PHILIPPINES: Salesian Missionaries Hold Medical Clinic Providing Free Medical Care for More Than 500 People
(MissionNewswire) More than 500 people were able to access free medical care at a medical clinic hosted by Salesian missionaries from Don Bosco Technical-Vocational Education and Training Center (Don Bosco TVET) in Tondo, a district located in Manila, the Philippines. Salesian missionaries held the medical clinic in collaboration with Rotary Chinatown-Manila and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. The clinic was staffed by expert physicians, optometrists, dentists, nurses and radiologists from Justice Jose Abad Santos Mother and Child Hospital.
Many poor residents in the community are unable to access regular health care and so the medical clinic was set up to provide much needed medical services including wellness exams for men and women, pediatric exams, dental and eye care, x-rays and electrocardiograms. Medicine was also made available to those who needed it. In addition, the medical clinic taught children about proper hand washing and dental care. Coloring books were also provided to the youth during the event.
“The work we do in the Philippines and in programs around the globe goes beyond education,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “We aim to serve the whole person by making sure that basic needs like health and nutrition are met in addition to other social service needs. This medical clinic is the perfect example of how Salesian missionaries work with other organizations in their local communities to provide for those most in need.”
The medial clinic received support from student volunteers from Don Bosco TVET. Volunteers provided the tents where the clinic was held, assisted patients and spent time with young children who were waiting for their parents. The Salesian parish in Tondo serves close to 100,000 parishioners many of whom are in need of nutrition, health care and other supportive services. Don Bosco TVET provides education services within this local community, reaching nearly 5,000 youth who attend the two elementary schools and one high school. Salesian missionaries also support the community through technical and vocational training, a hostel and youth center.
More than one quarter of the population of the Philippines lives in poverty, according to UNICEF. Poverty is most severe and widespread in rural areas where 80 percent of the population—close to 88 million people—make their home. The poorest Filipinos are indigenous populations, small-scale farmers who cultivate land received through agrarian reform, landless workers and fishermen. In addition, poverty rates are higher for women than men.
Illiteracy and high levels of unemployment contribute to the elevated poverty rate. With more than 11 million out-of-school youth in the country and drop-out rates doubling as children reach secondary school, access to education becomes a critical step in breaking the cycle of poverty.
Throughout the Philippines, Salesian missionaries offer a variety of educational and social development programs for youth, many with an emphasis on recreation and sports activities. The goal is to provide the opportunities necessary to gain an education and skills training to break the cycle of poverty and retain long-term employment.
UNICEF – Philippines
Salesian Missions – Philippines