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Medical –Dental-Surgical Mission in Buhi:
Lay Partnership in an Actual Mission

Submitted by: regina
On: 17/05/2014

(Reported by Sr. Maryanne Terrenal, RGS)

When in Welcome House, a t 1641 West Zamora, Paco, Manila, Sr. Maryanne Terrenal had a group of  lay friends that came every weekend  to do  social services for the children living “along the Riles”.  They took on the name “Welcome House Assisting Riles families” [WHARF]. At one day of Recollection,  then PLT Sr. Maureen Catabian advised  them  to expand their  help to other needy people. They found a Benedictine Sister working with the Mangyans in Mindoro, so they  organized a medical mission for them. When Sr. Maryanne was assigned (for the third time) to Buhi, having been one of the  pioneers in 1963,  every other year the WHARF group  comes to Buhi for a medical-dental mission,  a reason for R & R around Sister’s birthday.

This year they asked to hold the mission in a small barrio away from the “poblacion” . So on May 2, 2014,
 the medical-dental-surgical mission was held in Igbak Elementary School, fifteen minutes away by tricycle or motorbike from the    center of the town.  Among the 17 lay persons comprising  the WHARF group, were a medical doctor, two dentists and two nurses.    Alumni of the 50-yr-old St. Bridget School, were two medical doctors, a neuro-surgeon trained in the USA,  two dentists, ten nurses, and more than a dozen volunteers .

It was an actual case of lay partnership . The WHARF volunteers and the Buhi volunteers worked side by side harmoniously and peacefully, with Sr. Maryanne, 81, monitoring things from the RGS convent , by text.

There were more than 320 poor  families registered from  7  different barangays of Buhi, majority of them indigenous. The WHARF group  had brought medicines for a thousand patients: multivitamins for the children, cold and cough medicines, etc.  The  prescriptions were  aptly supplied by the pharmacy department, because the medicines had been sorted earlier. Each dentist pulled at least 90 teeth each. One local dentist could not leave her patients in her own clinic so she was late. By the time she came, the dentists had pulled the teeth of those who were there.

The neuro-surgeon came all the way from Sorsogon to help in the mission. The WHARF team were not ready with any surgical supplies.  Having brought his own anesthesia and medical supplies, he circumcised more than 10 boys.

Photo: Dr. Breandovin Saez interviews a patien.

A Manila benefactor
 gave P100,000  to buy 1 whole pig weighing 80 kilos. The local volunteers butchered the pig and cooked it for more than 1200 people. Local donors donated the rice for  the lunch.  The families were told to bring their own dishes. And many went again and again for replenishment.

  families  got tired of waiting  for their turn.  These families  skipped the doctors’ interviews and just asked for multivitamins for their children. They   they  went to the food department to claim their portions. Then went to the give away department to receive their red bag filled with groceries and household supplies, 3 kilos of rice, and one big toy.  Then they went to the “ukay ukay “room where each individual was allowed to bring home a piece of clothing or shoes or school bag. With  that they went home happily. About 50 families who were not even registered came when they heard there was  food,  and  give-aways. Which of course they received. No one went  home empty-handed, and many would have wanted more.

Lay partners,
  when empowered with trust and responsibility, can indeed achieve great things for the Lord. Thank you, Wharf and Local friends, for showing such an admirable accomplishment.