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Daily Surprise
« on: July 10, 2007, 05:52:02 PM »
By Joe Espiritu
Columnist
Bohol Sunday Post

It was a pleasant surprise for us to see an old friend from the BIT days so early in the morning last week. He was way out of his range. Being a VM of a progressive southern town in the province, he must have something important to attend to and when asked he said he was just accompanying his wife with something to do in the Teodoro B. Galagar District Hospital .

We found out later that his wife was a doctor, an OB-Gyne or a specialist of women and childbirth. She was performing a Caesarian operation. A Caesarian operation is quite ordinary these days. It means when a woman cannot deliver a child in the normal way, she is cut up so the child could get out and sew her up again. The question is, why in the T. B. Galagar Hospital?

There are clinics in Tagbilaran as well as the Celestino Gallares equipped to handle the situation? Tibbs said the options for the patient was thus: she could be brought to one of the clinics in Tagbilaran but it would need ample funds. She could be brought to the Gallares. Operations could be less costly but she would be in a lower priority status if there were more urgent cases to handle. The middle option was to have her operated in Jagna. She could be attended to personally and operating room facilities are less costly. That was why they were there in an early morning.

That was also the time we were aware that the T. B. Galagar has acceptable OR facilities. The equipment that the Jagna district hospital had acquired is either donations or was left there by medical missions. To purchase them even if they are second hand would need money, lots of money. True, they are second hand but they are still good as new.

Every time a hospital in a developed country is modernized, they replace their present equipment with a more sophisticated version. The equipment they had been using is donated to the Third World . In our case, when a hospital in California changes their equipment, we could get them if we could pay for freight and importation charges. However, we have to be aware that there are equipment to be had.

In our case Jagna can consider herself lucky. There is a US based NGO, a foundation, which looks after our interests. This NGO had been instrumental in sending us valuable equipment and medicines. Their officers come here on medical missions, sometimes with Jagna and other Filipino expats. That is how the T. B Galagar came to possess their machines. We are not ashamed to admit that our machines are hand me downs.

They are quite modern by eastern standards. It had been said that European and Third World doctors have an advantage over their American counterparts. While most American medical practitioners rely upon technology to aid their practice European and other doctors rely upon their personal skills in diagnosis and treatment. There are more European medical doctors in Africa than Americans. The people in the famous Medicine Without Frontiers are mostly Europeans although the US does have their epidemiologists for exotic diseases to be fielded where needed.

The person, who introduced Mayor Eksam Lloren to .the eminent Forrest Malakoff had done Jagna a good deed. Mr. Malakoff – hope we spelled his name right – had done much for Jagna. It is not only the Jagna district hospital that had benefited but also the diabetics and others who had availed of donated medicine. Mr. Malakoff and his friend, a doctor with a Hellenic name did much for the town. If the wife of Tibbs was able to perform her operation here, it is because of Mayor Eksam, Mr. Malakoff and company.

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