Where we had the clinic.
Medical Staff and clinic view.
Measuring the eyes.
This is from Jeff Turner, a leader of the team.
On behalf of the Foundation for Philippine Medical Mission team, I would like to personally thank you for your support of a very successful mission trip this past week in Alaminos, Pangasinan. We had a group of about 25 people from the US join with about 50 local Philippine volunteers to run medical, dental and optical clinics while in Alaminos. We tallied approximately 7,200 patient encounters over the four days we were operational!
The medical staff included specialties such as primary care physicians, orthopedics, gynecology, pediatrics and infectious disease. The group was able to utilize an X-ray machine to diagnose pneumonia and TB cases. They also had a fully staffed pharmacy to distribute medications to patients in need. In addition to these specialties, two Mayo Clinic psychiatrists went into the community to educate patients on how to deal with traumatic events and cope with depression and anxiety.
The dental clinic included two dentists and a team of staff to conduct tooth extractions and provide dentures to patients in need. Over the course of the week, the dental team recorded 710 total extractions and 170 custom dentures given out, which was truly life-changing to the recipients.
The optical portion was our most productive mission yet. We had a team of 5 US persons and 25 Philippine volunteers in total to work triage, conduct eye examinations, runners to get the proper inventory and fitters for patients who were near sighted or needed reading glasses. We even had 3 local optometrists to give patient consultations. The eye team was able to provide roughly 3,200 glasses to the people of Alaminos, and had about 4,000 patient encounters to include the eye doctor consults, for the week. The set-up was very similar to the video you put on your website of the optical walk through we did in 2020. We led each day with a devotional and prayer, and we certainly experienced God’s blessing on the mission.
There is nothing more gratifying than to give the gift of sight. I would like to share a few personal experiences I had with patients during the week. One patient was a 9th grade girl who measured at -10 with astigmatism. I asked her how she was able to learn at school, and she said that she would have to take a picture of the board and hold it up really close to her face in order to see what was being taught. She also relied on her classmates to guide her around since everything was blurry around her. Thanks to the donated eyeglasses and autorefractor equipment we rented, we were able to find lenses with a close match, and with pink frames! She put on the glasses and was amazed at how she could see. Now she can learn at school.
Several patients who had similar measurements were without eyeglasses. One woman had a -11 measurement, and needed her friends and family to walk with her. She had eyeglasses in the past, but they broke two years prior and she was not able to afford a replacement. Unfortunately glasses cost about a months wage on average, which put people in a tough position if they are providing for their family. The woman got a pair of glasses that matched her prescription and she was so elated that she began crying. Later that day, she brought in her mother and grandmother to be examined.
Finally, another great case was of a 9 year old boy who measured -15. He came with his older brother, and had thick glasses that were glued together that were powered to 1/3 the strength of what he needed. Out of our 8,200 prescription inventory, the software found a single match for his exact prescription. He put on the glasses and was able to see again! He was really excited and kept saying, “klaro! Klaro!”
Your support of FPMM means a lot to me and to our team. With your generous gift, we were able to help so many people in need. Just as one of the elderly women in the community said to me with tears rolling down her face, I pass along to you: “On behalf of the people of Alaminos, we thank you with all our heart for blessing them with your kindness”.