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More than 20 members across six clubs in Rotary District 7430, as well as a few individuals from across the country, have recently returned from a medical mission trip to the Phillipines.
Almost all the volunteers, with a few exceptions, left for the Philippines from San Francisco. Upon arrival, the team was welcomed by Cebu City’s own Rotary Club of Cebu Port Center.
The mission trip sought to provide cleft pallet surgery to as many as 70 children and adults; by the end, the team has conducted 61 serious surgeries on 55 children, 89 extractions, and 189 dental procedures.
Club Member Cliff Reinert was among the team of volunteers that left on Oct. 8 for Cebu City, returning on Oct. 22.
“The Rotaplast ward was run by the Rotary’s medical volunteers, who team up with local nurses from Vicente Sotto Hospital. Together, they do a fantastic job at tending to the pre-operation and post-operation patients,” said Allie Wynands, volunteer Photojournalist of the Mission. “In addition to pre-screened children, our ward volunteers will see walk-in patients as well. A comfortable ward is an important component in the hospital because it is where our children begin and end their journey with operations.”
More than 100 candidates were screened for surgery eligibility.
“It was a life changing experience giving those kids a ‘second chance at life’ in society,” said member Cliff Reinert.
By the time the Team of medical personnel and volunteers arrived, they had spent more than 20 hours in the air.
“Just walking through the streets before surgeries opened many eyes to the impact that we can make, however short our stay may be. A smile and caring words can easily go as far as the efforts on the operating tables. We are so, so fortunate to be able to offer all of our skills,” said Wynands.
The team of volunteers was honored by Governor Gwen Garcia, who invited the Rotaplast Team and their Rotary Club of Cebu Port Central hosts to an evening at the Governor’s Building. The dining area was lined on both sides by the University of Cebu Dancers. Each group represented a part of life in Cebu.
The District’s fundraiser will be held on Dec. 1, on Channel 69, from 6 to 10 p.m. The fundraiser seeks to gather items such as instruments, etc.that would be useful for future missions.