Last July 15, 2023, the Rotaract Club of Cebu Fuente visited the residents of Barangay Pajo in Lapu-Lapu City for Health Reach Plus, a Dental-Tuli mission. This initiative is a collective effort of the Club in partnership with dedicated medical professionals from the Philippine Dental Association (PDA) Mandaue Chapter, Department of Health (DOH), local government unit of Brgy. Pajo, Phi Omega Sigma Lapu-Lapu Chapter, and community volunteers seeking to help bridge the healthcare gap and touch lives.
Medical missions have long been a beacon of hope for communities around the world facing limited access to healthcare. Beyond simply treating illnesses, medical missions play a pivotal role in promoting health awareness and preventive care. But even for communities within the urban area, there are still many who are not able to afford dental care and other medical services.
From the moment our medical team stepped foot in the community, we have been greeted with open arms, and an atmosphere of gratitude filled the air. Patients, young and old, lined up, hoping to seek relief from ailments that have long been ignored due to financial constraints. A lot of Filipinos suffer from tooth decay or dental cavities. However, the unbearable pain has not been enough to encourage a trip to the dentist as oral health services are still considered expensive. Therefore, families in lower-income households can only look forward to medical missions to receive dental care and services that are otherwise unattainable.
Health Reach Plus also offered circumcision for young boys, or most commonly known as “tuli”. Although circumcision has sparked discussions among medical professionals and communities worldwide, it is relatively common in the Philippines. The procedure has become a long-standing tradition in society, believing that this is a “rite of passage” or a “transformation” from being a boy to a man. But ultimately, it should be recognized that the decision for circumcision should be made by the individual or, in this case, their parents or guardians after careful consideration of the potential benefits and risks involved.
After a long and fulfilling day, Health Reach Plus had successfully served a total of 120 young boys and 40 dental patients. The smiles that adorned the faces of those who received care echoed the resounding impact of selfless service and the invaluable gift of improved oral health and overall well-being.
The essence of a medical mission lies in the compassion it exudes. We believe good healthcare is everyone’s right. For the medical professionals and volunteers involved, a medical mission is a transformative experience. It is more than just providing medical care; it is a journey that touches lives and leaves a mark on both the giver and the receiver, demonstrating the power of compassion and humanity in transforming communities for the better.