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Second medical mission to the Philippines

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The Guam Medical Association and the St. Luke's Medical Center are wrapping up their second mission to the Philippines to help victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda.

A delegation of 25 strong arrived in Tacloban over the weekend.

It is the second mission to the supertyphoon ravaged country. In November of last year the team provided medical aid to three towns in the northern cities of Cebu. During the first mission they helped over three thousand residents in Daanbantayan, Sogod and San Remegio.

Tacloban was the hardest hit area of the Philippines from last year's supertyphoon. And according to Dr. Thomas Shieh the devastation when they arrived was worse than that they had anticipated.   Two months after the storm and residents continue to live in tents, many have taken up shelter in ships that washed ashore that crashed into seaside wood and tin homes.

As in the previous mission the team consists of doctors from different medical fields such as family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics,  a medical surgeon, a dentist, nurses along with OB/GYN.Also like the previous mission, pregnant women who had never experienced an ultrasound. According to Dr. Shieh one his patients lost her eldest son in the storm and to see her unborn child brought her hope. As for another patient, she had no idea she was having twins until now.

Supertyphoon Yolanda is the worst typhoon to ever make landfall on the planet. According to the latest estimates the storm claimed more than 6,000 lives. Close to 30,000 people were injured and close to 2,000 remain missing. It's also estimated more than 4 million Filipino residents were left homeless.

The delegation from Guam returns from inside ground hero this week, and according to Dr. Shieh these missions really effects how he looks at life and how we should live and treasure what we have and be grateful.

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