News Release

Vision Treatment Changing Lives

A surgical sweep, operating bed, microscope and laser equipment were among the donations of LDS Charities to Mabuhay Deseret Foundation in support of their charity work to now include vision treatment  for people in Davao and Tacloban.

The two organizations have partnered to provide vision treatment to areas which do not have such equipment. One of the pieces of equipment is a microscope which magnifies the subject 10 times allowing the surgeon to perform delicate cataract removal. With this simple operation, sight is restored and lives are changed.

Dr. Cruz of the Davao City Health Office said, “We are delighted that LDS Charities has these programs. The vision equipment provided will improve the lives of many. We can definitely partner with them for future projects, not just in vision care but in other areas as well. The provision of clean water to areas where it is not available due to lack of government funds is of paramount importance and we are hoping for them to look at it as a potential future project."

In Tacloban, the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) was also chosen as a beneficiary of LDS Charities and the Mabuhay Deseret Foundation for its eye surgical charity works in the Philippines.

Dr. Alberto C. de Leon, hospital chief, welcomed the donations of the two organizations saying, “The medical equipment and the training support will help EVRMC provide quality health care in the region."

"We learned we have something in common which is to help others see better. There is nothing like the gift of sight and we can't even imagine what would it would be like be to be blind. We are privileged to have the opportunity to donate medical instruments and supplies, microscope for eye surgical operations, and provide training for the medical team," said Dr. N. Branson Call, an eye Orbital Specialist and Surgeon and a Mormon volunteer from Utah, USA, during the turn-over ceremony in the hospital.

Elder and Sister Hadlock, LDS Charities country directors, also thanked EVRMC for its desire to improve its services and skills for the benefit of the people of the region.

Because of limited funds from government, we cannot procure certain equipment. We are grateful for your efforts," Dr. de Leon said, admitting the necessity for more private sector support to government-run hospitals like EVRMC being a teaching and training hospital in the region.

Atty. Tecson John Lim, city administrator representing Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez, thanked the two organizations for the donation. He also assured those attending that the city is working towards public-private partnership like that of the present initiative happening at EVRMC.

Also present during the program were President Ricardo Aban, Tacloban Stake (diocese) President, who gave an overview of the Church's humanitarian initiatives; Dr. Mae Singson, who is receiving training from Dr. Call; Manny Hernandez, executive director of Mabuhay Deseret Foundation; other hospital officials, local leaders of the Church and local media practitioners.

EVRMC-EENT department chairman, Dr. Lemuel Gatchalian, disclosed that the eye surgical facilities and training extended to the hospital complement the present services they have for patients.

LDS Charities provides training, equipment and supplies to assist local eye care professionals and programs. Since 2003, over 550,000 people have benefited from Church's vision projects throughout the world.

Mabuhay Deseret Foundation is the largest surgical charity in the Philippines performing over 3,500 operations per year for the poor to correct medical conditions such as cataracts, crossed eyes, cleft lip and palate, burn contractions, post-polio and club feet.

Last year, both organizations donated vision treatment equipment to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City.(Read Church Donates Equipment for Vision Treatment)

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