In the aftermath of Typhoon Urduja (Kai-Tak), 52-year-old Alicia Bustillo developed rashes on both of her feet from being submerged in flood waters and mud. Caught up with the task of cleaning their home, she shrugged off her allergies until her feet became swollen and painful that walking felt like a torment.
“My feet hurts a lot and are always itchy,” she says.
On December 22, upon the request of Tzu Chi volunteers, the local government of Ormoc City send a physician, midwife, a nurse, and a nurse aide to provide free consultation and medicines for the Tzu Chi Great Love City villagers.
Bustillo is one of the beneficiaries of the medical mission. She was prescribed medicines for her swelling feet and pain killers.
Dr. Amela Cam, the district physician, also advised Bustillo to visit the health center in the coming weeks so the doctor can assess how she responds to the medicines.
“This means a lot to us. Thank you for giving us medicines,” Bustillo says.
Rodel Baguio, 48, also seizes the chance to have the wounds on his feet checked and cleaned. He has been suffering from the said wounds even before Typhoon Urduja struck. Financial difficulties, however, kept him from seeking medical help.
At the mission, he receives medicines to ease his discomfort.
“They prescribed medicines for my wounds. I am very thankful,” Baguio says.
According to Dr. Cam, most of the villagers are suffering from skin ailments, fungal infection, common colds, coughs, fever, hypertension, and arthritis.
Although she was initially on a holiday leave from work and was supposed to attend a Christmas party, Dr. Cam dropped everything when she got the call about the mission on this day.
“It’s fulfilling to be able to help especially since it is Christmas time already. We feel happy that we are able to provide medical services for free. We really need to help the people here just like what Tzu Chi is doing,” Dr. Cam says.
From their initial surveys, Tzu Chi volunteers learned that many residents sustained wounds from the calamity and from cleaning up their homes. In response, Tzu Chi purchased 30 vials of anti-tetanus shots. Dr. Cam and her team administer the shots during the mission.
“We really appreciate that you are here because if you aren’t, we wouldn’t be able to provide complete service to the residents. We lack supplies of anti-tetanus shots but you provided them, so thank you for that,” says Dr. Cam.
Meanwhile, Tzu Chi volunteers are gearing up for the cash aid distributions to be held on the weekend.
Fifteen groups with each composed of a Tzu Chi volunteer and the village’s block leaders conduct home visit to the families at the Great Love City on December 22. They personally hand the cash relief claiming stubs to the families. The visits also aim to see the progress of the cleanup in the houses. Earlier in the week, Tzu Chi volunteers encouraged the residents to clean up their homes. Afterwards, Tzu Chi promised to give cash assistance.
Although some families have yet to finish the cleanup, Tzu Chi volunteer Michael Siao says the cash distribution will push through as scheduled.
“Christmas is only a few days away and this is a very special occasion to the Filipinos. Since most of the residents here are Catholics, the cash assistance will be a much-needed Christmas gift for them,” he says.
The cash aid distributions will be held at the Tzu Chi Great Love City on December 23 and 24.
Residents of Tzu Chi’s Great Love City in Ormoc troop to the village’s multipurpose building on December 22 to have their medical conditions checked by a team of physician, midwife, nurse, and nursing aide sent by the local government. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Rodel Baguio, 48, grab the chance to have the wounds under his feet cleaned during the medical mission. He acquired the wounds after days of having his feet submerged in floodwater and mud.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Mothers bring their children to see the doctors and nurses. Many children are suffering from common colds, cough, and fever.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Children who have been suffering from common colds, cough, and fever finally get the chance to be treated.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Dr. Amela Cam, a district physician, provides consultation to the villagers of Tzu Chi Great Love City. Dr. Cam was on a holiday leave from work. However, she recognized the villagers’ need for medical attention so she set aside her own vacation to serve her people. She thanks Tzu Chi for providing medicines, such as the anti-tetanus shots, which made it possible for them to offer complete service to the villagers.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Free medicines for coughs, common colds, fever, among others are distributed to the ailing villagers.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Additional medicines from the local government are delivered to the Tzu Chi Great Love City on December 22.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Elderly villagers have their blood pressure checked for free.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Ailing children are given free medicines. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Alicia Bustillo, 52, sees the doctor for her skin infection. She has a difficult time walking since both of her feet are swollen and scaly after being submerged in flood waters and mud in the wake of Typhoon Urduja. She endures the pain as she has to continue cleaning up their home so she is grateful for the free consultation and medicines she has received on this day.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
In preparation for the cash aid distribution the following day, Tzu Chi volunteers gather the village’s block leaders to ask assistance in identifying the families in their respective areas.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Fifteen groups, with each team composed of a Tzu Chi volunteer and the block leader, conduct home visit to the families at the Great Love City to distribute cash relief claiming stubs.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Tzu Chi volunteer, guided by the block leader, visit the homes of the families to personally hand the cash relief claiming stub.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Since many residents sustained wounds from the flood and during the cleanup, Tzu Chi bought 30 vials of anti-tetanus medicines for them. The shots are administered by the local health workers. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】