State subsidized health care is scare in developing countries.
In the Philippines, less than 3% of the nation's GDP is spent on its citizens,
while 60% of its hospitals are privately run.
Coupled with the rapid growth of population,
the government's inability to provide medical care to the public
is felt most among the poor communities living in remote places,
where access and affordability is a hindrance to their wellbeing.
In February 2014,
HOPE FOUND returned to the Philippines
with 25 volunteers from California
for the mission's annual outreach.
In Surigao del Norte, our group ran two missions simultaneously. One team served families from surrounding communities in the mining town of Barangay Taganito.
Our last stop was on the western side of the Philippines, on the southern point of Palawan. In Rio Tuba, another mining community, our surgical teams saw a particularly high number of children needing cleft palate surgery.
HOPE Foundation begins minor and major surgeries in the operation room of Taguig-Pateros District Hospital in Metro Manila.
Up the coast, a second group ran its missions in the operating rooms of Caraga Regional Hospital, where major surgeries were performed on major patients.
We've sent a team of volunteers to the Philippines
on a humanitarian medical + surgical mission
every year since 1987.
PAG-ASA SA ATING PILIPINAS
VOLUNTEER FEBRUARY '15
IN THE PHILIPPINES
After nearly three decades in operation, the medical mission has challenged itself to expand its services to cover more areas across the islands of the Philippines.
Presently, at least three and at times as many as five stops are scheduled on the agenda in the two weeks spent traveling between the vastly dense metropolitan city slums and the most remote areas of the country each February, strategically targeting specific regions inhabited by the poorest populations.
Though distinctly different from the other, the diverse localities commonly share the same problem that trouble their communities: the lack of access to health care. Whether gradually pushed away to city limits by urban development or naturally secluded in the backwoods and boondocks that surround them, these neglected pockets of the Philippines have similarly been left to swell and surge to a high concentration of indigents suffering in need and in lack of the most basic care.
This has allowed the mission and its volunteers to offer the coveted, no-cost medical services to a wider range of the country's massive population separated—and often left isolated—by its 7,000 islands.
Since 1988, HOPE Foundation has sent a medical mission team to the Philippines, where volunteers serve the developing nation's marginalized indigent communities and bring its citizens the medication they cannot afford, from antibiotics to multivitamins. With the support of our sponsors, our operations abroad has stretched its services to cater to the widening gap between access to treatment and medication and the growing number of the population that has never seen a doctor, especially to include patients with more complex cases that require them to undergo major surgery.
Today, each of the mission trip in February has come to included multiple stops across the islands. By partnering with local physicians who share in our vision of expanded access to health care, our team is able to see as many as 1,000 patients in the span of two-weeks.
Many communities have benefitted from the mission so much so that each of its inhabitants have received some form of treatment from our medical team. While entire villages have gotten the medical attention they needed and deserved, the surrounding communities, or barangays, as they are called in the Philippines, and its citizens who hear about our local work wait for the return of our mission team in hopes of being seen by our physicians.
Many of the slum villages' squatters
have finally been able to visit a hospital
and receive quality medical treatment.
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