The Philippine Island of Negros was identified to be a medically underserved region and ISHI was welcomed to conduct a surgical mission there, with the collaboration of Hon. Governor Alfredo Maranon and local governmental officials. This was ISHI's first surgical mission to Asia and we were hosted by two hospitals, one in Escalante City and the other in Sagay City.
The main industry in this region is sugarcane production, hence many of our patients were either the factory workers, or their family members. As we learned, healthcare in the Philippines is fee for service and surgical care was unaffordable for many of these workers, whose wages are about a dollar a day.
ISHI volunteers brought all necessary medical supplies and medications for use in the operating rooms and recovery areas. Anesthetics, IV fluids and narcotic pain medications were purchased locally with the aid of the hospital officials. Three cardiac moniters were brought for use during the mission and brought back to the US afterwards.
All unused medications and supplies were donated to the hospitals for their use. ATLS manuals which were donated by the American College of Surgeons were also distributed to the hospitals. Two lectures were given, one at each hospital, on "Assessment of the Trauma patient". The lectures were very well attended- both by hospital staff and nursing students.
About 140 operations were completed during our mission (80 in Escalante and 50 in Sagay). Our patients were all from the local areas and had responded positively to the extensive publicity that our team would be arriving to provide free surgeries. Surgeries provided included hernia repairs, soft tissue mass excisions, hysterectomies, colostomy reversal and treatment of conditions such as breast cancer, undescended testicle and many others. Patients stayed free of charge in the hospital perioperatively, and all of their medications were provided to them by ISHI.