Jan 22 2016, Friday
Today the team finished up the week of clinics with a busy day. Two clinics- in the morning we collapsed two villages (Balcon melliza and Balcon Maravilla) in a school at Balcon Maravilla. It was a busy clinic with the two villages. The local ladies kept feeding us! Rice wrapped in banana skins, salted peanuts from the island, sticky rice.
The school was generous and gave us multiple rooms – which helps with flow and crowd control.
We had 3 dentists and two doctors- so lots of help.
At noon we had lunch which was pork, rice, mixed vegetables and our favorite- mangos.
We then loaded up our bags and headed about 15 minutes down the road to Morubuan- which is a coastal fishing village- it has been there for many generations. The village sits on a 500 hectare plot of land that has been owned and passed down through a family in Iloilo. This family is now trying to develop the property – which is prime beachfront. The owner has offered the community free land to relocate higher and further from the beach – but the villagers are resisting- saying they are fishermen and this is where we need to be. It is going to be a battle as even the school is located on the property. It is hard to imagine this village gone – it is like stepping back in time….with the homes made of bamboo, storefronts, and children playing….fish drying.
The village has 2,727 residents and the main employment is fishing and making charcoal. The school is in the heart of the village and where we set up the clinic. I had a chance to speak to a teacher and the school has 296 students from grades 1 to 6. School starts at 0730 and goes to 4 pm. Some students go home for lunch which is from 11 to 1. As far as class size- the grade two class has 37 children and one teacher and the grade 5 class has 59 with one teacher. All the kids are very polite courteous, well behaved. We have found the teachers do everything, cook some meals for students, clean up, pretty much anything needed. The starting salary is 18,000 Philippine pesos or about 350 per month. The school year is from June to March with their summer break being April and May.
The average RN salary is 250 to 300 per month- with most being employed in a private clinic or hospital but there are some public health nurses. There is no formal Home Care- a future expansion area for CarePartners! Ha ha.
The nurses, dentists (3) and our two MD’s and glasses table set up in the open air pavilion with fluoride in a classroom and pharmacy off the staff lounge. Our meds shoe boxes are becoming tattered and weak from all the opening up and tearing down the pharmacy but holding together. Our biggest challenge is the numbers. With 3 dentists we are doing 90 extractions in just a morning – which is what we used to do in a busy day. It means we are going through freezing, antibiotics and pain killers very fast and sending Anabelle’s family on repeated runs to the city for supplies. They have been a tremendous help.
Mayor Chavez and the governor are asking for a team to return in Jan, 2019 – so we need to start to think about that in our schedule. We are becoming well known all over the island!
We had a busy day with big numbers at both clinics….close to 800 with fluoride.
Back to the hotel for spaghetti, chicken, salad, and homemade potato chips….and off to bed.