MANILA — Members of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) have been making rounds in typhoon-ravaged areas to provide medical consultations, its president said Saturday.
Dr. Benito Atienza said “doctors on boat,” a volunteer mission of the PMA, dates back to 2009, after the onslaught of Tropical Storm Ondoy.
“We have served our kababayans during the Typhoon Yolanda in Leyte [in 2013], Ondoy aftermath in Marikina and other parts of Laguna (in 2009)… and now including the 3 successive storms,” Atienza said in an interview on ANC.
This year, the group's volunteer work started in Bicol after the wrath of Typhoon Quinta in Luzon and moved to places affected by typhoons Rolly, Siony, and Ulysses.
At least 15 doctors have been deployed to Cagayan Valley, he added. The region saw unprecedented flooding last week in the wake of Ulysses.
Aside from medical assistance, the mission also aims to distribute cough medicine, multivitamins for the elderly, and hygiene kits for residents. They also provide relief packs that contain clothes, canned goods, and 2 kilos of rice.
“We are offering face-to-face consultations, but we are wearing our complete PPEs, masks, and face shield. We also offer telemedicine through 'Doc PH' to everyone there who cannot access the face-to-face consultation,” he said.
Those who do not have access to face-to-face consultations could go to Doc PH on Facebook, where a variety of specialists could be consulted.
Teleconsultations have been ongoing since April 9, at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, he said. Patients could be accommodated from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The medical mission is coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard and the local police in Region 2, and with their help, the group was able to use 2 coasters and 2 rubber boats to go to typhoon-hit areas.
Donations, meanwhile, could be coursed through PMA’s compound on North Avenue in Quezon City or through the group’s Facebook page.
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