Medical attention finally reached more than 2,000 patients in Antique a month after Super Typhoon Yolanda ravished their communities when the 105-member team of volunteer doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, and support staff arrived at the coastal town of Pandan, Antique on December 7, 2013.
The team, mostly composed of medical and health allied professional staff and St. Paul Sisters from De La Salle University Medical Center, was organized by De La Salle Health Sciences Institute in response to the call of De La Salle Philippines to provide much needed help and assistance to the communities where help has been scarce. DLSHSI alumni who are not connected to DLSUMC also responded overwhelmingly to the call for volunteers.
“Through the appeal of one of our head nurses who hails from Pandan, we learned of the plight of the people in this coastal community who have not received assistance more than two weeks after the typhoon. The idea for a medical mission here was suggested to the planning committee of DLSP to solicit support from the entire Philippine Lasallian Family for a mission of this magnitude,” says VC for Lasallian Mission and Linkages Dr. Charles Yu. De La Salle Philippines, DLSU-D, DLS-College of St. Benilde, La Salle Greenhills, and De La Salle Araneta University also sent volunteers to help in the mission.
The team arrived in Pandan on December 7 and touched base with the local coordinating team led by the parish priest. The school facilities of the community was offered for the board and lodging of the team who stayed in Antique for three days.
The mission provided medical check-up, nutrition counseling, dispensed medicines and also distributed family packs for the patients. On the first day, the team saw 1,000 patients in Pandan, while 1,250 patients were served on the second day in neighboring town Sebaste. Through the support of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the Rural Health Unit, ECG and nebulizers were also available during the mission, while a support ambulance was constantly available.
After the mission, the One La Salle Medical Mission team turned over the excess medicines to the PHO, while 21 more boxes of medicines, 61 sacks of relief goods, 21 boxes of canned goods, 84 boxes of bottled water, seven boxes of noodles, and two boxes of toiletries were endorsed to the Pandan Parish for distribution to folks in the mountain areas. The Sebaste Parish also received 150 family packs, 500 bottles of water, and 10 sacks of clothes.