NAGA CITY --- Dr. Greg Arfsten, president of Uplift Internationale, who performed surgical operations along with his team on 87 children with facial deformities, ended their weeklong mission with high hopes of “serving more people who need our outstanding care” when they visit again this city on January 2, next year.
Arfsten, in an exclusive interview, said that UI has been into reparative surgical care for 30 years to children of indigent families in rural communities who were born with facial deformities.
“Each year, from the time Uplift Internationale was established 30 years ago, we organized a mission for different provinces and cities in the Philippines. Last year, the team conducted Operation Taghoy (a Filipino word for whistle) in Legazpi City.
The medical service, if will be availed by a patient from any private medical institution in the Philippines, will cost more than P50,000 each case.
The Naga City mission which was participated in by 55 expert surgeons, anesthesiologists, primary care doctors, nurses and medical aides, has screened 117 patients with cleft lips and cleft palates, 87 of them had been qualified to undergo surgical operations after they were diagnosed free from common cold or upper respiratory infection (URI). Eight of them were operated for contracture and alveolar repair.
The project, which was conducted at the Naga City Hospital (NCH) from January 20-25, this year, was undertaken in partnership with the city government of Naga, the Rotary Club of Naga, Rotary Club of Naga-Camarines Sur, Rotary Club of Metro Naga and Rotary Club of Naga East.
“Of course we are very grateful for having them as partners,” says Arfsten who was impressed by the hospitability that Mayor John Bongat and the members of Rotary Club District 3820 have shown him and his team.
Dr. Butch Borja, the city health officer, who presided the debriefing of NCH personnel, appraised the Naga mission as “very successful as there was no any complication manifested in each patient.” “The operation went on smoothly and every patient went home as scheduled without any problem,” he said.
63-year-old Pacita Azuela said she was very happy for her grandson John Kenneth when she learned that he was included in the list of those who qualified to undergo reparative surgery. The child had missed to undergo operations under the auspices of similar US-based mission team in previous years because of health condition.
HAPPY. Pacita Azuela of Tinambac, Camarines Sur waits for her grandson John Kenneth Sta. Ana’s turn for cleft lip surgery.