Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
  #1
1997 Medical Mission
Lens: M50 F1.7, IIRC Camera: Pentax MX or ME Photo Location: Bauan Batangas, Philippines 
Posted By: johnmflores, 09-19-2010, 06:25 AM

I've stumbled upon an old box of photos from 1997. That year I was a member of the medical mission PAGES as they traveled to Bauan Batangas, Philippines. For the last 20 years a PAGES team of physicians and nurses travels from the US to the Philippines, sets up shop (usually) in a small country hospital, and performs free cleft lip and palate surgery for those who can't afford medical care. The work they do is both inspiring and humbling.

More to come as I continue to scan...



Views: 4,183
09-19-2010, 11:07 AM   #2
Veteran Member
EyeSpy's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Arizona
Photos: Albums
Posts: 663
This truly reflects an emotion of empathy and hope. Nice Work. There is a mini-challenge "helping hands" that you should submit to as well. Regards,
09-19-2010, 09:01 PM   #3
Pentaxian
johnmflores's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somerville, NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,264
Original Poster
This how many arrive - parents, siblings and other family members with their children - on heavy steel sidecars attached to ancient small displacement 2-stroke motorcycles that fill the air with oil and high-pitched squeals. Tricycles, they call them, and they are a fundamental part of the country's cobbled-together transportation network.

The medical mission has been announced months in advance, and families have made plans to be here.



09-19-2010, 09:39 PM   #4
Pentaxian
johnmflores's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somerville, NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,264
Original Poster
So the families come, hoping to be admitted so that their child's cleft lip or cleft palate can be addressed. And they wait for their turn to speak with the nurses, to be seen by a doctor, for their chance.

Cleft lip and cleft palate, from what I understand, is more common on islands and developing nations like the Philippines. It does happen in the US, but much more rarely, and children are treated at a very young age.

In the Philippines, however, the poor do not have the finances to treat a newborn with a cleft lip or palate, so the kids grow until a mission group like PAGES comes around. And then they come.




09-19-2010, 09:54 PM   #5
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,735
Moving images, John, with a story in each one.
I have a collection of documentary medical images from a previous mission in Kenya, but many would be too graphic and inappropriate to show. But these are good so far.
Thanks for sharing them - even if with the colour casts.
09-20-2010, 05:18 PM   #6
Pentaxian
johnmflores's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somerville, NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,264
Original Poster
Thanks Eyespye and Ash. Apologies for the image quality of some of these - this was early days for me in terms of taking photography seriously. Plus the photos have sat in a box in a damp basement for over a dozen year, and I'm not that particular or fussy about scanning.

I will say that I'm enjoying the "filmic" quality of these prints - less of a focus on ultimate sharpness or 100% crops and more focus on the subject.

To continue:

Do the math - 120-130 operations in a week is about 17-18 operations a day. For each patient there are 2 or more family members, resulting in a lot of people waiting for their turn. For those lucky enough to go first, their ordeal is short. For those luck enough to live nearby, they can go home until their surgery is scheduled. But for those that have traveled a good distance with limited funds, they have no choice but to stay. They bring their cots and their modest belongings and they wile away the days in impromptu wards.


09-20-2010, 10:04 PM   #7
Veteran Member
hcarvalhoalves's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Posts: 839
That's nice. Very moving history behind the pics.

Congratulations!
09-21-2010, 04:21 PM   #8
Pentaxian
johnmflores's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somerville, NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,264
Original Poster
WARNING: Not for the feint of heart

Up to now I've skirted around the elephant in the room - what cleft lip and palate looks like. Truth be told, it isn't pretty. It's kind of hard to see these bright, cheery children, eyes wide with wonder but lips disfigured by this birth defect, this unlucky roll of the dice.

Warning, if you get queasy you may not want to scroll down. I'll put some blank lines in here...























This is cleft lip and palate. This is why PAGES goes to the Philippines year after year. This is why doctors, nurses, and other volunteers take time off from work and time from their families to fly half way around the world, to work long arduous hours in conditions that often resemble a small country hospital in the US - in the 1950s.

Look at this child's eyes and you will understand why this work is so important, why their parents come from miles and miles away, scraping together whatever money they can, to give their child a chance at a normal childhood and a normal life.

09-25-2010, 11:46 PM   #9
Pentaxian
johnmflores's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somerville, NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,264
Original Poster







09-30-2010, 10:16 PM   #10
Pentaxian
johnmflores's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somerville, NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,264
Original Poster














Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, mission, pages, philippines, photo
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
To all you Physiotherapists and closet medical experts daacon General Talk 14 09-02-2010 11:37 AM
White House issues new medical marijuana policy deadwolfbones General Talk 6 10-20-2009 08:03 AM
Photos from a Medical Brigade in Honduras - need help! USCdeacon Post Your Photos! 6 01-20-2008 09:51 PM
Mission BuenaVentura jgredline Post Your Photos! 5 10-16-2007 10:45 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:22 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top