ASIA/PHILIPPINES - South Korean missionaries bring medical care and hope to the poor

Friday, 23 November 2018 healthcare   mission   civil society   missionaries   development  

Catholic health Association of Korea

Manila (Agenzia Fides) - Bringing the announcement of God's love, giving a word of comfort and hope and practical help to the poor and marginalized in the Philippines: with this spirit, 26 Catholic lay missionaries, nurses and medical personnel from South Korea offered their services to patients who cannot afford medical treatment, bringing joy and hope. As Agenzia Fides learns, these health workers took part in a five-day medical mission in November organized by the "Catholic Health Association of Korea", in collaboration with Fr. Andreas Chang, priest of the Sacred Heart parish of Jesus in the city of Malabon, near Manila.
Fr. Chang is a South Korean missionary who lives in the diocese of Caloocan, committed to proclaiming the Gospel and serving the poor who live in urban slums on the outskirts of the metropolis. The priest noted the extreme poverty and need to provide health care to people who remain cut off from any kind of public or private health care. This is why he contacted the Catholic Health Association of Korea.
Health professionals from South Korea provided health care and services to over 2,500 patients in five days by voluntarily engaging in minor surgery, otolaryngology, internal medicine, and dental care.
Father Chang told Fides that "the poor need medical attention but also a health awareness program to prevent diseases. This commitment is part of the Church's mission, which brings hope and healing to the needy".
Evelyn Lopez, one of the patients, tells Fides: "It was a great gift for us. Doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, radiologists helped us, offering us their services for free". The mission was not limited to medical assistance: "It was much more: there was a sharing of life and an exchange of faith, we saw in them the proximity of the Good Samaritan", she concludes .
The Catholic Health Association of Korea was approved in 2004 by the Korean Episcopal Conference. The organization is made up of about 30,000 members of Catholic hospitals, doctors, nurses and Catholic pharmacists. Among the important initiatives carried out, campaigns for life, health prevention campaigns, overseas medical missions, local health care services. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 23/11/2018)