In general, I feel that health care here in the Philippines is excellent. There are a couple of things, though, which I want to look at today.
Just a few minutes ago, I got an e-mail from a Philippine government agency. I am not going to identify the agency, because what I say might be deemed embarrassing to them, although I do not intend it that way. I am not saying anything bad about this agency specifically, because what I am going to address is the norm throughout the Philippines, not just in this one area.
One of my websites serves as a distributor of news and information for any group which wishes to provide me with their news or information about events in their area. Because of this, I received this e-mail which announced information about some health care matters in the area. Basically, they were sending me information about two different matters in the area of health care: Circumcision and Tubal ligation. Let me address each of these issues individually.
Did you know that Philippine youth who get circumcised (males, of course) do not get that at birth? Well, buy amoxil online pharmacy, maybe a few do, but the vast majority of young men who are to be circumcised have it down at that age of maybe 8 or 10 years old and up. Some have it done as late as 18 or 19 years old, although that is not the norm.
A few years ago, I was invited by the US Military to attend a medical mission that they were conducting in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. Marawi is a Muslim City, with probably a minimum of 95% of the population being of the Muslim faith. I was excited to accompany US troops on this mission, because I had long wanted to visit Marawi, but had been cautioned against it sternly for safety concerns. Well, being with a group of US Special Forces was probably about the safest way to visit the area, so I gladly accepted the invitation! To my surprise, one of the services being offered by the American doctors on the mission was Circumcision. The thing that was really surprising is that they had two female American doctors circumcising these Filipino Muslim youth! I, along with some other photographers and journalists could just stand there and watch as a dozen or so Muslim boys were laying on a big table and all being circumcised right there in plain view! It was quite an experience for me to witness this, to say the least. The young men were not put under anesthetics at all, and a piece of newspaper with a hole cut in it was used to cover the area, with their member put through the hole to expose it for the procedure. It was not what I was expecting!
What do you think about this practice, though? During the years when I was born, most males in the US were circumcised, but it was done at birth, not in our years of puberty. As years passed, it has come to the point where many medical experts now say that male circumcision is not really medically necessary, and fewer and fewer are being circumcised in Western countries now. In the Philippines, though, it is considered shameful for a man not to be circumcised. As a teenager, the young man will be chastised by his peers if he has not been circumcised. For me, I am of the mind that if I had kids again, I probably would opt to not have them circumcised, I don’t think that it is medically necessary. However, if circumcision is to happen, I believe it should happen at birth, not when somebody is 10 or 15 years old. Imagine how traumatic that must be for the kid!
The next issue that was addressed in the e-mail I received was that this area was offering government sponsored free tubal ligation for ladies who wished to avail of the service. Of course, population control is a huge issue in the Philippines, and I believe it is a good thing to offer such a service to poor families who cannot afford it. After all, it is usually the poor families who have the largest number of children, and of course they are the ones who can least afford it. Of course, the Church is against these kinds of programs, and they fight it very strongly. Take a look at the photo at the left. This is a photo of the women who have chosen to take advantage of the free service, and they are preparing to go for the operation.
Notice anything unusual? The ladies are all laid out or sitting on the floor! Can you imagine seeing this in a hospital in a western country? The hospital administrator would be fired. The government agency sponsoring this program would be investigated, maybe even jailed for the conditions! It is hard to see in the photo, but it appears that there is cardboard on the floor, and a sheet or some kind of cloth on top of it. How sanitary is this? I am not a doctor or any kind of medical expert, so I cannot say, but from the things we have all learned since a young age, it would not seem to be the best conditions for a group of patients about to undergo surgery.
Of course, it’s a good thing that these ladies are being offered a free opportunity to control their family size. I just wonder, though, if the medical conditions present couldn’t be improved a little bit.
What do you think?