With a mutual goal of meeting community healthcare needs, the Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP) and ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. (AFI) brought medical aid and relief to oil spill-affected communities in Pola and Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. PCCP, along with various experts like the Association of Respiratory Care Practice in the Philippines (ARCPP), MMG Hospital, Oriental Mindoro Medical Society and other partners, brought much needed medical assistance, medicine and equipment to oil spill clean-up frontliners and their families.
“Ang common misconception kasi ng karamihan, ‘environmental problem’ lang ito, pero hindi nila alam na in the long run it also affects their health.” Dr. Celeste Mae Campomanes, past president of PCCP, shared the importance of a community health check after an environmental disaster. Petroleum or crude oil contains heavy metals that are detrimental to the lungs. Heavy exposure to crude oil could lead to tuberculosis, asthma or worse, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). “Hindi agarang makikita ang epekto nito. Pero kailangan ma-check natin ang respiratory function nila ngayon. At ifofollow-up natin ito within 3 to 5 years time,” said Dr. Maria Christina Maranion, Chair of Council on Diagnostics and Therapeutics on PCCP’s long term commitment to help those affected by the oil spill crisis.
The 2-day medical mission served the following barangays in Pola: Batuhan, Buhay na Tubig and Bacawan, while in Naujan: Antipolo, Andres Ilagan, Masaguing, Santiago, Estrella, Melgar A, Melgar B, Herrera, Motoderazo, Montemayor, San Jose, Kalinisan, Sta. Cruz, Poblacion 1, Iba Uno, Iba Dos, and Nag-Iba.
This project dubbed as “one of the best medical missions” by the locals, would not have been possible without collaboration. ABS-CBN Foundation Sagip Kapamilya Program Head Marcel Riñon cited the importance of partnerships to mitigate the long-term effects of environmental disasters. “Malaki kasi ang role ng collaboration sa isang disaster. Hindi ito magagawa ng isang ahensya lamang. Hindi ito magagawa ng isang foundation lamang. Kailangan pagtulung-tulungan ito. Lalong-lalo na sa mga ganitong trahedya (katulad) ng oil spill,” said Rinon.
To date, ABS-CBN Foundation has served the communities in Oriental Mindoro through the provision of food packs and hygiene kits to affected barangays, spill boom materials and protection kits to oil spill frontliners, and medical aid to members of the community affected by the oil spill:
- 2,650 families received food packs and hygiene kits,
- 1,000 sets of personal protection kits in 5 barangays,
- 5 barangays received spill boom materials containing pairs of rubber boots, rolls of nylon rope, and plastic gallon containers, and
- 668 patients were checked during our Mindoro Medical Mission on July 15 & 16 in Pola and Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.
Thanks to USAID, Gerry Roxas Foundation, Century Pacific, Hope Foundation, Fast Cat, and most recently, the Philippine College of Chest Physicians and other affiliated medical experts, ABS-CBN Foundation continues to pursue different means to support locals and communities affected in Mindoro Oil Spill Crisis.
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