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Aborigine children, typhoon victims receive medical attention from Maryland Philippine Nurses.

As part of its global outreach program, the Maryland Chapter of the Philippine Nurses Association (PNAMC) recently completed its third medical mission in the Philippines. PNAMC partnered with St. Paul University, Iloilo, (SPUI) to support their community outreach programs to the Aetas, the aborigines of the Philippines, from the municipalities of Dingle and Janiuay, Iloilo under the direction of Sister Caroline Agravante, SPC, president of the University and Dean of the College of Nursing. We also partnered with Passi City under the direction of Dr. Jearnnie Panes, Executive Assistant to the City Mayor and a pediatrician. By partnering with active organizations at the local level our resources could be leveraged to provide access to basic health screening of the Aetas and indigents of barangays identified by local communities.

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During the 3 day medical mission, 1257 residents were seen and treated (593 adults, 548 pediatrics, and 116 dental cases). Local physicians, dentists, nurses, and other volunteers made for a smooth and efficient mission. Student volunteers from University of Maryland College Park, along with the SPUI students organized games, dances, and songs with the children. The Rotary Club of Metro Iloilo provided food from McDonald's and the mascot entertained the children and the young at heart. The Aetas travelled long distances to the clinics; some began walking at 2 AM to reach the nearest town and to catch the ride to the city provided for them. This was a first trip to the city for a number of them. Both locations, SPUI and Passi City, became a festive gathering for all.

PNAMC also visited the town of Conception, north of Iloilo City, which had been devastated by typhoon Haiyan. Despite the devastation from the typhoon, the people were resilient and getting on with their lives. The sign at a local store said it all: "Gusto ko, Happy ka." (I Want You)

PNAMC would like to thank all those who made this mission a reality. Our special thanks go to the recipients of the mission work who taught us a lot and reminded us of the value of family, hard work, sense of community, and strong faith that sustain us in times of hardships.

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Publication:Maryland Nurse
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Aug 1, 2014
Words:363
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