by LOVELY A. CARILLO
Up to 80 volunteer doc-tors from various countries are in the city today for the Tzu Chi Foundation’s Medical Mission from November 4-6.
“This will be the first time that a medical mission this big will be conducted by the Tsu Chi Foundation here with up to 6,000 pa-tients targeted,” Jun He-rerra, assistant coordinator for Tzu Chi 215th Medical, Dental and Surgical Mis-sion, told Mirror in an interview.
Around 500 volunteers including doctors will be coming from Taiwan. Singapore, Manila, General Santos, Tacloban and Da-vao City. The volunteer doctors are considered experts on their fields.
The doctors will be providing dental services to include tooth filling and extraction. They will also conduct surgery for hernia, cataract, goiter, varicoceles and hydroceles for both children and adults.
Varicoceles are varicose veins found in the scrotum and the testicle which are not only painful but can result to shrinkage of the testicles.
Those who are under-going major surgery have undergone pre-screening and laboratory examination at the Davao Medical Re-search Center for free a few weeks prior to the date of surgery.
“Our beneficiaries will come from Cotabato, Com-postela Valley, Cateel and other areas in Mindanao,” he said. Up to 50 patients will be coming from Cateel were pre-screened by Dr. Jose-phine Cadayona who perso-nally went to Cateel for the checkups.
Hererra said all cataract surgeries will be conducted on November 4. They will also be giving away free eye glasses for patients during the medical mission.
“The doctors who will perform the surgeries are from Taiwan and Davao City,” he said. The doctors will also be providing Orien-tal medicine and acupunc-ture to those who want the alternative healing.
Hererra said they will only be able to accommo-date up to 160 patients for the major surgical proce-dures. However, the doctors will be able to conduct cataract operations to more patients since the doctor can perform up to 80 cataract procedures in a day. Each eye surgery can be done in just seven minutes.
The Tzu Chi Founda-tion is a non-profit organi-zation founded by Master Chen Yen in 1966 and it has provided medical and edu-cation services in Taiwan for years. The overseas chapters were established beginning 1985.
“Master Cheng believes that suffering in this world is caused by material depri-vation and spiritual poverty,” he said. We veer away from what is excessive, he added. The Tzu Chi volunteers contribute to help the poor and the needy.
Over 57 countries in five continents have received Tzu Chi’s aid since 2005.