|This year, Lingkod Timog went to two Badjao villages outside the city of Zamboanga on the island of Mindanao in the
southern Philippines. In Daap, Sangali, where we went last year, we treated 1,057 Badjaos, and in Taluksangay, a new
site, we treated 1,075 Badjaos. Patients received medical, dental, and surgical care, and medications and vitamins were
distributed. Cecilia and Armando Heredia led the mission along with Irene Covarrubias Sabban, a local nurse who
coordinated the mission. Mila Wee provided excellent translation services as usual, allowing me to see the patients
much more effectively. In order to reach the Daap, Sangali site, we had to take outrigger boats to the village. Treatment
stations were established in the two room stilt houses or in the common area. It was very hot, but a sea breeze kept the
On the way to the Mission
In Daap, Sangali, I saw one woman whom I had seen last year. She was unable to walk, and had to be carried to the
examining area in the rain during our last visit. I suspected a neurologic problem, but couldn't arrive at a diagnosis. This
year, she crawled back to be examined. With the help of a rehabilitation doctor, we were able to come up with a more
precise diagnosis of a badly healed fractured hip. He felt she would do much better with a walker, and he tried to
This year's team consisted of 120 US and Philippine-based volunteers: nursing students, surgeons from local hospitals,
Philippine Navy, Marines, and police doctors, surgeons and dentists, and US military surgeons, dentists, and nurses.
Although we had hoped to return to the island of Basilan, the Red Cross kidnappings proved too much of a deterrent.
General Juancho Sabban, who provides security for Lingkod Timog, had his hands full, so we decided not to leave the
I had the opportunity to pull my first tooth, thanks to one of the military dentists.
Hopefully the terrorist situation will calm down and allow us to go to more sites next year.
Dr. Wilner pulls a tooth in Taluksangay A middle aged woman with blindness