TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines-The Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban was chosen as the latest beneficiary of the LDS Charities Vision and the Mabuhay Deseret Foundation Project for its eye surgical charity works in the Philippines.
“We learned we have something in common, to help others see better. There is nothing like the gift of sight, and we can imagine how would it be blind…We are privileged to have the opportunity to donate medical instruments and supplies, microscope for eye surgical operations and provide training for the medical team,” said Dr. N. Branson Call, in-charged of the Eye Department of the Latter-day Saints church charitable organization, during the turn-over ceremony on Monday in the hospital.
Elder and Sister Hadlock of Utah,USA, the LDS Charities country directors, also thanked the desire of the EVRMC to improve its services and skills for the benefit of the people by supporting one of their humanitarian projects in the country.
“We are overwhelmed by your kindness, in your works to help and to give hope to others ,” said Sister Hadlock.
“We are grateful of those so involved of the vision project. This is one of the few countries in the world in which we can participate in all of our projects…,” added Elder Hadlock, citing also the various humanitarian efforts they have in the Philippines and to more than 100 countries in the world such as donation of wheelchairs, polio vaccines, immunization, water projects, neonatal resuscitation training, livelihood support program for the poor, disaster-support projects and many more.
Dr. Alberto C. De Leon, chief of hospital, welcomed the donations of the two organizations, saying: “ The medical equipment and the training support will help EVRMC for its quality health care in the region.”
“Because of the limited funds of the government, we cannot procure certain equipment. We are grateful of your efforts,” Dr. de Leon said, admitting the necessity for more private-initiated supports to government-ran hospitals like EVRMC being a “teaching and training hospital” in the region.
Atty. Tecson John Lim, city administrator representing Tacloban mayor Alfred Romualdez, thanked the two humanitarian organizations for their help, assuring also that the city is working seriously on public-private partnership projects like that of the present initiative happening in EVRMC.
Also present during the program were Ricardo Aban, LDS-Tacloban Stake president, who gave an overview of their church’s humanitarian wing; Dr. Mae Singson, who is training for Dr. Call; Manny Hernandez, Executive director at Mabuhay Deseret Foundation; other hospital officials and LDS church local leaders.
EVRMC-EENT department chairman Dr. Lemuel Gatchalian disclosed the eye surgical facilities and training extended to the hospital will complement to the present services they have had for the patients.
“We are happy being the recipient of the donation. Despite having also this kind of equipment, there is also a need for change, improvement on our side since some of our equipment are with us since the 90’s.”
EVRMC, a top hospital in Region 8 serving already for 97 years, has only six doctors all combined for patients who have problems for eyes, ears, nose and throat.
“At this point in time, our EENT is combined when it should have its own separate departments like in other big hospitals. Lack of government funds hinder us to hire for more doctors and procure more new medical equipment. Yet we remained committed to our works,” Dr. Gatchalian added.