FCMA to send medical and relief mission to PH

Community Opinion & Analysis Dec 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm
By Gerry Villareal

By Gerry Villareal

Barely a month on its fundraising campaign, Dr. Chelly Silva, president of Filipino Canadian Medical Association (FCMA), convened its Board of Directors and its support group to introduce the first contingent of medical personnel who will perform the medical and relief mission.

Seven (7) medical doctors volunteered for the mission. Dr. Richard Sims, Dr. Richard Mah and Dr. Gerson Mobo are non-Filipinos, while the rest are FCMA members – Dr. Filomena Bautista, Dr. Judith Nacua, Dr. Mario Andres and FCMA’s treasurer, Dr. Romeo Tan and his wife Zee Tan.  Joining them later is Dr. Dodi Bautista, a scientist pioneering in gene therapy.

These volunteers will provide the crucial triage and life-saving medical and health services in five towns of Basey and Marabut in Samar and Matagok-Calubian, Palo and Tanauan in Leyte.

Of the five towns identified for FCMA’s Haiyan Medical Mission, more than 2,000 dead were reported and buried mostly in mass graves. According to the authorities, in several towns nearly everyone had a body to search for. In the city of Palo, a woman said she was struggling to feed her family, including her newly born. “We took leftover rice from what was cooked, but even a dog probably wouldn’t eat it because it was spoiled, we ate it anyway.”

FCMA-DONORSDr. Chelly Silva pointed out a plastic grocery bag on the table. With her voice breaking, she said, “The bag contains $2,000 in coins and small change – proceeds from a bake sale organized by Ms. Anne Kyne.

“We never saw such outpouring of genuine grief and sympathy to the victims of this typhoon!” echoed by almost everyone around the table. And true enough, the FCMA’s Haiyan Relief Fundraising Campaign has already collected close to $60,000, the list is shown below this article.

Aside from the $180,000 worth of medical supplies, FCMA’s Medical Mission would bring some 5,000 backpacks containing school supplies, such as pens, pencils, crayons, writing pads, colouring books, face towel and umbrella. According to Clem Cabillan, “These 5,000 backpacks are equivalent only to 1 for every 135 schoolchildren, but this is just a start. We are going to launch the ‘Backpack for Student’ project very soon!”
Initiated by Zee Tan, the backpack project is intended to help these school children cope with their losses. Thousands of school children are still housed in makeshift classrooms and temporary shelters. FCMA’s 5-day, 5-town medical and relief mission is scheduled for January 13 to 17, 2014.