The Ateneo Medical Assistance for Doctorless Areas (AMADA) of the Center for Community Extension Services (CCES), with its goal of improving the health condition of the communities in the city, the peninsula, and the neighboring island provinces, set up a Medical-Dental Outreach Clinic (MDOC) on August 11, 2012 at Barangay Colonia, Lamitan City, Basilan.
Fregildo S. Bajala, the Barangay Chairman of Colonia, expressed his gratitude to the whole medical-dental team during the short program. He said that it was the first time that an academic institution from Zamboanga City reached out to their barangay to help address one of the problems of their community. Bajala further explained, “Lamitan is home to our Yakan brothers and sisters, and one of the many challenges present in the community is their lack of access to medical services. The community is experiencing deficiency in medication supplies and medical facilities, and also shortage of health care providers.”
The MDOC was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Lamitan, Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom), City Health Office (CHO) of Lamitan, and ADZU-CCES. The whole day activity commenced with a short program to welcome the health care providers and volunteers, visitors, and the patients. A total of 484 patients availed the free medical and dental services. In addition to the health services, the Army from the 16th Infantry Batallion of Lamitan provided free grooming service to the young boys of Barangay Colonia while Hon. Arleigh W. Eisma, Vice Mayor of Lamitan, donated hygienic kits which were distributed to the patients.
The MDOC is one of the activities under the AMADA program of CCES which aims to provide access to health and medical services for the poor in isolated, hard-to-reach communities in the city where government doctors are not able to serve. Being funded by a non-government organization from Germany, AMADA continues to serve 39 far-flung communities through the provision of one of the basic human rights – health care, as a commitment to the institutional vision of bringing peace and development in the city, the region, and the nation.