By Bong Fabe / 23 September 2012
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Emarie Busquito, a mother at 37, was worried about her 6-month-old baby Michael Sean’s unceasing cough. Thus, despite her diminutive size, she braved the throng of people and the heat of the sun just to line up for the free consultation and medical services offered.
After about an hour of waiting in line, it was finally Emarie’s turn to have her baby checked up.
“Good that I brought my baby here so the doctor could check on his cough. Now we found out he’s got asthma,” a teary-eyed Emarie said, voice quivering.
Despite her worry, she was happy that she learned what’s ailing Michael Sean. She was also happy for the free medicines she got for her baby’s asthma during the free medical mission at the capitol grounds during the International Day of Peace last Friday (Sept. 21).
“I’m very happy that because of this medical mission, we finally found out my son’t ailment. Even though he’s got asthma, at least I now have peace of mind because the doctor had checked on him. And thanks to the free medicines,” Emarie said.
Busquito, from Macanhan in Carmen, was just one of the patients, mostly survivors of Tropical Storm Sendong, who availed of the medical services and medicines during the medical mission organized by the Balay Mindanaw Group of NGOs’ Disaster Response, Risk Reduction Management and Resiliency Building Program (DRRRMRB) Team.
An elderly couple – Ronillo Pustanes, 72, and his wife Gingging, 62 – from Barangay Indahag walked all the way to the provincial capitol just to avail of the free medical services offered at the medical mission.
“My wife just covered my foot with Gmelina leaves because it was swelling,” Ronillo said. Thanks to the free medical checkup, he later found out that he has arthritis.
His wife was also given a referral to one of the partner hospitals of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) for proper treatment or operation for her cataract.
“The sick are in a state of unpeace, which is why we chose to hold the medical mission during this International Day of Peace because peace is at the forefront of BMG’s 3-pronged objective,” a DRRRMRB staff said.
Yolly Saganahay, 46, of Barangay Bulua, also got a referral to a hospital for proper treatment of a lump on her right breast, aside from the free medicines she got. Alved Abad, 17, one of those still living in makeshift tents at the capitol grounds while waiting for their final resettlement house, had six her teeth extracted.
In all, BMG’s first ever medical mission served a total of 561 patients, mostly survivors of Tropical Strong Sendong from the five partner barangays of BMG – Iponan, Bonbon, Carmen, Macasandig and Indahag – with various medical services ranging from consultation/checkup to circumcision.
Those who have cataract were referred to the different partner hospitals of the PHO.
There were also patients from other barangays who availed of the services offered during the medical mission.
“Medical work has no boundaries,” a BMG staff said.
All patients came home with free medicines.
Those who actively participated in BMG’s first ever medical mission were the provincial government through the PHO, 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division, Philippine Coast Guard, and other partners of the different organizations within the BMG, like the Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. (BMFI), Katilingbanong Pamahandi sa Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. (KPMFI), Bangko sa Balay Foundation, Inc. (BBFI), International Center for Peace in Mindanaw (IC Peace in Mindanaw), Global Mindanaw Polytechnic, Inc. (GMP), and Kab-ot Gahum: Resource Center for Empowerment and Development (RCED).
KPMFI also served refreshments and snacks to the patients, with some availing of the flowing Kape Mindanaw several times.
The medical mission was a one-of-a-kind event where various partners of Balay Mindanaw came together to reach out and “bring a moment of peace” to those who have medical concerns and needs. It was undertaken by the BMG’s Disaster Response, Risk Reduction Management and Resiliency Building Program (DRRRMRB) Team, which was formed as BMG’s response to TS Sendong.
September 21 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Day of Peace. Its theme, “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future,” is very close to the heart of Balay Mindanaw as it upholds its mission of helping build empowered sustainable and peaceful communities in Mindanao.