Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.
We all started the day with a lot of enthusiasm for what was to be are last day of clinics in Marilao. The medical and dental teams worked extremely hard under very trying conditions with the humidity extremely high and our patient list growing hour by hour some of which we had to turn away. We saw a total of 183 medical and 137 dental patients, extracted 313 and filled 52 teeth. Respiratory tract infection was very common (65%). What was surprising was that hypertension was increasing with 11% patients diagnosed and most of them required treatment.
The medical team was not expected to see any emergencies. One young 20 year old, 9 months pregnant woman came in. She complained of blur vision for 4 days and could not even count fingers. Her BP was very high and very vague with severe swelling in her legs. She was suffering from pre-eclampsia, a condition that will kill the mother and the unborn child if untreated. The treatment is urgent management of her hypertension and delivery of the baby. What follows was nothing short of drama. The young lady lives with her mother. They had no money and was planning for a home birth. Bukang Liwayway organised for a leader to accompany her and her mother to the local district hospital. The hospital doctor recognised she was too sick for them. So she had to go to the tertiary hospital. However, there was no ambulance! So Bukang Liwayway sent another 2 leaders to go to Marilao ambulance station to ask for an ambulance. Finally an ambulance picked her up to the tertiary hospital via the express highway where she was whisked into the operating theatre for a Caesarean Section. She gave birth to a girl and mother and child were well! We were so fortunate to be there at the time to provide care for this young lady and her daughter. It was God, who planned for us to be available on the last day of our mission to care for this lady. She would certainly have died if she stayed at home to give birth.
We were very fortunate to have the help of the young New Zealand team for the last two days. They provided help in all areas which really assisted with patient flow. They even made Lamington for us as we were too busy to prepare food for our cultural party.
When the last patient was finished everybody cheered and clapped relieved that we had seen so many patients, 708 medical and dental patients across the two sites. We were all filled with a sense of joy that the mission has come to a fruition and we had helped so many people. God has blessed us by putting this team together, we had never worked together before but we all respected each other’s positions and supported each other through both the good and tough times.
It was decided to end the day with a multicultural meal and exchange of our different cultures. The main meal was cooked by the wonderful Filipino volunteers, with the dessert being Ambrosia from New Zealand and Lamingtons from Australia. We all had a lot of laughs exchanging different slangs, games and songs. The Aussies sang Waltzing Matilda to a resounding applause. The night ended with a challenge and the losing team eating BALUT the chicken embryo egg. Fortunately the Aussie team won so we were spared from having the trauma of eating the BALUT. But Van did it anyway, just for fun!