1,055 indigents will benefit from the Philippine Gift of Life Surgical Mission

PRESS RELEASE:

Some 1,055 indigent Bohol residents will benefit from free surgery through the Philippine Gift of Life. As part of the “Operation Klaro: Bohol Gift of Sight” project, the eye surgery mission is scheduled for June 22-30, 2022 at Borjal Family Hospital in Tagbilaran City. Patient screening and ocular biometrics were performed on April 20 and May 20, respectively. A dozen volunteer doctors and 9 nurses from Manila will arrive on June 21 for the eye surgery mission.

BRIEF HISTORY
The Philippine Gift of Life (PGL) Foundation was established as a
in 1999 as a pioneer initiative in the Philippines
to help children with heart disease from poor families renew themselves
lease of life thanks to the miracle corrective surgery.
From its simple beginnings carrying out its first cardiac surgery mission in the early 2000s, until
reach more patients the PGL has diversified into other medical and surgical missions
for cataracts and other eye problems, myoma, cysts, tumors, cleft lip and palate, hernia,
thyroid, goiter and other surgically correctable medical abnormalities.
With its office strategically located in the heart of the provincial capital Tagbilaran City, the PGL
the foundation stubbornly pursues its health goals by carrying out medical mission sorties, food
distribution assistance and disaster response activities in rural towns in the province of
Bohol.
The foundation’s multi-specialty medico-surgical missions are carried out by
surgeons, cardiologists, ophthalmologists, physicians and other experienced physicians
professionals who are top experts in their respective medical fields. Our partner specialists
include top-notch physician-surgeons led by Dr. Florante Lomibao of the Philippine Heart
Center (PHC); Dr. Federico Malubay of the International Academy of Medical Specialists
(IAMS); and the international community, Dr. Renato Rivera of Operation Giving
Back Bohol Surgical Team based in Illinois (USA); Dr. Joseph Paul Clawson of JP Clawson
Medical Mission Foundation based in Washington, USA; Dr. Jeffrey Levenson of
Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International; Dr Rifat Latifi – President of Surgery at the
Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, and many other renowned specialists in
in the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and Europe.
We have also established partnerships with several leading institutions and foundations around the world
including the Heart Foundation of the Philippines, Philippine Medical Association, Home-
Reach Foundation, Inc., (based in New York, USA); Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) –
Bohol Chapter, Bohol Medical Society, Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) – Bohol Chapter
and the Rotary Club of Tagbilaran.
To date, through the multi-specialized medical-surgical missions and the various communities
outreach programs, the PGL foundation has helped more than 50,000 patients, more than 200,000
people in the community…and it matters.
OCULAR SURGICAL MISSION
Eye problems are one of the main ailments in the Philippines, and cataracts are number one
predominant disease that affects the eyes. This common eye condition occurs when a
a cloudy area forms in the lens instead of being clear. The majority of cataracts are
caused by normal changes that occur in the eyes as people age.
In our younger years, the lens of our eyes is normally clear. But at the age of 40, the
proteins in the lens of our eyes begin to break down and clump together, leading to the
formation of a cloudy area or cataract in the lens. People with cataracts have a disorder
or blurred vision, increased difficulty seeing at night, developing sensitivity to light and
glare. They usually experience frequent prescription changes for eyeglasses or contact lenses, need
brighter light for reading and other activities, and experience seeing “halos” around lights. So
so much so that cataracts are considered one of the main precursors of injuries, especially
among the elderly who suffer from floor slips and falls from high surfaces, driving
collisions and other accidents related to visual impairment.
In the province of Bohol alone, thousands of patients suffer from cataracts, especially in
the elderly population, although there are also a few cases of cataracts affecting the middle-
age groups and even young children as in the case of congenital cataract.
Advances in the medico-surgical field are now available to remedy this incipient cataract
problem in the population. But the cost of each cataract surgery which is around P50,000 is
extremely large and simply out of reach for the thousands of poor cataract patients who
come mostly from below the poverty line and from low-income families. For them the
situation seems hopeless.
It is for this very deep problem that the Philippine Gift of Life Foundation wants to find a
far-reaching solution for. Thus, this mission of free cataracts imposed itself on the PGL
visionary program, to help alleviate the plight of thousands of people suffering from cataracts in the
the general population by giving them access to free life-changing corrective eye surgeries.
For the past normal years, the Philippine Gift of Life has performed massive cataracts free of charge
missions every year for the past two decades, benefiting more than 10,000 ophthalmic patients. And then the
a covid pandemic has occurred and caused a huge backlog of cataract patients
requiring surgery, due to government restrictions and protocols.
Now, with restrictions easing and the downward slope of the pandemic improving here in the province of
Bohol, PGL strongly believes that this is the most opportune time to organize the cataract release mission
dubbed “Operation Klaro – Bohol Gift of Sight” which is scheduled for June 22-30, 2022 at
Borja Family Hospital along Gallares Street in the city of Tagbilaran, the capital of Bohol
Province. It’s time to offer hope and vision to these unfortunate cataract patients left behind
in the wake of the pandemic.
This upcoming gargantuan cataract surgery mission, which targets approximately 1,000 patients,
be performed by top Filipino experts in the field of ophthalmology and surgery
led by Dr. Federico Malubay of the International Academy of Medical Specialists (IAMS)
who will lead a medical delegation from Manila to come here to Bohol for these life-
inspiring surgeries.

Christine E. Phillips