Extra rainy days require extra caution from everyone as it tends to bring coughs and colds and serious illnesses to some. Barangay Cherry Mobile had the opportunity to help local residents overcome this health challenge as they conducted a medical mission in the mountainous area of Sta. Maria, Laguna, together with a team of expert medical practitioners.
Sta. Maria is the third largest town in Laguna when it comes to land area, but it is still a fourth class municipality because of resources and facilities that are still being developed. It is the northernmost town in Laguna, lying next to Pililla, Rizal, and Real, Quezon. Sta. Maria currently has an estimate population of 28,000.
There is no hospital in town so residents go to Pakil Laguna District Hospital for treatment. Out of 25 barangays, there are only five health centers, each manned by midwives but supervised by only one municipal doctor. The health centers usually serve as lying in clinics and are available for pre natal check-ups and infant vaccination. The last medical mission was conducted by the Philippine Army in this barangay three years ago.
The Barangay Cherry Mobile medical mission was supported by Manila Medical Society, and the local municipality. It was held in Barangay Bagumbayan, the central barangay where upland barangays situated in the mountainous terrain of Sta. Maria would come down for needs that cannot be met by their barangay council.
Bagumbayan is progressive compared to other barangays in terms of education, having its own elementary and high school buildings, a few of which are newly constructed. Its livelihood activities are also sustainable, being able to give every household a water pipeline after long years of depending on water pumps. The barangay has its own maternity clinic and an ambulance, which many of the upland barangays borrow whenever they need to bring an ailing patient to the hospital located in the next town. This is the reason that the local residents were glad to know that a medical mission would be conducted in their area.
|The medical mission took place at the Bagumbayan Elementary School, at the center of activities among barangays in the mountainous terrain of Sta. Maria.|
|The covered court of the elementary school served as the main venue for the four stations of the medical mission.|
The team is composed of doctors from Manila Medical Society, a number of nurses from the rural health unit, and Cherry Mobile employee volunteers. The team traveled almost four hours to reach the location, brought medicines and food with them, and prepared their hearts to serve those who needed medical attention but somehow could not afford it for themselves and for their families. Local health workers headed by municipal health worker Doctor Cynthia Tamares also helped with the medical mission.
|Health workers from the municipality also volunteered their time to help with the medical mission.|
The mission started at 9:00 in the morning and ended at 3:00 in the afternoon. Early in the morning people already lined up with their children, the elderly accompanied by their children, and the sickly brought on a chair by caring neighbors and friends.
|The patients came by family: after one doctor checks the mother, he would check each of her children who also went with her to the medical mission.|
|Many people come in batches to register and have a check-up, bringing along with them family members and relatives.|
|The elderly sitting on wheel chairs were brought by their relatives for a medical checkup.|
The process began with the registration. Right after receiving the patient’s information sheet, they proceed to the vital signs section, where important body measurements such as blood pressure, weight, and height among others are taken. Afterwards they take turns in having a consultation with one of the doctors. Those prescribed with medicines would go to the mini pharmacy to claim free medicines. Approximately 350 people had their medical check-ups and were able to receive free prescribed medicines. The common illnesses found among the patients were coughs, colds, tuberculosis, hypertension and diabetes.
|Patients go directly to the registration table upon arrival to present their stub and get their patient's information sheet.|
|After registering, the patients would proceed to the Vital Signs section where nurses take the vital statistics as required in the patient's information sheet.|
|Patients wait in line for their turn at the consultation station, where nine doctors were set to examine their physical condition.|
Medical missions as some might say, is like just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Oftentimes, they would say that medical missions barely help meet the needs of the community, because the team is there for only a short period of time and provides only a percentage of the dosage needed to completely cure the illnesses of the residents. But Barangay Cherry Mobile believes that if there is one good thing that can be done, it should be done without hesitation. And it should be done with the intent of letting the people feel that there is hope, there is an opportunity to level up their way of living, and that there is a way for them to go beyond their current situation if they would be first to help themselves up.
|The volunteers were all smiles after the whole day activity of bringing medical assistance to those who needed it.|
Cherry Mobile does not hesitate to give help to far-flung areas—to communities who are barely able to give back in return for what they receive from the company—because it is a way of starting ripples of hope and encouragement that would continue on to impact others. More than just gaining points for social marketing, the main point for conducting such outreach activities is to raise awareness of the various needs in our country, and to meet some of these needs by connecting those who have the knowledge to those who need the compassion. Indeed, it is Barangay Cherry Mobile’s way of reaching out to the nation by changing one community a time.
To view more pictures about Barangay Cherry Mobile’s Mission, click here.
Written by Keren Grace Tandico
Written by Keren Grace Tandico