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Young professionals group in Palawan provides health care for IPs PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 26 May 2008

Puerto Princesa Peacock Jaycees and Mayor Edward Hagedorn / Photo: PRINCESA CITY, May 26 (PNA)-- The Junior Chamber International Puerto Princesa Peacock, Inc. or Peacock Jaycees, a group of young female professionals in Palawan, has gained the popularity for implementing sound community projects that touch the lives of indigenous peoples living in areas where access to basic health care is difficult.

Peacock President Gemma S. Medina said that aside from the Jaycees being a worldwide federation of young leaders and entrepreneurs, its tenets direct that members should conduct projects that shall benefit the community.

Last May 11, the members of the JCI Puerto Princesa Peacock, Inc., in close partnership with the Western Command (Wescom) and the Marine Battalion Landing Team 9 (MBLT 9) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) went to Barangay Langogan, located north of Puerto Princesa to implement the Tulong Kalusugan medical, dental and health care mission.

The project provided free medical checkups with free medicine for more than 470 Batak and Tagbanua indigenous people; free tooth extraction under the dental service for 40 IPs with post-care medicine; circumcision for 40 little boys; sputum examination for two patients suspected to have tuberculosis; distribution of 220 long lasting bed nets through the help of Kilusan Ligtas Malaria (KLM) of the provincial government and the Department of Health's (DOH) Movement Against Malaria (MAM); blood sugar screening, blood pressure checkup; milk feeding for more than a hundred IP children; gift giving to 78 Batak and Tagbanua families through the help of the City Tribal Foundation (CTF) and Tagbalay Foundation, Inc. (TFI); eye examination with 250 free reading glasses and various lectures on health provided by the caregivers of Palawan Adventist Hospital (PAH).

Lt. Col. William D. Bemida said Tulong Kalusugan was an opportunity for public-private partnership that's designed to benefit IP families living in areas that have no professional medical help and access to medicine.

"This is also beneficial to us because it will allow us to reach out to them. Most often, the IPs think of us as enemies that is why the rebels sometimes can recruit them easily to join the underground movement.

Now, we have been given the opportunity to show them that we care for them and their health is our primary concern," he said.

The Tulong Kalusugan team was welcomed in Langogan by barangay chairman Joel Badenas and CTF President Primo Loreno.

Loreno, who is a Tagbanua, said most of the illnesses the Bataks and Tagbanuas have are tuberculosis and malaria. He was happy that the team had a sputum examination service and a distribution of chemical-impregnated bed nets for them.

"We are so thankful for the distribution of free bed nets. Many of us here are getting sick of malaria," he said.

The Bataks and Tagbanuas in Langogan live in sitios Makandring and Mangapin that are not accessible, especially during the rainy season when malaria-borne mosquitoes usually attack.(PNA)

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