Bugko, December 2015
Dear members, dear friends and sponsors of Mabuhay!
From the 29th of August to the 14th of September Alexandra Danckworth from Paderborn and Birte Löchelt from Lübeck were here at Bugko. Mrs. Löchelt remained up to the 21st of September. Both had finished her dental medicine study in Hamburg and now wanted to help our poor population. They made dental fillings, prophylaxis and extractions with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, they had to extract a lot of teeth again, because there was no rescue. They were very interested in our Fluor-Prophylaxis-Programme. They gave instructions to our volunteers where it was necessary. Afterwards the children were supplied dental-medically.
Since the 22nd of October once a week a radiologist from Catarman comes to us and carries out ultrasonic testing. This is a big help in our diagnostics.
From 13.-19 th of September we went with our volunteers to the 1. International symposium about Moringa, here called Malungay, in Manila. It is a plant which grows here very easily and has a high nutritional value and is rich in vitamins and minerals. We use them already in our food programme and want to use it for our medical plant project. For the 750 km to Manila it took us nearly 24 hours. We learned a lot in this seminar and it was worth this long journey. Much about Moringa is still unexplored. The food factor has been known long ago, but now there are also the first studies in the treatment of cancer, treatment of wounds and the setting of diabetes. 50 countries were represented that shows that this plant is of international interest. At the same time the Asian-Pacific Economic Summit with 21 participating countries took place. The secutity measures were aggravated and the traffic was terrible, even short trips took a a very long time.
Finally our Multi-Purpose-Building is ready!!
I often told you about the progress of the work on our new building. The final works took quite a lot of time. We are obliged to the charitable help of the German Dentists Assosiation under the direction of Dr. Winter. Without his support we would not have been able to establish this new building. Also many others helped us with generous donations to furnish the rooms, but about this I will report later. Now I would like to introduce the new building, the rooms and the equipment to you.
The building has two floors. On the ground floor there are a water station, two offices, a pharmacy, a cafeteria, a small market, a stockroom, a room for the electrical system and a toilet.
In the upper floor are two consulting rooms with two dentist`s chairs, a X-ray equipment for dental use, another storage room , a patient's toilet and two other guestrooms with kitchen and livingroom.
On two sides there is a balcony.
The ground floor in detail:
The water station: Water is live! The water station was donated to us as assistance in an emergency by the Rotary Club Bonn after typhoon Haiyan. The installation was postponed, because we wanted to integrate the station into the new building. After the last big typhoons, Haiyan, Glenda and Ruby there was not enough clean drinking water available and the number of patients with stomach-intestinal illnesses has risen constantly. Here clean drinking water is not a self-evident fact and we are very grateful to the involved Rotary Clubs that the assent for this water station reached us immediately after our call for help. We now can deliver alkaline and mineral water to the population. The water comes from our own spring and is checked for purity. Two volunteers took part in a training in Tacloban and now are occupied every day with the filling of the water tanks. There is a great demand and we are glad to be able to make clean drinking water available to the poor people. In the room is also an enormous tank where we hold a lot of water in reserve.
The two offices. One for Sr. Veronica und one for the manager of the Coop shop
The pharmacy: Because more and more patients come to us and have to be supplied with drugs the idea arose to run a own pharmacy. The treatment of patients in the clinic is made easier and more people have access to our drugs. The pharmacy is managed by one of our volunteers and a pharmacist is available for assistance. It took more than three years to find a pharmacist, who is necessary to supervice the pharmacy.
Cafeteria: Many of our patients come from far and some come without breakfast, because they have a laboratory investigation. In the area there is no possibility for our patients to buy food or drinks. Therefor an own cafeteria was the best solution and our patients like it very much.
Coop market: The small store Coop will offer products at a fair and constant price, so that the population in Bugko does not have to cope with high price fluctuations in the shops. The most important consumption products are rice, sugar, soap, coffee etc. At the moment the shelves are still empty. A meeting of the members has already taken place and in the new year the market will be opened.
One stockroom on the groundfloor will be used for the storage of products of the coop shop, the other one for medical aids.
Electrical system room: Here we have the electricity distributor and the big compressor which supplies both dentist's units.
The upper floor
Two dental units, the green chair is our old unit and it still is working well. Now two dentists can work at the same time. The blue new dental unit was financed by the Rotary Club Wildeshausen. The unit is brandnew. Both rooms were equipped with an aircondition, financed by the Hilfswerk Deutscher Zahnärzte. This is very comfortable because of the tropical temperatures in the rooms.
X-ray room: her we have a dental x-ray equipment. Beside this room is an open room where we sterilize and store dental instruments.
We have two new guestrooms ...
... Kitchen and livingroom
There also toiletts for our patients on both floors
The months went by very quickly and again we have reached the end of the year.
I thank you very much for your help, also in the name of all Bugkoano. Without your donations and assistance it would not have been possible to provide and to maintain so much help.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Malipayon nga Pasko (Merry Christmas) from Bugko
Bugko, September 2015
Dear Members, Dear Friends and Sponsors of Mabuhay !
Again, there are five eventful months behind us.
In early April surprisingly visited us our Bishop Immanuel Trance accompanied by Ms. Martina Apphuhn and Mr. Daniel Apolinarski, both from Caritas International Germany.
They had dinner with us and informed themselves about the situation in Northern Samar after the severe typhoons in the last time and discussed possible projects with us.
From April 14th - 16th we had German visitors from Manila. Dr. Bodo Goerlich, president of STEAG State Power Inc. came with his wife Reinhild to visit our clinic and to learn more about our work. He and his company had spontaneously supported us after several typhoons and now he wanted to see the situation on site.
Also in April, our member Neria Klaus was with her family in Mondragon for a visit. She comes from Mondragon, but lives in Switzerland. When she visits her Philippine family she always comes to the clinic to see the progress and get new information about present procedures in our clinic.
On May 23 once again the annual pentecost-meeting took place in our diocese. It begins as a pilgrimage and the various communities of the diocese come together in one of the parishes. Each year another parish is host of the festival and welcomes the other parishes. This year the meeting took place on the campus of the university and offered enough space to the more than 8,500 participants. There was singing and dancing and there was a presentation by a guest priest from Manila on the theme: " Blessed are the poor, for they shall see the face of God". Then there was a big firework and the meeting ended with a holy mass. It was a very merry festival for old and young. Of course the Mabuhay-Family was also there.
This year my parents visited us again. My father, as an orthopedic surgeon, was eagerly awaited by many patients. The number of our patients with musculoskeletal pain is increasing almost every month, and therefore nearly 100 patients per day were not uncommon. This year they brought for the first time my nephew Florian Steffens. He marveled at the different culture in this foreign land and he helped proficient and learned a lot of our daily work.
A medical team from the Ateneo de Manila University visited us to see our hospital because they plan to send young doctors to Samar, so that they can gain experience. The group was led by the Dean of the faculty of medicine, Dr. Manuel Dayrit.
From July 29 until 14 August came dentist Dr. Carsten Hansen from Wildes-hausen with his wife Doris to us to be dentally active. They come for the third time to Bugko. They brought a lot of dental material that was urgently needed and used. Same patients arrived already at 6 clock in the morning and waited in front of the gate. Dr. Hansen and his wife are a good team and they worked hand in hand. The new dental unit, donated by the Rotary Club of Wildeshausen was used extensively. Unfortunately, there were a lot of extractions again, because many teeth could not be saved. Overall, 333 patients were treated. 469 extractions face 149 fillings. A sad statistic. The hope for improvement lies in our prevention program with a focus on dental hygiene and the use of fluorides.
Fortunately many teeth could be saved.
Thank you Dr. Hansen and Doris Hansen !
We hope you will come back soon.
On August 29 Birte Löchelt and Alexandra Danckworth, two young dentists, both have studied in Hamburg, came to Bugko to help us. About their stay I will report in the next newsletter.
Unfortunately, I must once again move the description of the new building. The construction is indeed finished, but the device is not yet complete and it's hard to imagine how it will look and how the rooms are used when they are completed.
Again, we were able to help so many people, and this is possible only by your support. Therefore again Salamat ( Thank you ) from all of us at Bugko !
With best wishes for a beautiful autumn I am your
Bugko, April 2015
Dear members, friends and supporters of Mabuhay!
The year 2014, how could it be otherwise, ended with typhoon Siniang (International Name Jangmi) and the new year started with a heavy storm, fortunately no typhoon. But heavy rains were the result and in many places there were floods and landslides. In Bugko some houses were under water so that residents could reach their houses only via bridges
From January 15th to 19th Pope Francis visited the Philippines.
The Philippines are the only Catholic country in South-East Asia with over 85 million Catholics. The Pope's visit was eagerly anticipated and months in advance preparations began. It was the desire of the Pope, to show the victims and their relatives of Typhoon Haiyan (8 November 2013) his compassion at Tacloban. More than 7,500 people had died and 4 million people were homeless.
We went with our volunteers to Tacloban. Immediately after the typhoon we gave a lot of help there and the terrible
pictures came back into mind.
The Pope was expected come to Tacloban on January 17th .
We arrived there the day before and spent the night, wrapped in yellow rain suits at the airport, because there Holy Fare should take place. We all had our pilgrim passports and were placed in the 5th quadrant. Thus, we were placed quite far forward. At night came typhoon Amang, it rained and stormed enormously, but the anticipation and excitement in waiting for the Pope was not clouded. Although the stay of the Pope (he also in a yellow raincoat) was shortened because of the bad weather, everyone was happy about his presence, his message and his sympathy for the victims and survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.
Because of the typhoon our return to Bugko was more than problematic. Many trees were fallen, there were landslides and floods. In the end we had to turn back and take another route because the road was flooded, so that we could not continue.
From February 2nd til 5th Dr. De Cassan from the Agency of the German dentists visited us. He was in the Philippines to offer some refresher courses in the fluoride application and to train new volunteers. Since his schedule was not completely full, he also came to Bugko and he was very welcome, as our volunteers have also always new questions concerning the fluorides and their application. We now carry the fluorine-prophylaxis program for several years and our efforts show the first results. The number of participants is constantly growing. We are very grateful that Dr. De Cassan once again was here, to answer our questions. We look forward to May when he gives us the next refresher course and will also train new volunteers.
From February 24th to 25th Dr. Paul Radway of International Surgical Mission (ISM), headquartered in Colorado Springs / USA visited us. Since 2007 his team comes to Bugko and performs free outpatient surgeries. This time there were very many patients who lipomas, cysts and tumors. Dr. Radway was on the first day almost 12 hours in the operating room. In addition to the operations educational work was important for many patients and Dr. Radway spent a lot of time for each individual patient. In Bugko almost 50 patients were using the occasion. At the same time over 10 days, major operations, such as hernia, thyroid, breast tumors, fibroids, gallstones, intestinal tumors and lips and palate surgery was carried out at Biri, which is one of the outlying islands of Northern Samar, There, also many of our patients were operated. For our patients, this mission is very helpful as it in the city they can not pay these operations. With us and at Biri the operations and medicines are free. Our volunteers assisted again exemplary and tirelessly in the operations.
On March 11th, the Diocese of Catarman celebrated its 40th anniversary.
On this occasion we were invited and received a certificate of appreciation for our work in the diocese from Bishop Emmanuel C. Trance.
Already in the first months we can observe an increase in our patient numbers again. On some days there are more than 100 patients. Many to travel long distances and can not even return the same day. We are watch an increasing number of tuberculosis patients and patients with liver disease.
For sure many of you are waiting to see the latest pictures of our construction. Due to the bad weather at the beginning of the year the work was delayed. Although we saw progress, but the big jump was not until the end of February. Many activities here are still pure manual work and therefore take more time. The pictures show how the construction of the multi-purpose building has evolved. We are very grateful to the agency of the German Dentists under the direction of Dr. Winter that allows us to establish this building. It will be very helpful in our programs. In my next newsletter, I will present the individual rooms and describe in more detail.
We now have summer here at Bugko and on our farm everything is growing fine.. We are expecting a good harvest again. Like last year we have pumpkin, watermelon, beans, eggplant, peanuts and some local vegetables planted.
I thank you very much for your help. We note again and again that our concern is also yours. I greet you in a warm closeness
and wish everyone a Happy Easter and a blessed Easter season.
Salamat (Thank you) from Bugko!