Check-ups, Tooth pulling and Haircuts??

7 12 2017

Yes, you read that title correctly! This November we hosted a Samaritan’s Purse Canada medical mission where we were able to provide all three services and more!

On November 7, a team of ten Canadians (Ken, Dr.John, Mercedes, Erin, Stephen, Kelli, Darcy, Rhonda, Laura and Betty) arrived in Tabuk City and promptly jumped up on top of a jeepney and took off with us to the mountains!

on top of jeepOur team consisted of the ten Canadians (doctors, Nurse practitioners, nurses, an EMT, a psychologist … the list goes on!) and about 30 local church members, midwives, pastors, interpreters and over 20 members of the Philippine Army.

 

We spent the next 10 days together, bringing all sorts of care to some of the most remote places in Kalinga. One of the places we went to was a municipality called Pasil.

 

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Pasil was one of the hardest hit areas during the typhoon last year and although we had sent some relief supplies we had not yet been able to go there in person. One of the local churches helped to arrange our accommodations in the village and we had lots of patients waiting to see us. We were so happy to have the local municipal doctor and dentist join us for our mission in Pasil so that we could bring even more services!

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Working with the army was a last minute addition to the mission but I can see in hindsight that it probably was God’s plan all along. We needed a dentist to join our team ASAP and so myself and Cheryl, one of the local pastors, visited the army barracks to ask for help. The commander couldn’t have been more welcoming and he promised to send not only a dentist, but a whole group of soldiers to give haircuts in the outreach villages as well as to be our security.

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During our 10-day mission to Pasil, Lucog and Pinukpuk we were able to see over 500 patients for medical check-ups and counselling, 157 dental patients, over 200 haircuts more than 250 eye exams with free glasses, as well as many prenatal check-ups and blood tests! The team also built a much needed wall in our clinic and 2 brand new tables!

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Thank you SP Canada for sending this team to be a blessing to the people of Kalinga!

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Bugnay Stories

10 10 2017

view of Buscalan

We have been busy getting our Bugnay extension clinic up and running since January this year. Finally in June, all of the Bugnay staff moved up to the centre and began setting up, finishing decorating and organizing and visiting patients!

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The Bugnay clinic staff on their way to visit mothers in a neighbouring village.

Since we opened our doors again in June, we have performed hundreds of Primary Healthy Care check-ups, hiked into 4 different villages bringing prenatal care, and done dozens of emergency hospital transports.

Here is a story about a particularly harrowing transport.

Tribal War!  – by Aisling Lynch (Irish missionary midwife currently serving in Bugnay)

We had just finished up our prenatal day and were tidying up the clinic when we heard that tribal war was declared that afternoon between 2 nearby villages. Less than 30 minutes later an ambulance from the nearby Rural Health Unit (RHU) stops outside the clinic and an armed policeman jumps out calling for help. Inside the ambulance was a midwife friend of ours who works at the RHU. There was a young man in the ambulance who had been shot in the head and was going into shock. Their oxygen tank was broken so we swapped it with ours and as our friend was on her own, I got into the ambulance to help her.

The journey to the hospital takes about an hour and it is a very narrow, windy road through the mountains. Myself and the other midwife took turns keeping pressure on the head wound while keeping the young man’s head stable, all the while checking his pulse and blood pressure. There were no seatbelts in the ambulance so it was no easy task to do this for an hour while being thrown around the back of the ambulance every few minutes. A few times on the journey we could not find his pulse but then he opened his eyes just as we were starting CPR. I have never been so relieved as we passed that final bend in the road and saw the hospital in front of us. It was surreal to start our handover to the hospital staff with “Gunshot wound to the head” all the while with 2 fully armed police officers keeping watch.

The young man was stabilized at the local hospital but as they were not equipped for this kind of injury, he was then transferred 6 hours away to another hospital. The last I heard, he survived his injury and is undergoing treatment for a brain injury.

The journey back to the clinic was just as scary but for different reasons. The lights in the ambulance weren’t working well and then is started raining. Guess what else wasn’t working well? That’s right, the windshield wipers! The driver had to drive with his head out the window so that he could see where we were going. Fair play to the driver though, we made it safely back to the clinic!

We are so excited to have our “Waiting Home” open for mothers hiking from far flung villages to deliver with us. Although we have not had our official “Grand Opening” we have delivered 4 babies so far!

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“Itess” and her new baby girl!

We are hoping to combine the “Grand Opening” with our Christmas party so we will hope that the Dept. of Health will expedite our applications!

I will also try to post more regularly!

 





How about some numbers?

23 01 2017

Today I completed our statistics for 2016 for our clinic.

 

Number of women enrolled with us for prenatal care: 531

Number of prenatal check-ups performed : 2276 

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Number of babies born at our clinic: 214

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Transport rate for women in labor: 14% 

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Percentage of deliveries that were first-time moms: 32%

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Number of postpartum visits done: 817

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Percentage of women who had previously delivered unattended: 24%

 

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Thank you for all of your support!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Thank you for Feeding the Village of Pakak

2 12 2016
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Junior is excited about his two bags of rice!

After the typhoon in October, many people donated money for the immediate needs of some of the villages close by.

There were supposed to be emergency supplies given by the government but as these things go in the Philippines the supplies did not get to where they were needed.

There are 60 families in Pakak and only 2 of them received any emergency supplies from the government.

Because of your that donations, every person in the village received 2 large cans of rice each!

We will continue to help in this village as well as a few more surrounding ones with the support of Samaritan’s Purse.

But for now … enjoy these thankful smiles!

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Typhoon Lawin (Hawk)

27 10 2016

 

 

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Last week on Wednesday we started hearing that the typhoon headed towards the Philippines may affect us here in the middle of the Island of Luzon. Many of us were unfazed as we have numerous typhoons a year and it usually just means a cooler day with some rain. By Wednesday evening reports started coming in that the typhoon was picking up speed and Kalinga should expect a Signal number 5 (more than 200km/hour winds). I admit that I started to get a bit nervous.

By 11pm on Wednesday night the winds started ripping through the Province of Kalinga. For the next four hours we were bombarded with wind and rain with whole trees being uprooted and roof tops being torn off houses.

Our clinic was flooded on every floor by the rain coming in through every nook and cranny while the office roof was shredded by the winds.

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At our home it was only our garden and trees that were destroyed with our house and car thankfully being spared. Oh and the kids are loving playing amongst all the felled coconut trees next door.

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Driving through town the next day however, Tabuk looked like a different place. So many of the squatter homes at the side of the road were completely demolished. Almost every power line was down. Most of the beautiful tree lined roads were now covered with branches, trees trunks and electrical wires. In our beloved village of Pakak many homes were destroyed and the roof of the church was blown off.

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Tabuk is in the middle of the clean up now. Burning of branches, leaves and garbage is continuous (*cough cough) and the power company is working overtime to get electricity restored. We have heard though that it may take up to two months before we get the electricity back!

Amazingly enough there were very few casualties and for that we are thankful. So we continue to press on with clean up and caring for the women that still need to have their babies.

Oh, another crazy thing, we were bombarded with labors for the week before the typhoon with all six beds full on two occasions. We just finished discharging all our postpartum mothers on Wednesday afternoon … just before the typhoon.  Then, two days after the typhoon we started getting busy again! Could it be that a baby knows when its safe to come out?

(If anyone would like to donate money towards families who have lost their homes or would like to help the church in Pakak to repair their roof, you can click on the donate tab of this website. Be sure to designate the funds for typhoon relief and I will make sure it gets to some of those who need it.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Baby #2000 !!

30 07 2016

This month we celebrated the 2000th baby born at our clinic!

For me, this was another signpost of how God keeps providing for us at Abundant Grace of God.

The mother who delivered with us had delivered her other two babies with us as well, so this was an especially joyous occasion.

Mother and baby were given a gift of a new baby bath full of newborn clothes and supplies.

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Welcome to the world baby Eduardo! We are so happy that you made your entrance at our clinic!

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Medical Mission to the Mountains

11 06 2016

This May, we had an amazing opportunity to work together with a team from Samaritan’s Purse Canada sharing God’s love with the tribal people of Kalinga through a medical mission. The team of 13 people consisted of nurses, dental hygienists, an eyeglass team, support workers and a doctor.

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The team rides “top-load” up to the mountains!

We set up camp at the local high school in Tinglayan and for five days we offered medical check-ups, dental care and eyeglasses for all five Butbut villages. We were joined by some awesome Filipino dentists and a doctor from Manila for a few days while we were in the mountains. That was a great blessing!

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Me, Doc Elvie and Doc Jec – our wonderful Filipino dentists.

After 5 days of clinic in the mountains we attended church in Bugnay together with the village members we had been caring for during the week. We had such a fun time singing and dancing and praising the same God together!

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The Canadian team then had a short break to explore the town of Sagada and take in the caving, waterfalls and pottery. After our break we came back down the mountain to our clinic in Tabuk and did two days of outreach for our patients and neighbours.

During the 7 days of outreach we saw over 1500 people, doing medical check-ups (with free medicines), dental check-ups (with free extractions) and eyeglass clinic (giving away free eyeglasses).

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The team was awesome and as we say here in the Philippines, they were really “cowboys”. That means that they never complained when they had to sleep on hard floors with the bathroom quite a distance away, they ate all the food prepared for them although they weren’t used to eating rice three times a day, and they were just basically a pleasure to be around!

Thank you Tammy, Bernie, Nellie, Tina, Barbara, Barb, Patti, Helen, Wes, Shirley, Joanne, Maria and Conchita!!

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The Samaritan’s Purse team along with our Abundant team on our last evening together.

 

 

 

 





A Star Midwife in the Making

5 05 2016
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Midwife Gay and her husband at a recent graduation ceremony. Gay just finished her Bachelors of Science in Midwifery.

It was late one night last week when the clinic got a text asking us to pick up a laboring woman in her village. There was already a woman in labor at our clinic so I asked Gay and Lovely to ride with Achao to bring back the labor. Gay has been with us for over two years and is a wonderful midwife, ready to take on the role of supervisor. I figured it would be a good way to ease her into supervising by having her be in charge of a labor pick up. Well, about half an hour later I got a text from Gay telling me that they had arrived and the patient was pushing and the baby’s head was already visible! Now it was all up to Gay and Lovely to deliver the baby safely.

After a few more minutes of pushing a baby boy was born, but he was not breathing. Gay and Lovely followed the protocols that they have been taught to stimulate and dry the baby. The baby lay there limply – still no cry. Gay and Lovely jumped into action quickly grabbing the neonatal bag and mask from the emergency birth bag and beginning resuscitation. The mother and her family began to cry because they thought they had lost the baby. Gay and Lovely kept working on the baby, all the while praying for God’s help. Within a few minutes the baby started to cry on his own – and kept on crying. Within an hour the baby was at his mother’s breast fully recovered. Mother and baby were brought back to the clinic so that we could monitor them for at least 24 hours to make sure they were fine.

When I saw Gay the next day I told her how proud I was of the her. If she and Lovely hadn’t been there with their knowledge and skills, that baby would not be alive today. We all agreed that the life of a midwife can be the most frightening and the most rewarding job – all at the same time!





A Midwife’s Story

8 01 2016

The following story is a first-hand account from our Bugnay clinic midwife, Karen Ligab.

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Bugnay Midwife Karen

“It was almost 4:00 in the afternoon and I was talking with Achao (my boss) outside the clinic because he was getting ready to go back to the Tabuk clinic, when I noticed many people carrying someone in a hammock towards the clinic. I quickly opened the clinic for them to enter. It is a normal routine for us midwives in Bugnay to be brought people who have had an accident in the fields for First Aid or for wound care, but I was alarmed to see that this was a big emergency as they were carrying our pregnant patient who had been in and out of the hospital for pre-eclampsia. I knew her condition was bad when I saw her because her eyes were not in focus. Before they could even transfer her to the bed she began having a seizure.

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The Bugnay Clinic Delivery Room

I immediately put her on her side and asked the relatives to get my fellow midwives. The patient suddenly became limp and stopped breathing. Her husband and relative started crying and shouting her name. I started doing CPR on her and after 30 chest compressions she began breathing again. Rema and the village midwife quickly came in and started putting in an IV line and giving her oxygen and blood pressure medication because her bp was so high. We then brought her to the car to take her to the hospital. It was such a good thing that Achao was right there ready to take her. In the car on the way to the hospital, the patient started to have another seizure. We gave her an injection of magnesium sulfate, which is a medication to help prevent seizures. The whole way to the hospital we would alternate between monitoring her vital signs and praying for God’s mercy on her and her unborn child. After almost an hour on the road, that seemed like forever, we reached the hospital. At the ER the patient started having another seizure, but we felt secure that she was now safe in the hands of the hospital staff. After giving initial care to the patient, the doctor told us to bring her to the operating room because they were going to perform emergency C-section. We are very thankful to God that the patient’s life was saved and so was her baby.”

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Our sister clinic in the mountains of Bugnay is such an important part of our ministry. Due to lack of supervisory staff we have had to close operation for 2016. Please pray as we plan and prepare to re-open the clinic in 2017.

 





Partners

14 11 2015

We just finished an exciting week with a medical mission team sent by Samaritan’s Purse Canada.

The Samaritan's Purse Canada Team with our midwives on outreach.

The Samaritan’s Purse Canada Team with our midwives on outreach.

The team, consisting of doctors, nurses, dentists, an opthamologist and various supporting members, reached out to six Butbut resettlement villages around Tabuk. Hundreds of villagers had teeth filled or pulled, were fitted with glasses and received medical check-ups from the docs.

One of the best things about the way that SP Canada run their missions, is that they partner with organizations already on the ground to make sure the outreach is not only effective but to also ensure that those who need follow-up, will get it.

 

Some villagers come for doctor check-ups.

Some villagers come for doctor check-ups.

This leads me into sharing about baby Charmee.

We met Charmee and her mother at one of the village outreaches. Charmee’s mother brought her for a check-up to see if the doctor could give vitamins because she was so underweight.

Underweight is an understatement. Charmee weighed 2.7kg at birth two and a half months previously and was now 2.8kg. Charmee was severely malnourished.

The doctor called me over to talk with the mom. We discovered that she was told by someone that she shouldn’t breastfeed because she had a cyst on her breast and now her milk had dried up and she was forced to bottle feed.

Charmee’s mother showed us the bottle that she mixed in the morning and fed her throughout the day until nighttime. At 10:00am the milk in the bottle was already sour and full of ants.

I talked with the mother and asked her to come to our clinic the next day so we could teach her thoroughly how to care for her baby. She told me that she would come. Her neighbors told me that she would not come because she was stubborn.

She didn’t come in the next day … or the day after. My staff and I started to lose hope that we would ever see Charmee again.

But then yesterday I got a call from the clinic to tell me that Charmee and her mom were there!

 

Charmee and her mother at the clinic.

Charmee and her mother at the clinic.

 

I rushed back to the clinic and my staff and I began the process of teaching the mother proper infant care and feeding. (Because she couldn’t read, instead of mixing 8 scoops of formula for 8 oz of water she had only been putting 2 scoops for 8 oz of water!)

We spent the morning teaching her how to properly mix the infant formula, to make only what the baby can eat at one sitting, and to feed with a clean spoon instead of the difficult to clean bottle and nipple. Charmee drank her first 3 ounces and gave us a big smile before she nodded off to sleep for 3 hours.

 

Charmee will be coming in regularly for weight and health checks.

 

Baby Charmee

Baby Charmee

Please pray for Charmee to gain weight quickly and regain her health and strength.

 

Thank you Samaritan’s Purse for helping us to make a difference in our community!