The Philippines archipelago, rich in mineral resources, lies on the Pacific Ocean and is home to many impoverished people who are medically underserved. Dr. Tso has done several mission trips to the Philippines. She tells of her most recent trip, in June 2006:
My family joined a Washington-based physicians group called Filipino/American Physicians of Washington. There were a dozen physicians and seven young adults who provided medical services over six days in two rural towns in the province of Laguna, about 320 miles southwest of metropolitan Manila. One group of physicians provided medical consultation while the other group performed surgeries. A total of 1700 patients were seen and 45 surgeries were performed. Local dentists provided dental services.
These free clinics are very much welcomed by the natives because they can’t afford to pay physician fees or buy medications. The make-shift medical facility, which was in a town hall, was filled with people as early as 7 am.
The team treated children and adults for common colds, ear infections, scabies, skin sores, allergies, and parasitic infestations. There was an 11-month old child with hydrocephalus and seizures. His mother couldn’t afford medications and the waiting period for surgery was quite long. We were able to personally refer the patient to a hospital in Manila for immediate care.
We also saw a 13-year old boy with leukemia and severe anemia. The family was too poor to afford on-going medical care, so our team took the child and his family to a children’s medical center in Manila, where he underwent the necessary tests and started his chemotherapy.
It is a joy to be able to minister to people in need, extend medical help and share Jesus through our actions.