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Mindoro

Project start | 2002

   

Free missions | 509

Mindoro

A survey of the Mindoro project

Dates and facts

Project begin: 2002

Number of doctors at present: 2 German doctors, regularly supported by a German dentist

Missions: 18 voluntary missions in 2017. A total of 509 voluntary missions were performed from 2002 to the end of 2017.

Patient contacts: More than 25,000 treatments were performed annually in Mindoro.

Partner: The German Doctors are an officially registered NGO in the Philippines.

Structure: Our work was concentrated in the health center in Bagong Silang in North Manilla until the middle of 2015. The work was divided into three areas: the permanent health center, from which the mobile clinics left for the slums every weekday, and the 10-day rolling clinic, which went to the natives on the neighboring island of Mindoro. Since the overall situation in for our target group in Manila has improved and there are now more healthcare services available, we moved the emphasis of our project from Manila to Mindoro in the middle of 2015. Our volunteer German Doctors now spend their entire voluntary mission on Mindoro to be able to care for the impoverished and neglected population of Mangyans in the mountains with the rolling clinics. A team of local coworkers maintain our work in Manila on a smaller scale so that none of the really needy go without help. Above all, the important and well-functioning tuberculosis program in Manila remains active.

Mission locations: The coastal and mountainous regions on the island of Mindoro lying before Manila.

Most common health problems: infectious diseases, bronchitis, skin diseases, hypertonia, diabetes, and tuberculosis

Priorities: Basic medical treatment for the deprived indigenous population on Mindoro is of main importance. Aside from general medical care, we also offer dental services on Mindoro. Combatting tuberculosis is of utmost importance here, just like in the German Doctors’ health center in Bagong Silang. In the long run, we want to strengthen the healthcare services of all population groups on Mindoro by training native health workers.

A survey of the Mindoro project

Medical aid for impoverished natives

Mindoro is a small island located close to the Philippine capital, Manila. One million people live there, 10% of whom belong to the indigenous population of Mangyans. The live in remote areas according to traditional customs. Regular access to basic medical services carried out by our mobile units is very important to them. These people cover long distances on foot to get treatment from a doctor at places where our rolling clinics stop. The Mangyans are subsistence farmers or work as day laborors on farms. Many are desperately poor. The island of Mindoro was frequently severely damaged by typhoons in the past. Houses and huts and entire harvests were destroyed.

We concentrate on basic medical care, treatment, and prevention of tuberculosis on Mindoro. The voluntary doctors and their teams consisting of nurses, translators, and a driver drive to 40 permanent sites. A dentist sometimes accompanies the team.

A survey of the Mindoro project

Rolling or even walking clinics

The German Doctors have been serving the indigenous population of Mangyans on Mindoro since 2002. The time they spent was divided between our project site in Manila and the rolling clinics’ tours on Mindoro until 2015. Since then, the German Doctors have spent their entire mission time in the rolling clinics, each of which lasts 10 days. The Mangyan villages are hardly connected to main roads. Therefore, the German Doctors’ jeeps can often not cross the flooded roads. Then the entire team has to get out and walk. The rolling clinic turns into a walking clinic.

The doctors drive to the diverse rolling clinic sites in 2 teams. When they arrive, the medicines and equipment must first be unloaded. A treatment room consisting of a cot, table, and chairs is set up behind a curtain to protect patients from curious bystanders. Then the medical work can begin. First the patients are registered by a nurse, and their blood pressure is measured. The dates and test results are written on the patient card. A translator is always present with the doctor. Between 60 and 90 patients are seen by our voluntary doctors every day. The most common diagnoses among adults are infectious diseases. There are always many children to treat. One of our German dentists regularly accompanies the rolling clinics.

A survey of the Mindoro project

Outpatient clinic on wheels in the boondocks

The German Doctors have provided medical care for the rural, medically neglected areas in the remote mountainous interior since the very beginning of our work on Mindanao. Every Monday our teams consisting of a German doctor, a driver, an interpreter, and a pharmaceutical assistant set out to reach the populations in remote villages according to a fixed plan. The drive in a jeep packed full of medicines and equipment often proceeds along adventurous roads. Small streams, which can swell into raging rivers in the rainy season, must often be crossed. Sometimes a water buffalo has to pull the vehicle out of the mud, or the whole team with medicines and equipment has to proceed on foot.

When the team arrives in a village, many people are usually waiting for them. The tables and the pharmacy are quickly set up. In the meantime, a Philippine coworker gives a lesson to the patients on topics like hygiene, nutrition, and dental health. The entire team usually spends the night in the villagers’ simple houses during the 10-day tours.

A German dentist is also always present on one of the tours. S/he works with a simple chair out in the open to have enough light. The bravest villagers are sent to the head of the line, and everyone else watches eagerly to see if the new German dentist pulls teeth well. If s/he passes the ‘test’, the waiting line quickly grows longer with patients hoping to be freed of their toothaches.

A survey of the Mindoro project

The Mangyans on Mindoro

Our German Doctors get close contact with the people on Mindoro during the rolling clinic tours. They especially care for the indigenous Mangyans on the island. These have increasingly been displaced by the so-called lowlanders, Philippine migrants, and forced into the remote mountainous regions, which are difficult to reach. They are also neglected by the Philippine health system. Their only opportunity to get medical treatment from a doctor is usually provided by the German Doctors, who regularly go to these impoverished and remote villages. The Mangyans live under (for us) archaic-appearing, very simple conditions. Their relationship to the nature in and from which they live is often rather strictly defined, and sometimes it is complicated to find the correct way between our medical understanding and that of the Mangyans. The superficial impression of simplicity is often misleading. during an initial visit to a Mangyan village, no one probably suspects that this tribe has a long and sophisticated literary tradition.

Mindoro

Every donation helps!

15 Euros covers the monthly costs of tuberculosis treatment for a child. 200 Euros ensures outpatient tuberculosis treatment of 20 adults for 1 month. 25 Euros pays for a doctor’s visit for 8 patients and the medication they urgently need on Mindoro. 340 Euros enables 1,000 patients in remote villages to receive their urgently needed medication. 50 Euros provides medical care for 18 patients by one of our rolling clinics in remote regions. 500 Euros provides dental care for 160 patients on Mindoro. 10 Euros/month provides outpatient tuberculosis treatment for an adult. 80 Euros pays for medicaments and medical materials for 240 patients on Mindoro. 100 Euros on average is needed to cure a child of its tuberculosis.

15 Euros covers the monthly costs of tuberculosis treatment for a child.

200 Euros ensures outpatient tuberculosis treatment of 20 adults for 1 month.

25 Euros pays for a doctor’s visit for 8 patients and the medication they urgently need on Mindoro.

340 Euros enables 1,000 patients in remote villages to receive their urgently needed medication.

50 Euros provides medical care for 18 patients by one of our rolling clinics in remote regions.

500 Euros provides dental care for 160 patients on Mindoro.

10 Euros/month provides outpatient tuberculosis treatment for an adult.

80 Euros pays for medicaments and medical materials for 240 patients on Mindoro.

100 Euros on average is needed to cure a child of its tuberculosis.

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