The massive destruction left in the wake of super typhoon Haiyan in November elicited a strong humanitarian response, including the volunteer work of two Medical College of Wisconsin alumni. Both traveled to islands in the Philippines on medical missions to provide care to victims of the storm.
Thomas Shieh, MD ’92, shows an expectant mother the ultrasound image of her child during his November mission to Cebu, Philippines.
Thomas Shieh, MD ’92
With the Guam Medical Association, of which he is president, Dr. Shieh led a contingent of 24 health care workers, including 10 physicians, to Cebu, Philippines, in late November. They saw more than 2,700 patients in three days. Their most prevalent needs were infection control, chronic illnesses and women’s health, including lack of prenatal care.
An OB/GYN at his Shieh Clinic on Guam, Dr. Shieh believes their mission made a positive difference, from the many ultrasounds to the breech baby he turned vertex.
“It’s a very humbling experience,” said Dr. Shieh who returned in January for a second mission into Tacloban. “It was the people – the women who were pregnant, and not only do they not have any prenatal care, they had only eaten one meal a day. Many of the pregnant moms were very appreciative of just hearing or seeing their babies’ heart beat for the first time. That alone brought them hope in a post-super typhoon recovery.”
Robert E. Napoles, MD ’82, checks the blood pressure of a patient while visiting Leyte, Philippines, in December.
Robert E. Napoles, MD ’82
Dr. Naploes was one of 13 members of a group from Jordan International Aid who brought more than 2,000 pounds of medical supplies to Leyte, Philippines, and treated countless patients in mid-December in and around the city of Tacloban.
They treated many respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses as well as skin infections in addition to occasional cases of acute tetanus and chronic schistosomiasis. He said they were touched by the Filipino pride and resolve to remake their city and properties. The team left ample supplies for other physicians providing future medical relief.
“I was a Peace Corps volunteer 39 years before on an island very close to where I returned this December,” Dr. Napoles said. “It was rewarding to be able to give back a little to the wonderful people who live in the Philippines.”
Dr. Napoles practices internal and sports medicine with the Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation in San Francisco.
More on their missions
More photos from Leyte and city of Tacloban with Dr. Napoles:
News coverage of Dr. Shieh’s mission to Philippines:
More photos from Cebu with Dr. Shieh:
Photos from the city of Tacloban with Dr. Shieh:
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