The Visayas Primary Healthcare Services, Inc. joined the dental and circumcision (tuli) services and giving of reading glasses during a mission sponsored by the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) for survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in Sta. Fe, Cebu last May 17 – 18, 2014.
The activity is part of the Bulig Katilingban: Task Force on Emergency Response (TFER) of the IFI-Parish of the Holy Child in Sta. Fe. It was held in the covered gymnasium in the poblacion of Sta. Fe.
A total of 619 residents of Sta. Fe benefited from the services, 236 boys were circumcised, 217 had dental services of teeth extraction, cleaning and filling of cavities, and 166 received correction reading glasses. Some 100 boys also received toothbrushes and took fluoride.
The VPHCS sent a team of 21 volunteers of nurses and doctors and community health workers and provided the instruments for the tuli. The CDS had 7 dentists and 5 dental students of the Southwestern University College of Dentistry. The mobile dental van of the Juanito I. King Foundation provided additional dental services. Three practicing optometrists fitted the reading glasses. The IFI- Sta. Fe youth group manned the registration and ensured the smooth flow of the services.
The team departed from Cebu City in the dawn of May 17 and arrived in Sta. Fe before lunch. An opening program followed where Fr. Marciano Carabio, the Diocesan Program Coordinator of the Task Force on Emergency Response gave the opening prayers. Edgar Gahisan, R.N. VPHCS staff member introduced the team of volunteers.
While the boys were waiting for their turn to start the tuli, the dental team assembled the boys in rows and applied fluoride fluid on their teeth. The following day, before the tuli started, the waiting boys were given toothbrushes and taught the correct way to tooth brush. Proper hand washing was also taught to the boys while singing the song, Happy Birthday.
The services on Saturday ended in the late afternoon, and resumed the following day, Sunday. Everybody who needed to be attended to were served and the mission ended at 2:30 p.m. Team departed the island at 3:30 p.m.
It was a very worthwhile and memorable experience for the team members who were touched by the openness, simplicity and warm-heartedness of the people of Sta. Fe.