By MAJ. JOSEPHINE BLAS
GUNG Public Affairs Officer
Medical professionals from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, local health workers, and the Guam Army National Guard treated more than 1,600 residents during a recent two-day medical and dental mission at two locations in Tacloban City, Philippines.
The medical mission is part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program and helps to strengthen relations between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States. The Philippines is the state partner to the Guam National Guard.
The Guam Army National Guard’s Medical Detachment brought two dentists, one nurse, and a team of medics, who were joined by doctors, dentists, and medical staff from the AFP and the local community hospital to provide dental and medical procedures and minor surgeries to the local residents.
Marasbaras National High School was the site on the first day. Although the rainy weather and slight flooding hampered some from seeking assistance, the medical team still provided treatment to more than 600 residents.
“We really appreciate all that is being done for the people of Tacloban City,” said Basilisa D. Negru, the school’s principal. “Since the calamity of the Typhoon [Haiyan] last year, we have been slowly rebuilding and are very thankful for the help that has been provided by the Guam National Guard.”
The weather cleared on day two of the mission, which was held at Northern Tacloban National High School in New Kawayan, on the other side of Tacloban City, and more than one thousand residents took advantage of the medical assistance available to them.
“These missions provide our soldiers with valuable hands-on training while working side by side with our partners from the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” said Col. Roger Kaneshiro, commander, Medical Detachment, Guam Army National Guard. “It’s very rewarding to help these residents who are still recovering from last year’s devastating typhoon.”
The State Partnership Program is a Department of Defense sponsored program administered by the National Guard Bureau, partnering Guard units from different states with selected countries for nation building, among other projects. It has existed in the Philippines since 2001 and since its inception, over 70 events have been completed.