By Anna Rathbun, RN
We all made it safe and sound to Roxas city. The airport missing part of its roof. We went to a more rural setting from there. So far, we have seen over 1,200 patients. We are paired with a team from Singapore with two doctors and four nurses. Nurses with the National Nurses United RNRN program have been doing triage and procedures like wound debridgement and incision and drainage. We have one nurse practitioner and I am one of five RNs. People here have lots of respiratory problems because so many people here burn their trash every night. There are constant fires, and most houses are built only a few meters from the roads. The air quality is so poor that we all had sore throats and stuffy noses almost immediately. There are also lots of cases of diabetes and high blood pressure. All the kids show signs of tooth decay because pop and candy are what they eat constantly.
I got a sinus infection and upper respiratory infection and had to go on the antibiotic Augmentin, and it cost me 650 pesos which is equal to about 15 dollars. It’s no wonder people can’t afford to get medical help. Anyway, everyone here has been wonderful and the people are so warm and welcoming. We have been traveling to remote locations and setting up clinics. It’s been a fantastic experience.