people there still think positively despite what they are going through in life,” Dr. Lobo added.
This surgical mission wouldn’t be possible without the help of Mayor Inday Sara Duterte Carpio, Philippine Air Force, 2nd Maring Brigade, Congresswoman Hja Ruby Sahali, Governor Rashidin Matba, Mayor Yshamel Mang Sali, Mayor Regie-Sahali-Generale of P. Sugala, Mayor Jimwell Que of Bongao, Dr. Sangkula Laha the Provincial Health Officer of Tawi-Tawi and all the HALAD volunteer doctors, nurses, pharmacist and nursing attendants.