Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Monday, July 4, 2016

Pacific Partnership 2016 brings health services to Ligao, Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, July 4 (PIA) -- The team of medical professionals from the USNS Mercy Hospital ship teamed up with local health officials and organizations to provide health education and services to Ligao City and its neighboring towns as part of the two-week humanitarian mission in Albay under the Pacific Partnership 2016.

Ligao City health officials led the cooperative health engagement (CHE) at the open courtyard of Ligao West Central Elementary School June 28-29 with an array of colorful booths promoting education on topics such as maternal and child health, infectious disease control, rabies awareness, HIV education, and nutrition.

"We're doing education side by side with the Philippine dietician. So, I'm learning from her, how they teach nutrition education here and I'm teaching her what we do back in America," said Lt. j.g. Shelby Naughton, registered dietician assigned to hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).

Kids presentation, such as puppet show, was used for the anti-smoking education campaign to interact with young students.

"I think the children are enjoying this and I hope that they're learning and getting something from the presentation. It's good, it's interactive; after the presentation there is a question and answer session for the kids using the puppets," said Jairus C. Perez, welfare project manager for Latter-Day Saint Charities.

This charity also donated hygiene kits and offered translators for those seeking medical screenings.

"The services we are providing are optometry, dental and family medicine. So within family medicine, we're doing adult medicine as well as pediatrics," said Lt. Leland Comer.

The engagement also included veterinary and physical therapy services.

"We'll be here to help out the entire family for anything they need; whether it be their children, their animals, themselves, or their grandparents, we can help them out," said Comer.

Student nurses from the Bicol University College of Nursing assisted potential patients where they met with specialized doctors and nurses after completing the needed paperwork.

Comer discussed how partner nations work together to accomplish a common goal.

"We have the Philippines, and we have our partner nations, which today I've physically seen not only the U.S., but Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia are out working today. We've got all of us working together to provide health care for the population of Ligao City."

 After spending the day working closely with members of the Philippines Medical Corps, Lt. Emily Croom, a Navy doctor assigned to Mercy, said she thought the methods she used when providing medical care are very similar to the Filipinos she worked with in Ligao City.

"I think it's interesting to see the different cultures. And to see that it's the same complaints I see in my clinic back in the United States, and we manage them similarly. We also knew what services the Philippine doctors could offer and we could refer them to those locations if they needed further care," Croom said.

Capt. Jenna Marie S. Bonayao, Philippine Nurse Corps, said she had previously participated in events similar to the CHE, however this was her first time working with foreign military.

"I have done this several times, but for people who have come from the different countries this is my first time. It's very fun to be working with them," said Bonayao.

After the Philippines, Pacific Partnership 2016 will proceed to Vietnam where partner nations will continue to focus on enhancing regional responsiveness in crisis.

For more information on Pacific Partnership 2016 in Albay, follow Albay-Pacific Partnership 2016 or www.facebook.com/pacificpartnership on Facebook or @PacificPartnership on Twitter.(SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571467601155/pacific-partnership-2016-brings-health-services-to-ligao-albay#sthash.Ybbxis1I.dpuf

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