Saturday, January 21, 2017

Humanitarian group HAVMed schedules surgical-dental mission in Albay
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 20 (PNA) -- The Provincial Health Office (PHO) of Albay has announced the holding of a joint surgical-dental mission by non-profit humanitarian group Health Alliance of Volunteers and Medicine (HAVMed) in Albay’s underserved communities on February 20-24.

Daisy Adrales, Albay PHO nurse coordinator, said the mission is a joint undertaking of the provincial government, Department of Health (DOH) Bicol and Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) which aims to evaluate and treat the “underserved and unserved patients” in the 15 municipalities and three cities of Albay.

“The 2017 Joint Surgical and Dental mission is an undertaking of HAVMed and University of the Philippines (UP)- Manila through Ugnayan ng Pahinungod-Manila,” she said.

Dr. Rogelio G. Rivera, medical center chief of BRTTH, said the mission is primarily a project of HAVMed whose member volunteers from the United States seek to provide medical services to the marginalized sector of society.

“HAVMed’s primary purpose is to help with the medical needs of low-income families in impoverished communities in the Philippines through its medical missions,” he said.

On the other hand, Ugnayan ng Pahinungod is UP’s system-wide volunteer service organization.

Rivera, in an interview, said BRTTH will provide the venue for the mission.

“HAVMed will ensure that quality care rather than the number of patients attended to during the mission” will be the major consideration in conducting the activity, he said.

Rivera said BRTTH will extend the necessary hospital services and medical facilities during the patients’ confinement such as equipment, operating rooms, delivery room, dressing room and stock room for the equipment and supplies of the humanitarian group when they perform surgical procedures that will include minor and major surgery.

He said wards will also be made available for the pre-operative patients while there will be recovery rooms for the post-operative patients.

“Services to be given for free include thyroidectomy, cholecystectomies, hernia repair-Inguinal or abdominal, cystectomies, vasectomies, lumps and bumps excision, incision and drainage, circumcision, repair of mild to moderate congenital hand deformity and other hand deformities, vein stripping and carpal tunnel surgery,” said Rivera.

He said that being a partner of the joint mission, BRTTH shall ensure the safety and security of the humanitarian group within the vicinity of the hospital for the duration of the mission.

Adrales said the pre-screening of the patients will still be scheduled and patients who want to avail of the free surgical and dental services must coordinate with their respective Rural Health Units (RHUs).

"After the pre-screening in RHUs, the patients-to-be will go to the three district hospitals (in the province) for further screening,” she said.

Adrales said the final screening with the HAVMed team will be on February 19.

She said the provincial government as one of the sponsors of the joint mission shall facilitate patient recruitment and provide free transportation for patients from remote barangays. (PNA) LAP/GVR/CBD/RSM