Memphis, Tenn. (WATN) – It’s a mission of mercy! Tennessee medical professionals and other volunteers travel to the Philippines each year to provide medical care.
“Our clinic will typically see 2,000 people per day,” said Memphis Mission of Mercy Chairwoman Nia Zalamea Ducklo.
Nia Zalamea Ducklo is talking about Memphis Mission of Mercy, an organization of doctors, nurses, technicians anyone who believes in taking care of the poor who can’t afford medical help.
“A child who has a deformity of a foot and can’t walk. We’ve had children who are crawling on their torsos, dragging themselves with upper extremities,” said Ducklo.
The nonprofit’s mission is primarily a medical and surgical one centered in the Philippines. They give residents medical supplies, walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, medicine – all at no cost.
“You may have a family of five come to you. And, three of them just need vitamins and nutrition. One of them might need to have an operation, and the other might have undiagnosed hypertension,” said Ducklo.
In just 16 mission trips, they have averaged 25 major surgeries, 169 minor surgeries, 1,344 consultations, and 24 dental procedures. People from every direction come in droves for help.
“Typically for five operating rooms, we have five people per team, so 25 at large. We do surgery all week, and at the end of the week we bring everyone back,” said Ducklo.
They have also installed clean water systems in five communities.
“They are not going to an apartment in Midtown. They are going down a dirt road living in an open-air hut. They may or may not have running water,” said Ducklo.
The nonprofit’s goal isn’t just medical care and clean water. They also provide spiritual and educational needs, handing out school supplies, toys, and clothing to children who have little.
“We have to make sure they feel loved and cared for, independent from all the medical stuff,” said Ducklo.