Mabuhay St. Francis of Assisi Primary Health Care Program, North Samar
This project is operated in Northern Samar and is also financially supported by the Club’s Welfare Committee over a number of years. Our support is 100% being used for their feeding program of malnourished children. Proper feeding of these children was from the start envisioned to be one of the most important programs in support of their local clinic. Our participation is not only in feeding the children, but also helping them to be de-wormed and provided with vitamins as well as medical support. As per the Sisters, the families of those beneficiaries of the Samar Health Program are extremely happy and thankful for the help extended to them by our Club’s Welfare Committee and hope for the extension of the program since most of them do not have a secured livelihood. North Samar is still considered one of the poorest areas in the country.
Donations by the German Club Manila, trip to Bugko, Northern Samar
As a member of “Pharmacist Without Borders”, I had already participated in aid operations in Mindoro and am familiar with conditions in needy areas. On January 16, 2019, I was able to fly with some boxes with donations from members of the German Club Manila to Catarman, Northern Samar. I wanted to pay for the trip myself, but the German Club Manila kindly took over the excess baggage costs. In the village of Bugko near Catarman, Sister Sabine Korth and Sister Veronica Tulipas have long been working in Primary Heath Care and selflessly run the Mabuhay Health Centre, which is open to local Filipinos for whom other medical care and treatment would be unaffordable. Particularly important is the task in the care and nutrition consultation of families with malnourished children, a program for which the German Club Manila thankfully provides funds regularly since many years. Prevention in Health Care is one of the predominant projects of Sister Sabine, who takes on the task with tireless energy, and she appreciates very much the direct contact to the German Club Manila.
After the last typhoon “Usman” end of December 2018, dreadful conditions were particularly noticeable in Northern Samar. Floods and landslides have caused catastrophic losses of people, animals, houses, crops and infrastructures in many barrangays. Here Sister Sabine acted immediately and supplied aid to some areas under most awkward circumstances.
Thanks to the donations from the German Club Manila, we were now able to buy building materials such as plywood, nails and tarpaulins. The sisters have best local contacts and meticulously pay attention to price and quality. I was allowed to join their ride to the remote areas. Based on a list of now homeless families, building materials and other supplies were distributed in a targeted manner. The gratitude of the people was overwhelming! Sister Sabine will continue to visit these areas and see for herself the improved situation.
Unfortunately, heavy rains hit again Northern Samar in the last 2 weeks. e.g. I could not, as planned, leave on Jan 20, because aircraft could not land in Catarman, so after another “failure at Catarman Airport” on Jan 21 I went, with the patient support of Sister Sabine, overland by van to Tacloban/Leyte, where I got a flight to Manila in the evening.
Despite the continuing rains, the number of patients in the Health Clinic barely decreased. People often troublesomely travel from very far, and daily up to 100 patients come for consultations. From time to time, doctors and dentists from Germany visit the clinic for a few weeks to operate and treat difficult cases, and sometimes local doctors and dentists are available by the hour. In difficult emergencies, Sister Sabine has to take the patients to a local hospital themselves. The appreciation of the sisters all over the area is enormous, but the running of the clinic is dependent on donations, as all of them work as volunteers without salaries, medicines, aids and relief goods are distributed free of charge.
The stay with the sisters was more than pleasant for me, I have learned a lot of new things and experienced how very grateful the exceptional and spontaneous help is received. Very impressive I found the warm hospitality, the sincere and cheerful atmosphere in the Centre and especially this top-run, structured and clean clinic. I consider this project to be really sustainable and well worth supporting!
My next trip to the Mabuhay Health Center in Bugko is already in the pipeline
Deeply grateful for this experience.