Newsletter 3-2017 Bugko, December 10 th
Dear members, dear friends and supporters of Mabuhay!
This year, Sr. Veronica and I were in Germany in September. There were different reasons and we were happy to see many of our friends and supporters. A highlight of the stay was the birthday present of my parents, a short trip to Rome, where we could talk briefly with Pope Francis. Meeting the Pope so close is a very special experience.
In October, we resumed our work in the clinic and we were eagerly awaited by our patients. It became known quickly, that "Mabuhay" was open again. In our absence, our waiting area was improved for our patients. For a long time we had been thinking about how to better protect the waiting patients from rain and sun and also how to connect our buildings. The canapy over the driveway was the solution and once again we were able to realize this project through the financing of the Organization of German Dentists and its chairman Dr. Winter.
A main focus in our work is on the children. The proportion of children in the population is relatively
high. Unfortunately, under- and malnourished children are still common. Associated with inadequate or inappropriate nutrition, we see many children with underweight, bad
teeth, urinary tract infections and respiratory infections because their general condition makes them more susceptible to infection. For years, we have been implementing a continuous
nutrition program to improve this situation. Our volunteers select the children, weigh them and, above all, educate the mothers, who often do not even notice the condition
of their children. Since last year we have been able to extend the program to the next two neighboring villages and at the moment we have nearly 80 children in this
In this context, it was wonderful that on November 8, Dr. Kristyna Dlouha from Czechoslovakia came to us as a pediatrician. In addition to the children, she also examined and treated many adults. She quickly found access to the patients. It quickly became known that we have a pediatrician here. In addition to the clinic, she also helped with work in and around the clinic. In her free time, she inquired Northern Samar and got to know the province and the people.
On November 22, Sr. Veronica and I flew to Manila, because I was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. A great honor. The ceremony could only take place in a small circle. The German Ambassador Gordon Kricke originally wanted to come to the clinic in Bugko to present the award. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, that was not possible. I was honored, but actually this award belongs to all who support our work here and help Northern Samar to become a better place.
Again, an eventful year is behind us. Many patients came to us for help. Through your help, we have been able to help so many people and do good. We also had many visitors who actively supported our work on site. Thank you / SALAMAT for all your help and support! Be it a financial support or a donation in kind. Every help arrives where it is needed.
I wish you a Merry Advent Season and a Blessed Christmas
in gratitude yours
Malipayon nga Pasko (Merry Christmas) from Bugko!
Bugko, August 17th
Dear members, dear friends and supporters of Mabuhay!
On April 17, my parents came from Bonn to Bugko. My father as an orthopaedist and my mother as his assistant treated our patients for three weeks. This year, an increasing number of orthopedic patients was recorded. Early in the morning the patients came to the clinic. Even patients from Tacloban wanted to be treated and that is almost 300 km from Bugko. there was x-rayed, findings collected, injections and dressings made and even operated on an outpatient basis. Unfortunately, we also saw many very sick patients who had to be transferred to medical facilities in Manila.
Longer waiting times were not a problem, as long as you saw the "healer" from Germany, who really performed miracles this year. It was shown again that Dr. Korth and his wife have been a team that has been working together for many years, so that every day a 100 patients could be treated.
On May 10, two young dentists, Mrs. Vera Bitterwolf from the University of Jena and Mrs. Katharina Lotter from the University Hospital of Homburg came to us to take care of the patients with various dental problems.
On May 23rd, the fighting in Marawi / Mindanao against the Maute and IS terrorists started. The army had underestimated the strength and armament of the rebels, and so the fighting continued. Philippine President Duterte handed over the command of the army to rob the terrorists of any base here in the Philippines. Many people fled and many left their lives in combat. It was the strongest battle for decades and even air raids were flown. Many of you have asked us whether we are safe here and how is the situation in Samar. It always touches us like you / you all think about us and care about our welfare. Thank God it was quiet here, and we did not notice anything about the unrest.
On July 6th, an earthquake of magnitude 6.7 shook Leyte, our neighboring island. The result was that we were 2 weeks without electricity. Fortunately, our generator worked, so that the clinic was able to work as usually. Landslides were the result, and the work on the power lines ran on high tranches, so that we still suffer from regular, almost daily power failures.
The Philippines are always haunted by natural disasters. Often we have storms in varying strength. The earthquakes come as a surprise, and throughout the year we also notice changes in the earth. Fortunately, mostly without major consequences. The earthquake in Leyte was strong and therefore caused severe damages.
On July 12th, Sr. Veronica and I took part in a training course on emergency situations. It served to adequatelyr eact on typhoons, earthquakes, landslides and emergency situations and to create an emergency relief plan. The training was organized by the diocese, so many priests and religious people took part.
On July 25, the DOH (Department of Health), the local health authority, came to review our laboratory. The DOH comes annually to check the quality, staff, standards and documentation. To our great joy nothing was criticized and we are allowed to continue the lab.
From July 30th to August 23rd, Mrs. Diep Tang, a dental student of the University of Freiburg and Mrs. Karoline Keller a student of human medicine from the University of Munich came to our clinic.. Both helped where help was needed. Ms. Keller made good clinical investigations ifor our patients and Ms. Tang took over the dental clinic and supervised the dental prophylaxis program. All Patients were perfectly teated.
We were able to finish two major projects on August 9th. Our Herbarium financed by the Rotary Clubs
Bornheim, Brühl and Siegburg and tour House for seniors/Evacuation Hall financed by Caritas Germany.
The herbarium was finished last year, but it was officially inaugurated now, since last year the typhoon had destroyed parts of the farm and the newly planted medicinal plants. At the beginning of the year the bad weather made the drying of the plants impossible and we had to move this first step to product medicines.
The new Senior Citizens' Building was completed on 31 July. Caritas Germany has financed both the building and the entire interior. The Seniors' Day Care has a dual function and can also be used as an evacuation hall in emergencies such as typhoons, earthquakes and severe storms. To the inauguration came the Bishop of Catarman Emmanuel C. Trance. D.D., the representative of Caritas Germany Crizelle Benitez, the seniors (in Bugko are registered 295) and numerous guests. Above all, the seniors sprayed with joy, because there is not yet a seniors day Care Center in the area. At the moment, an event calendar is being developed to coordinate the different activities. There are also proposals from the seniors for how the building can be supported in running costs. It was a day of joy and gratitude and there was dancing until the night.
As you can see from the report, we had many patients, visitors and events here in the Mabuhay clinic in the last months. I wish you all a nice rest of the summer.
Bugko, April 2017
Dear members, dear friends and supporters of Mabuhay!
In December, as in every year, Sister Veronica and I came to Germany to report about our project and everything that happened in 2016. The Annual General Meeting took place on December 9th, and it was as good as ever that so many people had come from near and far. The room was filled very soon and there were many things to report.
At the beginning of January we were back in Bugko and, one can say, "as every year", there was terrible weather here. The first typhoon arrived immediately after our arrival in Bugko and left, thank goodness, no damage. During the rest of the month heavy rain and wind were followed by, floods again and again, flights were cancelled and our patients had difficulties to reach our clinic. The road conditions are still very bad as soon as you leave the main road. On the evening of January 14th, and one day later as planned, Mrs. Anh Thu Vu from Duisburg and Dr. Patrik Archiudean from Paderborn arrived to give our patients dental care. They had to fly to the Tacloban airport, because a landing in Catarman was not possible. From there they went half the night with a van to us. The next day, they went straight to work. Unfortunately, too often, there was no possibility to save teeth and the forceps had to be used.
On January 30th, Dr. von Schöning came to Bugko with her son Jannik and his friend Julia Warmbier. Dr. v. Schöning is general practitioner in Moers and Jannik Schöning and Julia Warmbier are two young dentists who studied in Bonn. A great team and they took over the clinic for two weeks. In the dental station it was tried to save as many teeth as possible, but very often the forceps had to be used. One focus was on the fluoroprophylaxis program. In the clinic, Dr. von Schoning worked admirable. ECG, X-ray and the ultrasound equipment were constantly in use and the patients were glad to have a specialist. Above all, the patients with high bloodpressure were shown new ways. A great help was the new Elekrolyt laboratory equipment, which was funded with the aid of the German dentists last year. As a nurse, I was able to learn a lot and put it into practice. Dr. von Schöning was frightened by the many seriously ill patients, who unfortunately often come very late to the clinic.
On February 15th, the German Ambassador in Manila, Dr. Gordon Kricke, gave me an award from the Philippine government.
He had received it from the President of the Philippines in December, since I was in Germany at the time.
On 16 February, Katharina Jandrik from Duesseldorf and Dr. Georg Lindner with his wife Evelyn from Bad Kötzing came to Bugko. For Dr. Lindner it was the third stay with us. Dr. Lindner accompanied Mrs. Jandrik in the dental clinic and Mrs. Lindner took over the management of our canteen.
From February 26 to March 17, the two dentistry students Manuel Groß and Yannick Mözl from the University of Ulm came to us to support the dental clinic.
One focus was again the fluoride prophylaxis program for the children initiated by the German dental association.
On March 21, Niklas Brünker from Swisttal and Jonas Stobbe from Remagen came to us to give help where necessary. They helped in the farm, in the garden, did transportation service and experienced our diverse programs, such as the feeding program.
I would like to thank all the members and donors for their diverse help. We always remember how our concern here is also yours. And so I greet you with heartfelt affection and wish all of you a blessed Easter time.
Salamat (thanks) from Bugko!