SOGOD, Southern Leyte, Philippines (KHNL)- A Hawaii medical clinic gets up and running in the philippines. 2 months ago the Aloha Medical Mission flew over to help victims of a February landslide. But they wanted to keep the momentum going by setting up a permanent presence there.
At Sogod District Hospital in mid-March, Aloha Medical Mission Doctor Jeff Goodman quizzes the nurse to get a better idea of what facilities the hospital has. His colleague, Dr. Vernon Ansdell, who's heading this medical mission, explains, "We're in a town called Sogod, in Southern Leyte. We're here to make an assessment of the medical situation here with a view to maybe coming back later if we think things are adequate."
It's a 50 bed hospital with two operating rooms. While it's not too modern, it is clean. Ansdell says, "We want to help people in this area. This is a good opportunity. We'll need to have a hospital of this size we can use as our base. Then we'll have clinics in other areas."
Over lunch, the group talks about it. Early feedback is positive. Registered nurse Lolita Ching explains her reason for wanting to come back. "I can speak their dialect. As a Visayan, it's close to my heart. Aside from being Visayan, i'm a nurse. And aside from that, because they deserve more. The patient deserves the services we provide them."
Fast forward 2 months. In Hawaii, the AMM board supports the idea. Ansdell updates us, "There's a team that's been put together that's going to be going to Sogod in early November."
Aloha Medical Mission will hold fundraisers between now and November. They can use that money to buy medicine and equipment to take to the Philippines. Ansdell says, "When we get into an area we like to try to develop an ongoing relationship. It's appropriate when it's an area affected by a disaster. It's something we can do as a positive, out of a very awful experience."
If this visit goes well, it's likely they'll be returning often. Ansdell says, "It's a very rewarding experience."