At Allegany Plastic Surgery we are celebrating another successful medical mission to the people of the Ifugao region of the Philippines! This was my ninth year going back to the Philippines for medical missions and my eighth year returning to the Ifugao region. As always, the local people there, including the Governor, the local health officials, and the hospital staff, were extremely helpful, warm, inviting and thankful for our mission team.
Our team has continued to grow. This year we had almost 35 team members! In our one week mission we were able to run four major operating rooms, several minor procedure areas, a dental clinic, and medical, hearing and vision screening centers.
The team really pulled together to help the needy people of Ifugao. We cared for over 1,200 patients and provided almost 1,500 treatments including 52 major surgeries, 61 minor surgeries and almost 500 tooth extractions. Hypertension and diabetes screenings and general medical consults were performed by our internists. Hearing and vision evaluations were also provided. 82 patients were provided with hearing aids and enumerable pairs of glasses were distributed. Personally, I was able to provide care for 14 children with cleft lip and/or palate. One of my patients was 16 years old. That means she had been waiting 16 years to have her cleft lip repaired!
Because of the recent typhoon in the Philippines, the district hospital in Lagawe had been damaged but the people of Ifugao were able to provide a venue for our team at the Panopdopan District Hospital in Lamut. The administration of the hospital, the local government, and the nurses and support staff of the hospital all volunteered their time selflessly to benefit the needy people in this province, which is one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines.
This year, I had the pleasure of being the team leader for our mission team, which continues to grow in numbers and in the scope of services that we are providing on our yearly mission. Thankfully, Dr. Zapanta, the previous mission organizer and leader, has committed to continue to travel with us as long as God allows him to. We developed a closer rapport with the people of the district, the local health care providers and the local government health officers. We are continuing to collaborate to investigate ways that we can build the mission and increase our services for the poor in that region in future years. Plans are already underway to return next year with our group, which I hope will be even bigger and able to provide more services!
Here are a few more pictures from the trip!