MANILA –Thousands of Manileños in Tondo, Manila have benefited once more from the 6th part of the series of Medical Mission dubbed as “TIKALUSUGAN” provided by Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in partnership with the Manila City government.
“Malaking bagay ito para sa akin. Mahirap ang walang pambili. Kaya ng nabalitaan ko ito, alas singko pa lang madaling raw pumila na ako (This is a very big help to me. It is so hard when you cannot afford to buy anything. That is why when i was informed about, at 5:00 am, I already lined-up,” said 75-year-old Emelita dela Cruz, a widow and alone in her old age when asked how thankful she was from the help she got out of the medical mission.
In an interview, with this reporter, Dela Cruz said that her husband died of cancer in 1997 and was left with 2 siblings. However, both of her children already passed away and since then, she said that her day-to-day survival were just made possible from help and good hearts from former neighbors and friends, who sometimes give her something to eat and offer a portion of their house where she can sleep for a day.
She said through the medical mission, she was able to avail a check-up on her hypertension from the volunteer doctors and get vitamin supplements aside from high blood medications that she need in her old age.
She was also thankful as she was also able to receive a reading glass that will help her to have clear vision.
“Nabigyan nila ako ng gamot at vitamins. Tapos po binigyan din ako ng referral for follow-up check-up sa Tondo General Hospital,” said 67-year-old Melencio de Guzman as he sought consultation to medical doctors for the pain he began noticing in the portion of his heart.
De Guzman said that for poor people like them, such medical mission could mean a lot.
Aside from free check-ups, x-rays,free ECG test, free blood sugar test, blood typing, dental check up and tooth extraction, some indigent residents having difficulty to walk, read/see and breath were also given free canes, wheelchairs. eye glasses, and nebulizer.
Felipa Bayot, a 95-year old woman, who was having a difficulty in walking and has bruises in lower portion of her leg, was one of the recipients of the wheelchairs.
When the wheelchair was handed to her, Bayot became teary-eyed upon receiving the wheelchair and can’t utter any words because of the joy she felt as the wheelchair was directly given to her by Yesim Baktir,TIKA country director.
Her son in law, Eddie Villorta , said that the wheelchair will be a big help for the ease of movement of the old woman.
“Dati nakakapaglakad pa siya. Ngayon sa sobrang tanda niya nahihirapan na siyang maglakad. Ngayon medyo madali na siyang makakakilos. (Before she still can walk. But now because of her old age, she was experiencing difficulty in walking. Now she can easily move),” Villorta said, adding that they were thankful that his mother-in- law was also recipient of free checked-up on her diabetes and high blood, through the medical mission.
In her message delivered Yesim Baktir, TIKA country director said the medical mission primarily aims to create stronger ties of Turkish government with the Philippines.
“Its our pleasure (to help). We feel very priveledge to give to the public and everything here comes from the Turkish government from Turkish people just to keep the friendship ties (with the Philippines) stronger,” Baktir said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency.
She saidTIKA have been doing projects in the Philippines for the Filipino people for the past years, adding that they find the people here warm in receiving the help they had provided.
“We see how the people are welcoming us warmly. You can even see, they are not acting. It comes from their hearts. So, that’s the thing we aim for really–friendship between our countries,” she said.
As proof of the effort in building ties with the country, she said that they have done projects related to education, agriculture, livleihood assistance and relief assistance in times of great need.
Meanwhile, before the Marawi siege took place, TIKA also extended help in Marawi by providing medical equipment and machines in Amai Pakpak Hospital.
She said that part of their plan was to also participate in the rebuilding efforts in Marawi by implementing projects such as health centers and schools.
They plan to also open up a kitchen program for children in Marawi wherein they will include fruits for the children.
“We are aiming to feed 5,000 kids per day and not only with fish and potato or dried (food) materials, we will have fruits. So what we are trying to do is if you (referring to recipients) get good foods it also feeds your (their) brain. So it will be healthy children, healthy brains, and healthy society,” she added.
The medical mission was participated also by different volunteer doctors from Dr. Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Jose Fabella Hospital, and Manila Health Department through the efforts of vice mayor Honey Lacuña.
DOH Dental Health buses.
A total of six medical missions were made by TIKA in areas of the six districts of Manila.
All of which extended the same kinds of medical assistance to which a lot of indigents in Manila had been thankful about.