Health is wealth, but for most Filipinos, medical treatment may sometimes be unattainable for a myriad of reasons, one of which is poverty.
As the Immaculate Conception Parish in Naga City celebrates its 55th Emerald Jubilee this year, attention is given to special groups of people who need both temporal and spiritual nourishment. Last July 27-28, an extensive health service was offered not only to its parishioners but to the other parishes in the Archdiocese. Dubbed Operasyon nin Pagkamoot, the said activity was able to offer the following services for the duration of one and a half day:
1. Surgical Procedures for 83 patients covering 124 procedures as such: 22 major cases like Hernias, Hemangioma, Breast and Neck masses, skin tumors. These were performed by Manila based Plastic Surgeon Dr. Juan “Jim” Sanchez and Naga’s Dr. Rico Neberes. More then a hundred Minor Surgery procedures were done by Surgeons from the Bicol Medical Center, coordinated by BMC OIC Dr. Francisco Sales and Dr. Ivan Zenarosa.
2. Medical, Pediatric, Prenatal and Dermatology consultations were handled by volunteer Drs. Ruben Chavez, Mel Paz, Jose Amanse, Diana Tan, Elna Chia, Eden Fernando, Nes Marie Sacil, Marita Quimlat & Pia Oliquino under the Camarines Sur Medical Association. The association’s President, Dr. Sara Labilles coordinated such services at the same time assisting in the surgical procedures. Dr. Rosario Tigno accompanied Dr Sanchez from Manila and joined the medical services. There were 780 consultations.
3. Screening for HIV by the Naga City Social Hygiene Clinic under Grace Guevara as well as Prostate screening with Dr. Homer Dy were also made available.
4. Labworx under Dr Tony Dy’s supervision offered free Blood Chemistry to the first 50 patients.
5. 418 Free eyeglasses were given out by Dr Sanchez’ batchmates from the Ramon Magsaysay High School 1972.
6. Free medicines from WCP Nilda Reluya
7. Preventive care is widely advocated now. Lectures were given by the Nutritionists-Dietician Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Dental Association. Medical doctors would have wished to do the same but the massive influx of people constrained them.
The above services would not be possible without the alliance of four large groups: Hospital on Wheels Foundation with its founder Dr. Juan Sanchez and his team; Rotary Club of Naga under the leadership of Champion District Governor Evette and Maryselle Olivan and Champion President Dennis Caramoan; Naga’s medical team under Drs Labilles and Sales. The main organizer is the Parish of the Immaculate Conception with Fr Domingo Florida as parish priest, PPC Chairperson Engr Melinda Cu through the efforts of its BEC/Simbanwaan Team headed by Dr Marita Quimlat, the over-all Project Coordinator.
The event was held at the St Peter Baptist Court of the Holy Rosary Major Seminary. On both days, the Eucharistic celebration preceded the day’s event. Archbishop Rolando Tria-Tirona celebrated the mass on the first day. In his homily he expressed his gratitude to all those who conceptualized, organized and made the project a reality. Holy Rosary Major Seminary Rector Rev Fr Joey Gonzaga celebrated the Sunday mass. In line with the Gospel, he stressed the importance of prayer and its three aspects: persistence, faith in God and total dependence on Him. It is indeed through persistence and God’s grace that the project was realized and the event fruitful and meaningful.