Twenty-nine patients were the beneficiaries of the surgical mission in Catanduanes sponsored by the UST Medicine Class ‘64 Foundation and the Philippine Medical Society of Florida Inc. US last Jan. 23-28 at the Eastern Bicol Medical Center.
Headed by Dr. Evelyn Alcantara, the UST medical-surgical mission team was composed of Dr. Roger Basa, Dr. Nenita Basa, Dr. Jason Burgos and Dr. Heracleo Castro. On the other hand, the Florida Group was led by Dr. Judith Cimafranca.
For the third time, the surgeons were invited by Governor Joseph C. Cua to do a surgical mission for Catandunganons who cannot afford surgical treatment, in line with their aim to help those who have limited access in health care.
Majority of surgeries undertaken were herniorrhapy, followed by cheiloplasty, total thyroidectomy, and palatoplasty. More males than women with age ranging from 1 to 71 underwent surgery with diagnosis of hernia, cleft lip and palate.
According to EBMC hospital administrator Dr. Joy Barceta, the surgical mission cost more than half a million pesos.
As recounted by Dr. Nenita Basa, the UST Class’ 64 Foundation founded by three surgeons - Drs. Roger Basa, Homer Bunag and Jason Burgos - way back in 1994 out of a bigger group in 1980s that organized regular medical missions in the Philippines. The spin-off group conducted their surgical missions generating funds out of their own pockets and began receiving support by 2000.
The group is not politically-affiliated and does not rely on socio-civic organizations. They provide patients with medicines and even give financial support for their post-surgery needs.
Dr. Jayson Burgos said they want to help those who are in need and give back to their fellowmen the blessings that they have received. Dr. Nenita Basa added that they want to use their God-given talent and make everybody feel beautiful and gain confidence. The alumni team conducts medical surgical mission in the Philippines bi-annually.
The provincial government appreciated their humanitarian action and supported the surgical mission in cooperation with the EBMC hospital management which provided and assisted the surgeons in logistics and manpower. (Gidoemaly Romero/PIMO)