As many of you will remember, my 2012 visit to Iligan City for part of the time found me ” Hospitalized In The Philippines ” with pneumonia at Mindanao Sanitarium Hospital (renamed as Adventist Medical Center) . This hospital complex is also home to Mindanao Sanitarium Hospital College and additionally is the home of the MSH Care Mindanao Foundation. MSH Care conducts medical missions in and around Iligan City as well as other parts of Mindanao serving those who are out of reach or can not afford any kind of regular medical care. They also conduct medical missions in areas of disaster, floods, typhoons etc.
Prior to this years (2013) visit I inquired if the MSH Care group would find a donation of some stethoscopes and BP Cuffs useful in their medical missions. The reply was an overwhelming yes as they were in great need of these things. On past visits I have donated these items to the college of nursing at MSU-IIT and also a set to Iligan Medical Center College. The ones I had brought on previous visits were branded American Diagnostic Corporation. Although the component parts for these are sourced from many parts of the world, they are assembled, tested and packaged in Long Island, New York and sell for an affordable cost on one of the largest on line sales websites.
The fact that “American” is used in the brand name, to me, makes them more of a pasalubong type of thing to donate. I buy items to be donated as well as pasalubong for friends throughout the year and when the time comes to pack my large suit cases there have been times where I have been lucky to find space for a few clothes! This year’s luggage included 12 stethoscopes in 3 varieties and I think it was 9 Aneroid type (the traditional manually operated kind with the squeeze bulb and analog gauge). No batteries to worry about with the traditional style BP Cuff as compared to the electronic, automatic digital readout types which are starting to become popular. For myself, I trust the traditional aneroid type more that I would an electronic one. I think Digital Age younger people may be more comfortable with the electronic ones LOL.
Getting them there was half the fun when I realized the cost of overweight luggage had increased from 150 to 200 peso per Kilo on anything over 10 Kilo on the domestic flight from Manila to the new Languidingan Airport between Iligan and Cagayan De Oro. For something like this however, I paid the overweight charges and just smiled. The day after my arrival in Iligan City I had one of my friends who is a nursing school graduate test out all of this stuff on me to check for consistency. I had made a visual inspection of the items before packing them at home and they all checked out OK when they got to Iligan.
The following images are courtesy of MSH Care Foundation in Tacloban and used with permission
AS MSH is also a College I had mentioned in advance that if two deserving nursing students who could not afford to buy their own could be selected by the college, I would present each one with their own stethoscope and BP Cuff as I believe these items are required for passing a college course in nursing.
After my arrival in Iligan it was arranged that there would be a turn over ceremony as part of one of the 7 AM morning meetings at MSH. I really like to sleep a little later when I am on vacation but for something like this I looked forward to it. I gave a short talk, my donations were thankfully recognized and I was presented with a very nice certificate of appreciation in a deluxe frame. Now you may be wondering how all of this ties in with Thanksgiving Day and Tacloban?
It was on Thanksgiving Day (New York Time) the first pictures of the MSH Care Foundation appear on the internet with them conducting a Medical Mission in some of the most badly hit and remote places in Tacloban. In those pics I saw my donations being put to use in a place where, at the time were one of the most needed places in the world. It made me feel so thankful that I was able to bring these items as donations for a very worthy organization and they were in a place where they were really needed. Those pics really made my Thanksgiving Day!
In further thinking about this, I thought of the times I went to summer camp when I was a kid and we had Archery lessons and practice. Most of the time I was lucky to even hit any part of the target. Spin the clock and the calendar ahead “a few” decades. I think I hit the Bulls Eye with this one.