The Love for Life Foundation began as a disaster relief effort in the early 1990's with the eruption of the Mount Pinatubo volcano. Over the years we have focused on a more permanent presence in the Philippines in the form of the Dr. Jesus A. Datu Medical Center. The recent tragedy affecting thousands of Filipinos brings us back to our initial purpose: disaster relief. The staff at the JADMC, led by Ms. Sylvia Ordonez of the Kapampangan Development Foundation, is working with Sister Eloisa David, a nun of the Saint Scholastica Order who is a also a doctor, to help the typhoon victims. Sister David is based in Leyte, which was hardest hit by Haiyan.
We also expect long term medical consequences from this natural catastrophe, such as wound infections resulting in amputations, infections of many kinds, obstetrical care, and many others. We are ready to serve.
The JADMC and Love for Life Foundation continues to do what we can, as described in prior project reports to you. It is saddening to see that death and suffering caused by this most recent natural disaster. The Philippines is no stranger to natural catastrophes but this is one of the worst. Unfortunately, another typhoon is in its wake. People who hadnothing now have even less. They have lost their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children. Livelihoods and homes are gone. Now we are dealing with medical disease as a result of poor sanitation, homelessness, and lack of access to medical care. You have read all the unfortunate details in the news. Please help us in this very difficult time.
The following is an e-postcard from Sandra Dickison, a GlobalGiving Representative in the Philippines.
Traveling over 6 hours, Pampanga resident Joey brought her 4 year-old daughter, Princess, to the Dr. Jesus A. Datu Medical Clinic on June 25th. When we first met Princess she seemed like a typical kid - shy around foreigners, close to her mother, and tired from the journey. However, Princess was born without a foot and on Tuesday, at the Clinic, she was being fitted for her first prosthetic which would allow her to walk and play with the other kids in her town.
Ana and I had the opportunity to visit the Dr. Jesus A. Datu Medical Clinic which is supported by the Love for Life Foundation of Philippine American Physicians in America. The clinic provides an array of basic medical services to the poor from the Pampanaga region which is north of Manila. From cataract surgeries to a birthing center, the Clinic is run by a dedicated staff and supported by volunteer doctors.
We spent the morning visiting with staff and nurses, learning about the 30+ cataract surgeries they had already performed – free of charge – to residents in the area. Robbie and Jerome, the prosthetic technicians, gave us a tour of the prosthetic lab where they cast, mold, and create prosthetic legs which are free to those who need them. Robbie himself was also a recipient of a prosthetic leg.
Throughout the morning, during our meetings and tour, people were already arriving for the bi-monthly prosthetic screening which would begin at 2:00. Many, like Joey and Princess, traveled a great distance and waited for hours in the hot room meet with the doctor. Ana and I visited with patients and all of them were smiling, excited to be at the Clinic and ready to get fitted for a prosthetic. Young and old, by the time the screening began about 40 people were in line to be fitted.
While Ana and I were impressed by the Clinic’s organization and services, we were blown away by their dedication to the community. Observing the screening, we could not help but think how Princess’ life would change with the help of the Clinic and the Love for Life Foundation.
We recently hosted the members of the GlobalGiving team at the JADMC. They toured the Prosthetics Department, led by two fully trained and liensed prosthetics manufacturers who follow patients from start to finish. They first custom fit each patient, make the prosthetics themselves, then refer them to the rehabilitation department so the recipient is educated about care and proper use.The cataract services are going strong, with hundreds (and this goes for prosthetics as well) of patients traveling from all parts of central Luzon, the largest island in the Philippine archipelago, at their own expense so they can apply for prosthetics or cataract surgery. Services are free of charge to eligible candidates. Thank you to the Kapampangan Development Foundation, local rotary clubs, and private donors donors like yourselves for making this possible.
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