The PMSNC mission team includes a mix of physicians, dentists, optometrists, nurses, prosthetists, students and other allied health professionals. Medical services are composed of primary care, various surgical specialties, ophthalmology and dentistry. Health education for patients and continuing medical education for practitioners are also provided during these missions. Due to the volunteer efforts and your donations, we are able to serve thousands of patients each year and make difference in their lives. Check out highlights and footages of our previous missions on our YouTube Channel.
PMSNC’s 33rd annual medical mission was held in Santa Barbara, Iloilo, Philippines on January 22-26, 2018. The medical mission was requested by Mayor Dennis Superficial. Providing assistance for local planning was Annie Hayag, MD, retired pediatrician from San Diego, CA. 175 volunteers answered the call to service including 39 physicians, 2 dentists, I optometrist, 9 allied health, 54 nurses, 48 support & 22 student volunteers. 5095 indigent residents of the city received direct services. Surgical services were provided at the Western Visayas Sanitarium & the Iloilo Doctors Hospital. 228 patients received surgery which included 40 major (thyroidectomies, mastectomy, repair of cleft palate, release of burn strictures, herniorrhaphies), 139 minor & 49 ophthalmology procedures (39 cataract surgeries). Outpatient services were provided at the gymnasium across from the Western Visayas Sanitarium. 4,867 patients received consultations, lab testing, ultrasound imaging, medications, health education, dental care, and refraction & prescription eyeglasses. Several other patients requiring surgery but could not be accommodated during the mission week were referred to the City Mayor’s office.
Continuing medical education was provided to volunteers & local physicians with lectures provided by Sudesh Rattehalli, MD on Graves Ophthalmopathy & by Janice Manjuck, MD on Methamphetamine Abuse. A team of CPR certified providers led by Gerardo Caritan, RN gave training & lectures on the Basics of CPR, Review of Neonatal Resuscitation, Fundamentals & Essentials of ACLS in Trauma & Critical Care & Basic Life Support were provided to physicians, nurses, medical & nursing students at the Western Visayas Sanitarium, Iloilo Mission Hospital, University of San Agustin, St. Paul University, Iloilo Doctor’s College of Medicine & Western Visayas State University College of Medicine.
All services, medications & supplies were provided free of charge. Funds to support this mission came from volunteer fees, donations & fundraisers held by PMSNC throughout the year. Planning & preparation included applications to the Professional Regulatory Commission of the Philippines for special temporary licenses for physicians, dentists, nurses, optometrist & pharmacist; application with the Philippine Department of Health for the medical mission & special application with the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Karen Francia, President of the Western Visayas Ophthalmology Society was very supportive with the application for POA approval, screening & selection of patients & coordination with our ophthalmology team led by Stephen Post, MD.
At the conclusion of the mission week, we were able to donate surgical supplies, medications & a set of CPR mannequins to the City of Santa Barbara through Mayor Superficial.
This, indeed, was a mission that was able to fulfill its goal despite challenging circumstances. Several residents of Santa Barbara are now pain-free, no longer blind or disfigured. Several have received helpful information to improve their health. Many can now provide life-saving CPR & several more will be able to receive CPR training.
The 2017 medical mission was held in Dumaguete City and was made possible by 149 volunteers along with staff of the Dumaguete City & Negros Oriental Provincial Health Offices and local private practitioners. A total of 6,187 indigent residents of Dumaguete City and nearby cities were provided with medical, surgical, dental, optometric, orthotic and pharmacy services. There were 82 major surgeries (34 general, 11 plastic, 14 gynecological, and 23 ophthalmologic) plus 119 minor surgeries. A total of 3,584 patients were provided outpatient medical care. Another 1,198 patients received optometry services, 968 dental, 53 orthotic and 183 imaging services. In addition, health education, CPR training and continuing medical education lectures were held.
The volunteers not only donated their own precious time and paid for their own travel, but also donated medications and supplies. These same volunteers also participated in fundraising events and packing of supplies. Six of the volunteers even donated blood to save the life of a patient.
The most memorable part of this year’s mission was our 9 year old hero who, two months before the mission, had found an abandoned newborn baby with a cleft lip in a ditch at a local cemetery. Despite already having 3 children in the family, the parents welcomed the baby as their own. This baby’s cleft lip was repaired by our plastic surgery team. It’s been a great honor to have been a part of this extraordinary story.
We are extremely grateful to all the volunteers and donors who continue to support our medical missions!
Thanks to the efforts of the PMSNC members and volunteers, in conjunction with the local government and a local organization, this year’s medical mission was successfully held in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. A team of more than 160 volunteers served a total of 6597 patients. CME lectures were held for both students and medical staff, and one of the young volunteers also donated basketballs to students of Gabu Elementary School, a poor barangay in the area. Seventy one major surgeries were held at the Laoag City General Hospital (9 cheiloplasties, 7 cholecystectomies, 1 exploratory laparotomy, 1 excision of a large mass, 21 hernia repairs, 1 hydrocelectomy, 12 gynecological procedures, 1 parotidectomy, 15 thyroidectomies, and 31 ophthalmology procedures. There were 153 minor surgeries. Outpatient clinics were held at the Laoag City Hall Auditorium where 2213 adult medicine patients and 930 pediatric patients were seen. There was 453 point of care treatment/testing and 982 health education teaching (individual and group). Dental services (including extractions and consults) totaled 597 and optometry services provided care for 1167 patients.
About 140 volunteers joined the 2015 mission to Tagbilaran, Bohol. In 2013, the province was devastated by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake which was then followed by the deadliest Philippine typhoon ever recorded in modern history and killed at least 6,300 people. Seven thousand six hundred and sixty six patients were served. Two hundred sixty nine patients had surgeries (190 general procedures, 66 major, 124 minor and 79 ophthalmology surgeries.) The outpatient service took care of 7,397 patients with 2,815 adult, 1,071 pediatric, 1,782 dental and 1,303 optometry patients. 257 lab tests were performed and 169 received health education.
The 2014 mission provided care for over 5,000 patients. More than half of those were seen in the adult medicine (1,715) and pediatrics (1,100) clinic. Surgical care included 142 minor and 45 general surgeries (including consults/triage for 449 patients), 3 orthopedic, 28 plastic, 24 OB-gyn and 21 ophthalmology procedures (mostly canalization for glaucoma.). Our volunteer human engineer fitted 55 prosthetics and, including follow up visits, saw a total of 105 patients. Our dental team served a total of 1,273 patients.
A total of 10,375 patients traveled long distances and waited hours to be seen by 180 of our volunteers. Fifty six patients underwent major surgery (16 plastic, 20 OB-gyn, 238 ophthalmology) and 269 had minor procedures. Forty four patients were fitted with prostheses and 1,558 were provided with eyeglasses. Finally, our dental volunteers saw 1,239 children and adults. The rest were seen in the outpatient department.
One hundred forty six volunteers served the most destitute of patients during to San Jose. There were over 11,300 patients of which 107 had major surgeries (39 plastic, 17 OB-gyn, 36 ophthalmology, 19 thyroidectomies, 17 hernia repairs, 1 mastectomy, 2 parotidectomies, 2 fistulectomies, and 8 urology cases.) There were 204 minor surgeries and 60 patients were fitted with prosthetics. The outpatient clinic attended 10,681 patients (1,405 pediatric, 271 OB-gyn, 801 dental and 3,000 optometry.) The rest were seen in the adult medicine clinic.
Being his home town, the mission was supported by no other than Congressman Manny Pacquiao. Around 120 volunteers served 7,301 patients and spanned the usual variety of services, both surgical and outpatient. Although there was initial concern about the location, lack of adequate facilities and security in the area, this did not hinder the course. With teamwork and dedication, this mission proved to be another success.