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PIA Press Release

NKTI medical, surgical mission serves hundreds Zambosurians

Pagadian City (5 March) -- The 35-man medical mission team of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) were at the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center here for two days to perform 27 major, 6 medium and 2 minor operations on patients who needed surgical attention as well as served some 600 out-patients with kidney problem for free to include medicines.

As early as 9:00 am of February 27, influx of people from the 26 municipalities crowded the medical center, mostly from Pagadian City. But Zambosur Medical Center chief of hospital Dr. Atilano Ocampos clarified that those who were operated were already screened and subjected to several laboratory tests since February 1-15 prior to the scheduled NKTI medical mission on February 27 and 28.

Governor Auring E. Cerilles led the opening program of the two-day activity held at the lobby of the medical center. She proudly said that Zamboanga del Sur is privileged to have Dr. Enrique T. Ona, executive director of NKTI, the Philippines' best doctor who is always there to support her health program advancements especially with the operationalization of the province's medical center. NKTI through Dr. Ona has donated 7 dialysis machines with complete accessories to ZDS medical center.

Last week's medical mission was the NKTI's second after 22 years, Dr. Ona recalled.

Ona, a true-blooded Pagadianon said: "We did it first in Aurora General Hospital in 1987." He apologized for the long over-due come back explaining that not only Zamboanga del Sur needed their help but the entire country.

Ona made his name when he won an award as an outstanding physician in the Philippines as a dedicated advocate for preventive nephrology. He is a champion in the field of vascular surgery and organ implantation that catapulted him in 1979 to The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) award in Medicine.

The NKTI medical and surgical mission was joined by Ona's classmates in anatomy. He special mentioned Dr. Godofredo Ng, president of North Carolina Medical Mission who brought in medicines from America besides performing the surgery.

Along with medical mission was an advocacy on Renal Disease Control Program (REDCOP) of the NKTI with Dr. Remedios Uriarte, program manager.

While the surgeons did the operations at the Medical Center, Uriarte and her team had a lay forum on Renal Prevention and Organ Donation at the AEC gym, Capitol Compound which was attended by some 550 multi-sectoral representatives.

The forum lasted for three hours where individuals suffering from kidney trouble, medical health officers, clinical instructors, nursing and caregiver students and local government officials attended.

In the forum, Ona emphasized that kidneys and other organs are not object of commerce. Buying and selling are not allowed in the Philippines.

Brochures were given away to all the attendees that gave tips on how to prevent renal disease as well as campaigning for organ donation.

Governor Auring and Congressman Tony Cerilles never left the forum until the all the queries were answered by the panelists.

The NKTI medical mission was a rare opportunity to happen in the province for lady governor Cerilles to thank her kababayan (Ona) for making it possible.

Congressman Cerilles, for his part, counted the mission to have tremendously helped their constituents. Our patients who for the transportation expenses alone were benefited from it (PPB/PIA9-Pagadian) [top]

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