RITES TO MANHOOD PASSAGE TO HEALTH
JCI CHICKS United, Inc.
October 22, 2013
Young boys and indigent residents of different barangays in four towns and two cities in the Sixth District of Negros Occidental
To promote health and well-being of the indigent members of the community and to help young boys pass through their rites to manhood. At the same time to help the government bring the health services to indigent people in far flung areas.
Health is a fundamental right of every human being. It is a state of integration of the body and mind. As such, it is a highly desirable state for most people and yet at times, it remains elusive for some people in far-flung communities. Negros Occidental is the sugar bowl of the country. But sugar is not at all times sweet. Poverty lurks in many towns and cities, especially those living in said far-flung barangays. It is painful to think that there are lowly and hapless people who die without seeing a doctor. To trek down to the lowland areas to visit the hospital seems impossible for these beneficiaries because of lack of money for transportation, how much more for the consultation fee and hospitalization expenses. Many among them therefore usually ask for the help of quack doctors. Therefore it was the goal of the JCI Ilog CHICKS United to bring these health services closer to these far-flung communities. A week before the implementation of the medical and dental mission, there was an encounter between the rebels and the Philippine Army in which the commander of the rebels was killed in the area. Despite the commotions and tensed atmosphere therein, we still pushed through the program knowing more people are in need of the medical and dental mission’s free consultation and medicines which we offer to them. The following week, another barangay in the said municipality benefited from our program on November 16 at Brgy. Cabia-an, Candoni. On November 23, the mission was conducted at Brgy. Tan-awan in Kabankalan City. On Nov. 30 the mission was held at Brgy. Camindangan (another rebel-infested barangay), Sipalay City. Six days prior to the mission a soldier was assassinated at the public market. Fear gripped the area, but we still pushed through the activity because for us, commitment does not cower and passion does not tremble. On Dec. 13 at Brgy.Damutan, Hinoba-an town, a very far flung barangay more than four hours to reach with a very rough and bumpy road and where a local aboriginal tribe still lives. The area is considered by the provincial government as one of the much-depressed barangay in the province. The members of the tribe and other barangay residents direly need the health assistance from outside groups, like the JCI Ilog CHICKS United . In implementing a sustainable public health program we have willingly and passionately provided reality to what Hanlon has stated as cited by Reyala, et. al. (2000) that “public health is dedicated to the common attainment of the highest level of physical, mental and social well-being and longevity consistent with available knowledge and resources at a given time and place.” Moreover, as we pursue the lofty goals of this health program, we exhibit our agreement to Hanlon when he said that promoters of public health contribute to the most effective total development and life of the individual and his society.
Through this activity, the sense of fulfillment for the members were unexplainable and JCI Ilog CHICKS United plans to reach out more barangays until most of the poor and deprived people in the southern part of Negros have availed of the health services which they rightfully deserve.
In each of the series of medical and dental mission work under the umbrella of the “Rites to Manhood, Passage to Health” public health program, majority if not all of the officers and members were present. They enthusiastically assisted in listing the names of the beneficiaries and providing ease and comfort to these poor people as they waited for their turn to be examined and treated by the medical and dental practitioners. Most of the Ilog CHICKS United members are licensed nurses who do most of the tasks from enlisting the patients, taking vital signs, assisting the doctors, dispensing the medicines and even doing the circumcision itself. Most of the workforce comes from our members. Congresswoman Mercedes K. Alvarez donated medicines which were given free to the beneficiaries. She was also around in most of these medical and dental missions to have a personal account of the plight of her poor constituents. She provided these people with encouragement and ensured them that life is not hopeless because the government, which she represents, is working towards the alleviation of their health condition. She also assured them that as long as there are civic organizations like the Junior Chamber International Ilog CHICKS United there is always a reason to hope and to dream. Knowing the local organization’s lofty objectives, the soldiers of the 47th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army willingly and enthusiastically extended their free medical, dental and barber services. The barangay officials supported the program as they provided the venue and the facilities while their BHW’s happily undertook their work assisting the doctors and dentists. The “Rites to Manhood, Passage to Health” was conceptualized by the chapter as a long-range Public Health Program considering most of the members are in the nursing profession. The program was initiated first in far-flung and mountainous Barangay Payauan (a community considered as a rebel-infested area), Candoni, Negros Occidental on the November 9, 2012. With its geographical situation, the barangay has poor access to health. A week before the implementation of the medical and dental mission, there was an encounter between the rebels and the Philippine Army in which the commander of the rebels was killed in the area. Despite the commotions and tensed atmosphere therein, we still pushed through the program knowing more people are in need of the medical and dental mission’s free consultation and medicines which we offer to them. The following week, another barangay in the said municipality benefited from our program on November 16 at Brgy. Cabia-an, Candoni. On November 23, the mission was conducted at Brgy. Tan-awan in Kabankalan City. On Nov. 30 the mission was held at Brgy. Camindangan (another rebel-infested barangay), Sipalay City. Six days prior to the mission a soldier was assassinated at the public market. Fear gripped the area, but we still pushed through the activity because for us, commitment does not cower and passion does not tremble. Succeeding missions were held on the following dates and at the following places (mostly despressed areas): Dec. 7 at Sitio Yanog, Brgy. Tampalon, Kabankalan City; Dec. 7 at Kabankalan Catholic College; Dec. 13 at Brgy.Damutan, Hinoba-an town, a very far flung barangay more than four hours to reach with a very rough and bumpy road and where a local aboriginal tribe still lives; Jan. 8 at Brgy. Gatuslao, Candoni town; Jan. 9 at Brgy.Yao-yao, Cauayan town; Jan. 10 at Brgy.Bantayan, Kabankalan City; Feb. 1 at Temple ACE Academy, Kabankalan City; March 23 at Ilog town; April 29 at Brgy. Hilamonan, Kabankalan City; and May 11 at Sitio Patinio, Brgy.Bocana, Ilog town; June 18 at Brgy.Nauhang Sipalay City; June 22 at Brgy Galicia, Ilog town; July 5 at Brgy. Manalad, Ilog town; July 12 at Brgy. Delicioso, Ilog town. This sustainable health program comprises medical clinic and consultations, dental consultation and tooth extractions, and circumcision of young boys. The health program was also conducted at the Kabankalan Catholic College and Temple ACE Academy. It served as a venue for the medical and dental mission which catered to the poor people within the Kabankalan City proper. The KCC and TAA school administrators happily welcomed the local organization members and the health care practitioners. They said that the health program of the JCI Ilog CHICKS United is in consonance with the school’s aim of developing students into good and responsible Christians. KCC is one of the educational arms of the Diocese of Kabankalan while the TAA is under the Temple Baptist Educational Ministry. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY A total of 2,950 indigent residents benefitted from the free medical clinic and consultation while 1,650 availed of free tooth extraction. There were 210 boys who had their rite of passage into manhood or circumcision done by the volunteer medical doctors. The beneficiaries were residents of numerous depressed areas in the four towns and two cities of the Sixth District of Negros Occidental. Considering that the health program is envisioned to be sustainable, there will be more poor people who will avail of the free medical and dental services. The JCI Ilog CHICKS United’s public health program is helping provide reality to the goal of public health which is defined by Dr. C.E. Winslow as a “science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, promoting health and efficiency through organized community effort… for the early diagnosis and preventive treatment of disease, and the development of the social machinery to insure everyone a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health… to enable every citizen to realize his birthright of health and longevity.”