Medical Mission: Antique 2017

by Jessica Daza-Robes, MD

The University of Santo Tomas Hospital Eye Institute was recently invited by the Medical Missions Incorporated (MMI) for a medical and surgical mission held in Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital and Antique National School last June 25-29, 2017. Aside from ophthalmology consultations and surgeries, the weeklong mission had other services including general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, ENT, physical therapy and rehabilitation medicine.

The USTH Eye Institute team was led by the Residency Training Officer- Dr. Marcelino Banzon, together with MMI team Head for Ophthalmology Dr. Roseny Mae Singson and 3rd year residents Dr. Michael Fernandez, Dr. Michael Garcia, 2nd year residents Dr. Paula Fernandez, Dr. John Philip Uy, and 1st year resident Dr. Alex Gungab. Dr. Fritz Casalan, a local ophthalmologist, was also present to assist.

For the medical ophthalmology services, there were over a hundred patients seen; while in the surgical ophthalmology services a total of 92 surgeries were done which included 54 ECCE cases, 1 lid reconstruction, 2 Lensectomies, 1 Excision biopsy, 3 Strabismus, 1 Excision of limbal mass and 30 Pterygium cases. After administrating post-operative care, patients were endorsed to local specialists for follow up.

The patients were very grateful for the services offered- which would have otherwise been out of reach for them not only due to lack of finances, but also due to lack of availability of specialists in the area. This mission had been a real eye-opener, seeing the that there is a big maldistribution of specialists in our country.

The week-long mission ended with the closing ceremonies and fellowship dinner for all the participants and sponsors. Served during dinner included the traditional Ilonggo food and other Filipino home cooked meals. It was a delight seeing the volunteers enjoy a night of ballroom dancing and singing after days of hard work.

Other sponsors for the medical mission were the Special Commission on Relief and Education and the Tugaoen Medical Mission Fund, in coordination with the Diocese of Antique and the Local Government of Antique.

“OK” sign by the post-ECCE patients –photo by Alex Gungab

UST Ophthalmology group with Epheta Foundation for the Blind –photo by Alex Gungab

Resident, Dr. Alex Gungab doing ECCE –photo by Alex Gungab

Action in the operating theatre –photo by Alex Gungab

Dr. Paula Fernandez assisted by UST Residency Training Officer, Dr. Marcelino Banzon, a Pediatric and Strabismus Specialist –photo by Alex Gungab


About The Author

Jessica is a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in University of Santo Tomas. She is currently a 1st year ophthalmology resident in the same institution. Outside residency, she loves being outdoors, admiring art, and spending time with her family.