SBSG Provides Circumcision Services Despite Challenges
by R-jay Agbon
Members of Sagip Bayan – Student Group with some of the volunteers from Philippine Red Cross Manila Chapter and FEATI University after “Operation Tuli” in Sta. Cruz, Manila last May 20, 2016.
Members of Sagip Bayan – Student Group with some of the volunteers from Marist School Batch ’95 during “Operation Tuli” in Marikina City last April 17, 2016.
Last summer, Sagip Bayan – Student Group (SBSG) was able to conduct 11 circumcision missions, helping around 500 boys become men.
SBSG annually conducts circumcision missions to provide free tuli services to hundreds of young boys in urban poor communities. These missions are usually done during the summer months of April and May. This year, however, due to the academic calendar shift, the 6th block and final exam weeks in the College overlapped with the summer vacation of the elementary and high school students.
Another obstacle for SBSG was the national election, which prohibited politicians from sponsoring medical and circumcision missions. Most of the circumcision missions of SBSG in the past few years had been sponsored by a politician in Quezon City. The election ban meant a great reduction in the number of missions of the Organization.
Despite these challenges, SBSG still continued on with their mission, with the help of the organization’s partners: Sagip Bayan Foundation, Inc., St. Camillus Healthcare Center, The Love Flock, Marist School Batch ’95, Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned, SLCM Interns, Philippine Red Cross Manila Chapter, FEATI University, Christ the Living Word, Atty. Bong Suntay, Dr. Nat Paragas, Dr. Nino Isabedra, and Dr. Irving Tan.
Around 40 new members were also trained to perform techniques in circumcision. SBSG does not only aim to help the communities through these missions, but it also aims to instill the value of community service and social responsibility among its members who volunteer to participate. These missions are also an avenue for the members to develop their technical competencies in patient care and minor surgical procedures.
Next year will certainly bring new challenges but SBSG dares to be resilient in order to reach out to underserved communities and produce competent, disciplined, and determined medical doctors.