NSVI returned to the Philippines for another 8-day mission spanning February 21-28, 2017. Seven “guest” vasectomists donated their time, lost income, and international airfare; PLUS they each donated $4000 to NSVI to help us cover vasectomy expenses and room, board, and domestic transportation for the group.
The doctors above were supported by the staff below. They ALSO donated their time, lost income, and air transportation, PLUS $1250 to cover their room, board, and domestic transportation.
So we had representatives of 3 countries.
Cebu was once again our home base. But on Feb 22, five of us (Abaño, Chang, Buenafe, Suarez, and Stein) carried out a one-day mission in Manila to evaluate Mary Johnston Hospital as a prospective site for future missions, leaving the others behind in Cebu, slaving away at Sacred Heart Hospital while we got all the glory.
We expected 400 vasectomies during the mission. With the expert help of NSVI Domestic Team vasectomist Joseph “Butz” Alesna, we actually performed 393 vasectomies over the 7 days of the mission, 25 in Manila and 368 in and around Cebu City. And this was after NSVI President Ramon Suarez had already performed 5 during the BMA Medical Mission in Badian a week earlier.
Our schedule was well defined:
PREPARATION: Months before the international team arrives, our local Domestic Team has the toughest job: educating men about the benefits of vasectomy and about the nature of the procedure. Frohnie and Edgar Cagalitan give presentations to community health workers …
… they go to clinics …
… they educate inmates at jails where conjugal visits are permitted …
… and they bring the message of NSV and the upcoming NSVI mission to communities all over the province of Cebu …
Without them, there would be no NSVI mission because there would be no patients.
DAY 1 (Tuesday Feb 21): We started right in at Sacred Heart Hospital, this year in the suite normally used for dialysis: well lit, great A/C, and room for 6 tables!
That evening, Ramon and Doug flew to Manila with Myrna, Jun, and Frohnie, then transited to Mary Johnson Hospital, greeted by banners, a marquis, and …
… comfortable accommodations in one of the ward rooms, complete with the already-arrived-earlier Jay Buenafe.
Day 2 (Wednesday Feb 22) – Vasectomies at Mary Johnston in Manila. Never more enthusiastic medical and support staffs … never more appreciative patients.
We formed a Manila Domestic Team and made arrangements to return in 2018.
Day 3 (Thursday Feb 23): Back in Cebu – Sacred Heart Hospital and the Provincial Jail (to help make conjugal visits more care-free) …
A lovely evening dinner hosted by Southwestern University – PHINMA President Dr. Chito Salazar and the Administration of SWU-PHINMA (PHINMA refers to PHilippine INvestment MAnagement Consultants, a widely diverse corporate conglomerate with major investments in the education sector).
Day 4 (Friday Feb 23): Many cases at SHH, followed by a feast of SE Asian food at a nearby mall.
Day 5 (Saturday Feb 24): Seminar on Reproductive Health for Medical Students, a tribute to Dr. Aznar, and a return to the procedure room with inspired students:
Day 6 (Sunday Feb 25): R&R and culinary feast aboard a yacht commissioned for the day by supporters supreme Drs. Alex and Isabel Limkakeng, departing from and returning to their waterfront home on Mactan Island. The yacht was built by a colorful Aussie captain whose love of the Philippines is infectious.
Day 7 (Monday Feb 25): NSVs at the Provincial Hospital in Danao and at the Lapu-Lapu Jail on Mactan Island (2 Teams). At the jail, we performed vasectomies in the chapel, of all places, then had a fun time displaying our other strengths on the jail’s athletic equipment.
On return to SHH, we finished a few more cases and gave tribute to one or our most energetic community educators/recruiters, Rolando “Junjun” Magana …
… Without the help of these local community facilitators inspired and coordinated by Frohnie Cagalitan, the local population would be unaware of the benefits of vasectomy for couples and their children.
Day 8 (Tuesday Feb 28): Team 1 at SHH; Team 2 back by demand to the Lapu-Lapu Jail. Then off to our Farewell Dinner and presentation of award certificates at the Golden Cowrie Restaurant near the airport. First, before leaving the Mandarin Hotel big thanks to our #1 educator/recruiter/all-around-helper in Cebu Gaga Rex Dimana …
… and to Alison Grieves who chose to spend the evening at the hotel to “recover”.
Myrna was celebrated for 27 years of service to Sacred Heart Hospital.
Then Certificate Awards to the whole team by CEO and Mission Director Engineer Bob Kiamco …
Jay Buenafe of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
John “JB” Abaño of Seattle, Washington, USA.
Nick Demediuk of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Tim Zola of Olympia, Washington, USA.
Jack Chang of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Sarah Demediuk of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Nat Sheehan of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Chirag Patel of Sacramento, California, USA.
Rosemyrn Danuco or Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines.
Lucy Demediuk of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
And of course, along with Dr. Alesna, the heart and soul of NSVI in the Philippines …
Frohnie Cagalitan (and her supportive husband Edgar) of Cebu City and …
… Myrna Danuco (and her ever-helpful husband Jun) of Cebu City. So while their wives are the stars, they help them shine. We salute Edgar and Jun …
NSVI will be back in 2018!