Relieving the suffering of impoverished people is one of the goals of Tzu Chi Foundation. For years, it has brought free medical services to those in need of care but have no means to do so. To make sure that patients receive the proper care, the foundation provides good facilities and compassionate doctors and staff.
Following her cataract surgery two weeks ago, 72-year-old Ofelia Preclaro went to the Tzu Chi Eye Center in Sta. Mesa, Manila for a post-operation checkup. Her left eye is finally clear of the blinding condition, while her right eye is being monitored for the budding cataract. She expressed her happiness with her experience with the foundation’s treatment.
“Tzu Chi Foundation’s service is really good and the doctors are kind and excellent. They also provide food for the patients while waiting in line,” shares Preclaro.
A widow of six, Preclaro has been reluctant to seek help from her children, all of whom having their own families to nurture. Such reluctance led to her vision degrading from cataract over the years. Then, her younger sister Delia—who underwent cataract surgery courtesy of Tzu Chi in the past—shared the good news.
Under the care of Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) ophthalmologist Susan Lim, Preclaro underwent surgery at Cardinal Santos Medical Center on October 13. She has been sharing the good news to her neighbors ever since.
A total of 113 old and 56 new eye patients gathered at the eye center on October 27 for Tzu Chi’s weekly general eye checkup.
Making friends while waiting
Poor vision has affected 11-year-old Shane Mae Mendoza’s studies. At the recommendation of a volunteer during the September 24 medical mission at Pedro Guevara Elementary School, she and her mother went to the clinic to receive free reading glasses.
Shane joined eight more children, each with their respective vision problems, in the playroom while waiting for her turn. She bonded with the children right away, sharing toys and playing together.
“The clinic looks nice and also has a playground for children,” says Mendoza, who received her eyeglasses later.
The playroom is made for children waiting for their parents while in their checkup. This way, their parents won’t have to worry about their children while in the eye center. For added comfort for the patients, the entire clinic is air-conditioned.
But it’s not only the patients who are happy with the conveniences of the new eye center. TIMA ophthalmologist Catherine Macaraig lauds the ease of conducting the checkups with the added amenities.
“We’re very happy that we have this nice place to hold our clinic because the patients see that we are operating very smoothly because of the good facilities. Having these facilities is very important to us so we can treat more people and share with more people the love that comes from the Tzu Chi community,” says Macaraig.
Patients for the free eye consultation at the Eye Center in Tzu Chi Great Love Campus in Sta. Mesa, Manila line up as early as 6 o’clock in the morning. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
After enjoying a warm champorado for breakfast provided by the foundation, patients fall in line at the lavatory to wash their used bowls and spoons.【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
An elderly sits on a comfortable chair while a nurse writes down the result of her visual test. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
A nurse uses ophthalmic ultrasound to further determine the problem in the patient’s eye.【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Pedia eye patient enjoy bonding with each other and playing at the playroom in the Eye Center while waiting for their doctor to come.【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Children in Tzu Chi thank you sign at the waiting area outside the checkup room.【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Tzu Chi International Medical Association Ophthalmologist Dr. Catherine Macaraig checks Shane Mendoza’s visual capacity to determine her eye grade. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
A Tzu Chi volunteer puts the new eye glasses into Shane Mendoza’s eyes. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】