By Alex P. Vidal
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The Province of Tarlac in the Philippines became the recent beneficiary of the philanthropic mission of the Canadian Medical Mission Society (CMMS) led by 2010 Maharlika awardee Dr. Dan Vargas.
CMMS conducted free medical, pediatric, dental, hearing impaires and surgical services to more than 700 Tarlaquenos starting on February 6, Vargas said in exclusive interview.
“The mission was led by Canadian doctors, dentists, surgeons, nurses and volunteers, together with the local health providers,” Vargas said.
Services offered during the week-long activity include medical consultations to patients and pediatric checkup, minor surgery, tooth extraction and audiology checkup.
Also, thyroid surgery and minor surgeries like lump removal was conducted and after which, free medicines were distributed to all beneficiaries.
Vargas said CMMS spends from $15,000 to $20,000 per medical mission excluding their round-trip air fares. “We buy medicines, surgical supplies and equipment,” he said.
The team also provided hearing aides for poor patients who could not afford to see a doctor, added Vargas, whose group will decide in summer whether to proceed with their next medical mission in Benguet Province next year.
They also have pending requests to hold medical missions in Gen. Santos City, Pangasinan, and Laguna.
Vargas added: “We are doing this mission to Tarlaquenos who cannot afford these kinds of services. This is also our way of promoting the well-being and improving the quality of life of indigent patients by providing free medical, surgical and dental services,” Vargas added.
The CMMS is a registered non-profit Society with a main purpose of undertaking medical missions to Third World countries to promote the well-being and improve the quality of life of indigent patients by providing free medical, surgical and dental services.
Vargas has been joining medical missions since 2003, and has organized the Canadian Medical Mission Society where most of the 32 members are family members and close friends.
Tarlac is a developing country in dire need of help. Last year, the CMMS team dedicated two weeks of medical, dental and surgical mission to the provinces of Ilocos Sur and Tarlac, where total of 1,085 patients were treated, some of whom came from outlying areas with no access to transportation services.
The mission also provided hearing tests, hearing aids and appropriate medications to patients who were unable to afford them.