In celebration of the Persons with Disability (PWD) Month, the Cebu Provincial Government through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) held a medical mission last July 20 at the Capitol Grounds.
The activity was in partnership with Starkey Foundation and Latter-day Saints (LDS) Wheelchairs.
The Star Key Foundation provided an after-care check-up for the beneficiaries of the hearing aids distributed last year.
The foundation distributed a total of 1, 046 hearing aides to various beneficiaries around Cebu Province.
AJ Cabardo, Star Key Foundation representative, said that repairs and changing of batteries of the hearing aids are the usual concerns of the patients.
“Today, we are just having an after-care check-up for those who already received hearing aids last year,” Cabardo added.
Mitchel Resurreccion, 41, from Carcar City said that this was the first time she attended a medical mission. She knew about the medical mission through an organization in their place.
Resurreccion has Poliomyelitis, an acute infectious disease caused by poliovirus for 39 years now. It is characterized by fever, motor paralysis and atrophy of skeletal muscles often with permanent disability and deformity. She suffered the illness when she was still 2 years old.
The representatives of the medical mission also provided medicines and vitamins for Resurreccion.
For Salvacion Esquera, 55, from Sibonga, the wheelchair assessment is an opportunity for her to finally acquire a wheelchair for his 14-year old son.
Esquera said his son was diagnosed with meningitis when he was 2 years old which affected his ability to walk and talk.
“Maglisud na gyud mi og alsa niya kay bug-at na siya, mao nang dako kayo kining tabang kung mahatagan mi og wheelchair (The wheelchair would be a great help for improving his mobility and ease the burden of carrying him around since he is heavier now)”, Esquera said.
The family of the beneficiary will need to do a 40-hour community service in their barangay before they can claim the wheelchair.
The community service aims to give the beneficiary a sense of ownership and responsibility to take good care of the item.
According to Emalinda Ortega, part of the assessment team, they expected 200 PWDs to join the said activity but more than a hundred only were able to come.
PSWDO representative, Myra Tansico said that some local government units may have been also celebrating PWD Month that is why some of them were not able to come to the medical mission.
Among the services offered for PWDs include wheelchair assessment, dental care, eye care, blood sugar level check-up, after-care check-up for hearing aids as well as provision of vitamins and supplement.
The PWDs who attended the medical mission were from the towns of Cordova, Oslob, Sibonga, Minglanilla and the cities of Mandaue, Naga, Carcar. (Cris Lanie delos Reyes with SWU interns Sharmaine Puyod, Darlene Dacles and Shannen Iriarte)