Dr. Shu participated in the 2016 Philippines Vasectomy Mission from Tuesday, February 23 through Tuesday, March 1. This was his third time participating in a NVSI international mission project.
For the 2016 mission, physicians and support staff arrived from three continents representing more countries of origin than we could count. Behind the scenes, the NSVI Board of Directors and the Philippines Domestic Team had done months of work to pave the way for this successful mission. We were also fortunate to have a tip-top team of visiting assistants, the majority of whom were with us in 2015.
Day 1 – Sacred Heart Hospital in Cebu
The team got right to work setting up the operating room in Cebu. Since much of the team has worked at Sacred Heart Hospital, they were able to get going right away.
Day 2 – Sacred Heart Hospital & Ferry to Hilongos
On our second day, the NSVI team continued with vasectomies at Sacred Heart Hospital. The exchange of ideas was fantastic.
In the late afternoon, the team took a ferry across the Camotes Sea to our next city, Hilongos. Dr. Suarez told us stories of crossing this sea to visit his home island when he attended medical school years ago.
Day 3 – Vasectomies in Hilongos & Ferry Back to Cebu
By the time the sun rose, the ferry had safely delivered the team to the Hilongos port on the island of Leyte.
Our amazing advance team of organizers had already hung banners in Hilongos announcing the free services. The physicians walked from the ferry to the clinic in the gentle morning light, as the city was just starting to wake up.
Day 4 – Sacred Heart Hospital & Cebu City Jail
Part of our team worked at Sacred Heart Hospital, while another part went to Cebu City Jail to provide free vasectomies to inmates.
Day 5 – Lectures at Southwestern University & More Vasectomies
The NSVI team started day five with lectures and discussions at Southwestern University in Cebu. Each year NSVI has enjoyed giving talks to the university’s medical students, who have always been cheerful and enthusiastic.
Day 6 – A Bit of Rest on the Philippine Sea
On Sunday the operating rooms were closed, so the team took some needed rest by cruising around the Philippine Sea on a traditional dual-outrigger boat.
The NSVI team was delighted to be hosted at the Casino Español de Cebu by the generosity of Dr. Alex Lemkaking, a Filipino-American urologist from Maryland. During dinner we learned more about the racially diverse history of the Philippines. Filipino history reflects many years of interactions with other Pacific islands, China, Spain and the United States.
Day 7 – Media Event & Vasectomies in Danao
On day seven, the team spread its message even further by visiting the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Company.
After the media event, the NSVI team continued north to Danao, a coastal city of over 100,000 inhabitants known for its manufacturing of guns. We were welcomed there at the Cebu Provincial Hospital, Danao City branch.
After a final vigorous day of work, the team enjoyed a farewell meal of traditional Filipino food in Cebu.
Friends and family said their goodbyes, and we had our last meeting together until the next mission.