On July 7th, 2019, the Jungto Medical Teams held a ceremony to commemorate the launching of volunteer medical service in the Philippines. The advance team of the medical volunteers carried out medical services in Mindanao, the Philippines for 28 days from July 20th until August 16th. The main team conducted medical services for 8 days from August 3rd until August 10th. A total of 14 medical volunteers consisting of medical doctors, dentists, oriental medicine doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and dental hygienists worked from early morning until late in the evening to provide medical, oriental medicine, and dental treatments to a total of 900 patients. They also provided medicine and hygiene education, handing out products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap. They tried to do as much as possible during the limited amount of time they had in Mindanao.

The three volunteers in the advance party were dispatched to Mindanao 2 weeks prior to the main party in order to prepare. They visited the assigned villages to check which villages needed the most medical assistance and to make sure that the patients wouldn’t face any obstacles  in coming to receive medical care. Then, they set up furniture, medicine, and medical equipment for the effective medical treatment of the patients.

The first place that the Jungto Society medical team visited, based on the recommendation of the county office, was a village called Cangnahian.  Most of the patients suffered from various illnesses such as upper respiratory infection, skin diseases, gastrointestinal disorder, musculoskeletal disease, and dermatosiophobia. There were many sick infants. Since it was the first day, there were some confusion during the reception and chart creation process, but the medical team got organized quickly and managed to safely treat the the patients who came that day. 

On the second day, the team treated those in Durian, San Fernando. Many of the ailments they saw were similar to those they had treated in the first village, but there were even more patients who were poor and had tumors, as well as external wounds. Thanks to the cooperation the local army and health center, many residents visited the treatment center. Sadly, however, some of them had to be turned away since the medical team did not have enough time to treat all of them. The Jungto Society Medical Team provided health and medical education for children with videos, and children were able to learn how to wash their hands properly using the soaps and towels that were provided by the medical team.

On the third day, the Jungto Society medical team visited Capinoan, which was selected for being the village with the second highest malnutrition rate. The living conditions of the village looked better than expected since the poorest patients in most in need of help did not come down from the mountains for treatment. On the third day, treatment of the patients went smoothly, despite having to provide medical care to as many as 350 patients.    

On the fourth day, the medical team visited Alawon. The villagers were healthier in comparison with those in other villages.

On the fifth day, the medical team provided medical services to local staff members at the JTS Philippines Center. Their health was in much worse condition than that of the other patients the medical team had treated during their time in Mindanao. As it was the last day of medical service in Philippines, the members of the medical team were physically and mentally exhausted. However, they said it was very rewarding to be able to provide comprehensive dental treatment to  the local JTS volunteers.


Date
Service AreaTreated PatientsComments
8/5Cabalangsan Canangian205
8/6
San Fernando Durian
212
8/7Cabalangsan Cabinonon350
8/8Alawon80
8/9JTS Philippines Center30JTS Philippines
Korean
Staff & Family
Local Staff & Family
Total877
  • Miscellaneous
  • Provided fluoride treatment to 100 children
  • Provided 300 posters and 1000 brochures on child health education to 2 health centers
  • Provided health education and 150 sets of soaps and towels in San Fernando
  • Delivered 25 sets of glucose monitoring systems and 10,000 units of anthelmintics to the health center
  • Delivered 2000 toothbrushes delivered to JTS Philippines

The members of the Jungto Society medical team expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to have such a rewarding and meaningful experience through volunteer medical service. However, they also felt the limitations of their one-time volunteer medical service in bringing fundamental changes in the lives of the residents. They suggested devising ways for long-term ways to improve the health of the residents by providing nutritional support and health education as part of JTS’s Philippines aid project. It was impressive to witness the teamwork of the volunteers, as well as how considerate and encouraging they were to each other during the extremely busy five days, which each began early in the morning and ended late in the evening. Many people worked hard to make the week-long program possible, including those who donated medicine and goods, those who provided transportation, the local municipal office, and health center workers.  The Jungto Society Medical Team was able to successfully complete their medical services in Mindanao thanks to everyone’s efforts.