While the census for circumcision is frequently soaring nationwide every summer break, the MHAM Caduceus Rescue Unit (CRU) successfully conducted a free Circumcision Operation locally known as ‘Operation Tuli’ to indigent young boys in a partner community held at the Covered Court, Barangay Calidngan, Carcar City, Cebu last April 14, 2018 in the afternoon.
Driven by its sole purpose and service to humanity since it was established, the CRU-led medical mission composed of twenty-one freshmen aspiring doctors was one of the many ‘operation tuli’ scheduled every summer season since there are no classes and the perfect time to go through the rite of passage into manhood among young males.
MHAM AVP for Administration, Mr. Francisco Bacalla; HR Director, Mr. Pedro Pañares; CESO/Campus Safety and Security Director, Mr. Jarvis Prochina; Barangay Captain, Hon. Ignacio Ochia; CRU President, Gian Vincent Sinda; and some Barangay Health Workers (BHW) in Barangay Calidngan graced and assisted the entire medical mission. To complete, former CRU members and post graduate interns, Dr. Portia Mahinay and Dr. Alpher Arellano also joined the 5-hour summer ritual to the young recipients.
After the pain of the summer ritual was over, fifty-five young boys who were now considered ‘new men’ have benefited the aforementioned mission as part of CRU’s continuing efforts to provide basic healthcare services to its recipients outside Cebu City.
Since most parents could not afford to bring their sons due to the cost of the procedure when done in a hospital or in a clinic, the free circumcision was one of the notable carried out missions in serving the indigent families with the sense of commitment of community outreach mentality among CRU freshmen volunteers.
Among the CRU members who went home with a sense of fulfillment was John Paulo S. Alanzado whose goal to become a dedicated doctor like his father has made him more determined to reach his fervor to become one. A son of a medical doctor and a dentist, this freshman student stated that he is always willing to be part of any medical mission in the future.
“My experience was fun but I was a little bit nervous because it was my first time. As a young medical practitioner, I welcome the opportunity to participate in missions like this. I could say that it was also an exciting activity because I learned a lot from our doctors and my seniors in med school”, Alanzado said in an interview.
A graduate of BS in Psychology, this 22-year old aspiring doctor aims to improve his surgical skills through the actual patients along his medical journey in MHAM. “As an aspiring doctor, I could use the experience in my future practice. It feels so great to have hands-on training in circumcision. More so, being able to practice surgical skills in a setting outside of the hospital and do the proper way of circumcising and suturing will always be overwhelming”, he added.
Having been submitted his willingness to serve with a heart as part of the CRU working team, Alanzado cited that he also joined another circumcision facilitated by the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC)-Cebu Chapter in response to the call to help others especially in exercising the life-saving services to indigent Filipino families in vulnerable situations.
“I think the CRU can become effective in terms of service to the local community by following its core values and fundamental principles as an organization. In addition to this, it can become effective by conducting trainings, seminars and workshops before doing medical missions to the partner communities”, he concluded.
Aimed to produce a highly capable medical student undertaking rescue operations in times of emergency and disaster, the MHAM CRU instills its growing members to place the heart to the community with the services they can provide.
Founded in 2009 under the supervision of MHAM Assistant Dean for Basic Sciences, Dr. Allan Librando, today, CRU’s former members who are now full-pledged physicians are still taking part of the unrelenting mission by assisting and guiding its present members to the actual recipients.
Meanwhile, another first time volunteer, Kimee Cyrill O. Auza also shared her experience during the circumcision along with other freshmen volunteers who made the humanitarian mission possible. Rooted from her childhood dream to become a doctor with a compassionate heart, KC, as she is fondly called, is a graduate of BS in Biology who always believe that nothing is impossible to a willing heart.
“My first operation tuli experience was very fulfilling especially for the fact that we brought the service closer to the people in Calidngan. Even though it was my first time, it did not hinder me in any way because we were trained several times prior to the event and we were properly guided by our seniors and the doctors who came with us”, said Auza.
Driven by her motivation to become an instrument in uplifting someone’s life by becoming a CRU member, this Vitalis student-volunteer values health education coupled with efforts to achieve health equity in the local communites.
As series of free surgical operation this summer is prevalent in promoting community-oriented projects throughout the country, the CRU-spearheaded medical mission also provided proper medicines for circumcision to the circumcised young boys aside from the sanitary and hygienic importance, bracing the much-dreaded ritual rite just to become a ‘new man’.
Keeping its legacy to bring hope to the partner communities with various services from life-saving to life-changing mission, MHAM is strongly committed to meaningful community outreach and institutionalized programs with its main thrust to put health in the hands of the people through poverty alleviating actions. (Ana Liza Abao)