Thank you Ana and Mark for taking 3 (!!) suitcases to Cebu and Malapascua island in Philippines.
“We took 3 suitcases of supplies, 2 we brought to the public hospital on the mainland in northern Cebu and 1 suitcases for the Malapascua island.
The Philippine culture is a beautiful one, with very good hearted people everywhere we went. We felt very safe and welcomed. The little kids we witnessed running around and playing daily were so affectionate and raised to be very respectful and kind. (Blowing everyone kisses and saying hello – melted our hearts!).
Our trip was mostly to see our family, Mark’s brother who lives on the island of Malapascua. He informed us the island would really benefit from the supplies as there is no real clinic set up. There is however, a volunteer midwife who comes Monday to Fridays to the island/(town hall) building for the ministry/council. There is no continuation of care there as the resources are limited, as nurse and doctor visit once a week/month respectively if they are available.
Generally if you are hurt, the dive shops will be your first aid place and will be sent to the mainland of Cebu if needing more medical interventions. There are no pharmacies on the island, some medication mostly some antibiotics are found in convenient stores to buy at your own risk and free willingly.
The mainland cebu has a lot of different clinics and hospitals both public and private. The one we decided to take 2 suitcases to, is in the Daanbantayan region, 15 minutes drive from the port in the north. It serves the nearby communities with the most marginalised of individuals. There is an emergency room that has 2-3 beds/stretchers, some missing the cushion, only having the frame.
The room is open with not much privacy. The hospital has some medication for pain but antibiotics or other meds used for chronic/acute conditions need to be separately purchased by the patients from the onsite pharmacy. There is no defibrillator in this hospital. The doctors and nurses were very grateful and excited for the donations. They couldn’t believe we found/chose them.
It is for this reason why I knew it would be important to take suitcases abroad to help. We were very happy that our airline allowed us the free 2nd checked luggage which is why we had no problem taking the three suitcases. We were very happy China eastern airlines allowed us the extra luggage free of charge. We will continue our tradition with NJT and bringing suitcases in all our travels to countries in need.
Thank you for giving us the chance to improve the lives of those in most need.
Ana and Mark”