“Medical Clinic in a Cart” Helps Homeless Families in Cubao, The Philippines

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On January 6, 2013, the School in a Cart became the “Medical Clinic in a Cart,” a new initiative helping street families to be healthy and therefore keep employment and stay in school. Dr. Alex Lazarte and two of his nurses donated four hours of their time to conduct check-ups for the families living on 20th Street in Cubao, the Philippines.

A folder for each family with the names and ages of the parents and children was prepared beforehand and was handed to the nurses for them to start checking the patients’ temperature, blood pressure, weight, etc.

Common illnesses for both the adults and the children, aside from skin diseases, were the cold virus and respiratory disorders. Four adults were recommended to undergo an x-ray to check for the possibility of tuberculosis. An ECG was prescribed for one who is suffering from a fast heartbeat, and five learned that they have high blood pressure. Two women found that they were a month or so pregnant.

The prescribed drops and syrup were given to the adults and children. Ascorbic acid tablets were also provided, including antibiotics to stop the cold virus. Ointments were prescribed to those with skin diseases and medicine for hypertension were also given to lower blood pressure.

Fifteen families living on the streets, a total of thirty individuals, were serviced with free medical check-up and medicine. Unfortunately, 10 children disappeared from the scene after the initial check-up of body temperature and blood pressure. They were either afraid of the possibility of getting injections or were simply lured by the passing jeepneys to get on with their begging, passing empty letter envelops to jeepney passengers for a few loose coins and bills.

Dr. Alex agreed to come quarterly to conduct free medical examinations and hand out medicine. Four times a year The School in a Cart will be converted to a “Medical Clinic in a Cart” for an afternoon. The goal is to prevent disease, sustain good health, and improve the families’ overall standard of living.

The makeshift clinic was a prelude to a bigger “Medical Clinic in a Cart” event which will be held on February 14, 2013 courtesy of Cornerstone International Church, a Filipino American Church in California, in partnership with Christian Light Foundation in the Philippines. Alfredo Olavidez, the Principal of The School in a Cart, was asked to coordinate the day. They expect 150 medical and 60 dental patients.

The corner where The School in a Cart is stationed will not be a convenient venue to care for such a large number of people, so Principal Olavidez is looking for other locations where they can park the Cart and provide medical attention to all those in need.