Backpack Mission extending medical care to Buhi

By Ma. Edelyn Bongalos


In a far-flung community in Buhi, where livelihood relies mainly on agriculture, settled a married couple who has been greatly affected by this pandemic. In the face of struggles on their rice production, they focused on providing food on their table. Thus, Hermeni, the husband of Gemma Catangui, has been working tirelessly in the rice field to provide for his family. That is, until his medical condition forced him to stop working.


According to Gemma, “Dae pa man nahahaloy nangyari ini, basta nagpuon man lang ito kan naghehelang siya tapos kan narahay siya, nagtrabaho utro siya sa uma. Biglang nagparabara-balyuhang kulog si bitis niya, saka nagbaraak na an buol niya na garo gutang hasta sa dae niya na talaga kinakayang magparatrabaho pa sa uma.”

MEDICAL BACKPACKERS. Wearing their prescribed PPES, the Camarines Sur provincial government's medical team under Gov. Migz Villafuerte's directive goes around the far flung barangays to deliver basic health services to the countryside benefitting the constituents who have no ready access to basic healthcare services like in Brgy. Ibayugan,

Buhi.jmts/rbmjr/mmec02232021 with photos from fb_provinceofcamarinessur

MEDICAL BACKPACKERS. Wearing their prescribed PPES, the Camarines Sur provincial government's medical team under Gov. Migz Villafuerte's directive goes around the far flung barangays to deliver basic health services to the countryside benefitting the constituents who have no ready access to basic healthcare services like in Brgy. San Rafael, Buhi.

jmts/rbmjr/mmec02232021 with photos from fb_provinceofcamarinessur


Hermeni needs medical attention but was afraid to visit the city because of the rising case of COVID-19 in the town. Fortunately, the Ka Fuerte Healthcare-on-the-Go of the Provincial Government visited their community with their backpack full of medicines and portable medical devices.


“Safe po kami digdi sa COVID-19 ta harayo po ining harong mi sa mga kataraid, lalo na po harayo talaga kami sa kabihasnan. Kaya habo po talaga ni agom magpa-ospital ta tibaad man talaga duman pa kami maulakitan nin helang. Maray na sana ta tinuyo nindo kami digdi. Dakula pa pong katabangan na dae na kami namasahe, ta an pamasahe ngunyan mahalon,” she added.


Apart from the medicines that Hermeni and Gemma received, they were also given free vitamins and medicines for headache and cold. Full of gratitude and high hopes of getting cured, they thanked the province’s backpackers for giving them ample treatment for their conditions.


The Ka Fuerte Healthcare-on-the-Go or the Backpack Mission has been rolling out since November, 2020 with the ultimate goal of providing medical care in the outskirts of the province where people receive less to none medical attention most especially now that there is still a pandemic.


Another beneficiary of the Backpack Medical Mission was Christopher Cornelio of Los Angeles, Buhi. For three years now, he has been suffering from his injury that caused his arm to get swollen. In his story, he narrated, “Dati po akong para-vulganize, siguro nalipotan si kamot ko kaya nagparabaga nin arog kaini kadakula. Tulong taon na po ini kaya gusto ko naman pong marahay ta dae na po ako nakakatrabaho sa uma, dae na man po ako nakakatabang kinda mama.”


Christopher already consulted a doctor before but wasn’t able to continuously take the prescribed medicines because they were quite expensive, so his medication had to stop, which worsened the swelling. He was looking forward to get free access to medical care, but he’s living in a remote community, leaving him with no choice but to wait.


Upon hearing about the visit of Ka Fuerte Healthcare-on-the-Go in Los Angeles, Buhi, he hurriedly went to the barangay hall hoping to get the medicines for his condition. He said, “Ngunyan po sa pag-igdi kan Ka Fuerte Healthcare-on-the-Go, tinawan man po akong bulong na sana makaparahay naman po sako ta kun dae daa po madara, pigrefer na po ako sa RHU para magpa-ospital na talaga.”


Our backpackers didn’t disappoint him and has given him ample aid. The province’s backpackers have also referred Christopher’s case to the Rural Health Unit of Los Angeles, Buhi to help him with his hospitalization if the medicines wouldn’t help reduce the swelling of his arm.


Same goes with Araceli Decena, a 72-year old grandmother residing in Los Angeles, Buhi. She mentioned, “Nagpapasalamat ako na kami naabot man kan programang ini ta sa totoo lang kami ngani nagkukulang na talaga sa bulong.” She was with her granddaughter who is experiencing itch on her wound. “An apuon ko kaya, itong lugad niya nagpaparagatol. Pakatapos marahay, mabalik na naman. Kaya po pasalamat kong nacheck-upan naman siya,” Aracelli added.


Living together with her grandchildren only, Aracelli never stopped working to provide for them. She shared, “Igwa man ako kadikit na atamang hayop. Igwa akong manok, tapos nagbabaktin (piglet) ako. Pag mayo na kaming pang-sustenir sa aroaldaw tapos pwede nang ipabakal si mga baktin ko, iyo na yan an pinanggagastos ko. Mga apuon ko na lang kaya an kaiba ko sa harong. Kaya, ako an father, ako an mother, gabos na ginagampanan ko.”


Aracelli also mentioned that as our Backpackers go house-to-house, she has already saved her money that she was supposed to use to rent a motorcycle to consult with a medical expert in the Rural Health Unit.


Truly, the Backpack Mission is a success, serving thousands of marginalized people in Camarines Sur with their immediate and over-the-counter medicines and portable medical devices such as the ultrasound, blood pressure, and ECG.