Lepanto Medical Mission serves 2,000 in Benguet and Ilocos Sur
The third biennial Surgical, Medical and Dental Mission of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (Lepanto), one of the oldest mining companies in the country, held on June 13-16, 2016 catered to over 2,000 residents, mostly indigenous people, from host community Mankayan, Benguet and the neighboring towns of Cervantes, Quirino and Suyo in Ilocos Sur.
Lepanto set up satellite clinics at Barangays Poblacion, Bulalacao and Balili in Mankayan and at Cervantes, Ilocos Sur for medical and dental consultations and treatments and provision of free medicines. Surgeries were performed at the Lepanto Hospital, a 200-bed capacity Level 1 general hospital that has been serving Mankayan and neighboring towns for the last 66 years.
A total of 1,514 patients were treated, mostly pediatric, OB-Gyne and dermatological cases. Dental patients totaled 536. Major surgeries included thyroidectomy, hemorrhoidectomy, cholecystectomy, herniorrhapy, and cyst excision, performed on a total of 50 patients. Seventy others underwent minor surgical operations, specifically excision of lipoma, epidermal and sebaceous cysts, mole removal and incision and drainage.
Dr. Edgardo T. Orlina of the University of Sto. Tomas Medical Missions, Inc. (UST-MMI), the partner organization for the mission, said that the major surgeries would have cost each patient no less than P100,000.00 excluding post-surgery medical care and medicines. Dr. Orlina noted that the presence of state of the art medical equipment like the laparoscopic machine at the Lepanto Hospital was very helpful, as few health facilities in the region outside Baguio City have this.
Ms. Mercedes T. Abuyog, one of the patients who underwent Thyroidectomy was very thankful, as she has had a goiter problem for over ten years but had no financial means to undergo surgery.
Mr. Bryan U. Yap, President and COO of Lepanto, said that although Lepanto had been conducting community-based medical missions for decades, it was only in 2012 that Lepanto expanded the program to include minor and major surgeries and communities outside Mankayan, Benguet. To prepare for that initial medical, surgical and dental mission in 2012, Lepanto undertook a renovation and upgrading of the Lepanto Hospital, acquiring additional modern equipment to cater to the growing needs of the communities. “The reception from the residents has been very positive, so the company decided to undertake this on a regular basis”, he added.
“Datuy nga programa iti dakkel nga maitulong na iti ili tayo nga Cervantes ket adu iti mailibre tayo ti bayad ti doktor agsipod ta amin dagitoy serbisyo nga aramiden dagitoy doktor nga nagapo iti University of Sto. Tomas babaen iti panakikamayet tayo iti Lepanto, libre iti check-up, libre iti agas, libre ti professional fee, libre aminen. Imbes nga aggastos kayo kakailyan nga mapan apadoktor. Nangruna iti awan pagbayad na iti doktor ken paggatang na iti agas makatulong nga pirmi datoy para iti kakailyan nga taga Cervantes. (This program has a great impact to the municipality of Cervantes since the medical services offered are free - free check-up, free medicines, free professional fees. Everything is free instead of the people paying for medical services. Especially for those who do not have the means to pay for a doctor or to buy medicines, this is a big help to the people of Cervantes.)”, said Mayor Benjamin N. Maggay of Cervantes, Ilocos Sur.
Aside from the UST-MMI, Lepanto’s partners for the 2016 Medical Mission were Dr. Jasmin J. Jamora and the residents of the Skin and Cancer Foundation Inc., Far Southeast Gold Resources, Inc. and The Generics Pharmacy. The local government units and the barangay health workers were also very helpful, and together with Lepanto conducted a pre-mission survey of the medical, surgical and dental cases that needed to be addressed.
Doctors of the Lepanto Hospital and of the UST Medical Missions Inc. perform Cholecystectomy or gall stone removal using a laparoscopic machine. The medical team performed 50 major surgeries and 70 minor surgeries.