Continuing with its lifelong Mission of Medicine, Tzu Chi held a free cataract mission on October 23 and 24 at Divine Word Hospital in Tacloban City. The two-day mission treated cataract, pterygium, and squint eye among 152 patients.
Tzu Chi’s Mission of Medicine continues in the province of Leyte with its fourth cataract mission in Tacloban City.
Divine Word Hospital, a hospital run by Catholic nuns, offered their operating room for use by Tzu Chi to help address the needs of the people who are unable to afford cataract surgery. Between October 23 and 24, the clinic treated 152 patients not only in cataract but also in pterygium and squint eye.
The cataract mission has been one of yearly free medical services offered by Tzu Chi in Tacloban City since 2014.
Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) nurse Michelle Abella-Sugitan has seen firsthand the impact of Tzu Chi’s relief efforts in rebuilding the lives of the people of Eastern Visayas after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). She is proud to help Tzu Chi in its lifelong mission of bringing medical aid to the needy.
“I am a Waray (natives of the islands of Samar and Leyte) and I could really see and feel how Tzu Chi has helped my hometown and my people. I am very thankful as well for the big opportunity Tzu Chi has given me to be able to help my people,” the 48-year-old nurse from Samar shares.
Ariel Lalo, 34 years old, suffers from a cataract in his left eye and pterygium in his right. He lives in the nearby town of Tanauan and works as a sales collector. Once struggling with his degrading vision, after his free cataract surgery new hope has found its way to his life.
“Now that I had my cataract surgery, I will no longer be worried whenever I come home late from work,” tells Lalo.
TIMA doctors are monitoring his pterygium for any developments, as it’s still too small to be dealt with immediately.
Estaneslao Sia, 53 years old, has had cataract in his left eye for several years but was unaware of it until the screening by TIMA doctors on October 6. Living alone, he went to the medical mission without any companions. Tzu Chi volunteers, fortunately, assisted him through the entire process.
“Like us who have less in life, we are really grateful that Tzu Chi is there to help us. In fact, I tell my friends whenever Tzu Chi has a medical mission because I know they can help people like us,” Sia said.