By Benjie de Ubago
The Philippine Australian Medical Association (PAMA) is scheduled to conduct its sixth annual medical mission to the Philippines from 9 to 14 June 2013.
PAMA will offer dental and medical assistance in the 3rd class minicipalities of Sasmuan and Lubao, Pampanga and will be partnering with Aguman Capampangan Australia for the first time.
Minor surgery will be done to include circumcision procedures. The group will also provide free medicines, vitamins as well as hygiene products such as soap and “Unique” toothpaste and toothbrushes.
The mission will include four to five surgical teams, two minor surgical teams, five general practitioners and four dentists. Doctors from Australia include: Doctors Roger Fabian, Cora Francisco, Joyce Zonaga, Raul Naval, Armi Aganan and Ophee de Vera. Ms Samantha Cabrera, currently a 5th year medical student from Sydney University, will also join the team. Also joining the medical mission are volunteers Ferdi Francisco, Jenny Naval (RN), Mao de Vera, and Marivic Manalo, President of Aguman Capampangan.
“The smile and look we get from the patients more than compensate for the difficulties. It is truly a very satisfying experience,” said Dr. Fabian who is now on his fourth medical mission along with the De Veras.
On the home front, Mr. Ocer Montemayor, President of D’ Wynns Club in Samsuan has volunteered as one of the local partners providing assistance. The surgical part of the mission is in partnership with the UP-PGH Pahinungod Volunteer Corps and operations will be conducted at the Lubao District Hospital.
“We expect to do about 80 surgical procedures, 800 dental, 40 cataract operations, 160 minor surgeries and 1,000 consultations,” said one of the doctors. “It will be a big undertaking and PAMA and Aguman Capampangan are happy to make a little difference in the lives of those who need it most,” added a PAMA spokesperson.
Over the years, PAMA’s presence has been felt in the remote areas of the provinces of Quezon, Sorsogon, Negros Oriental, Misamis Occidental and last year, Zamboanga del Sur.