News: Rawis Elementary School holds cooperative health engagement for the community
Story by Lance Cpl. Michael Thorn
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Members of the Rawis barangay in Legazpi City, Albay province, Philippines, received medical care, veterinary assistance and medical training from Philippine, Australian and U.S. armed forces May 11-14 during a cooperative health engagement held at Rawis Elementary School.
The cooperative health engagement was held as a part of Exercise Balikatan, an annual bilateral training exercise held between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. armed forces to strengthen friendship and interoperability between the two allied nations.
More than 150 locals received medical care, more than 70 animals received veterinary care, and more than 50 locals received medical training during the two-day event.
“I’m glad we were able to help the community,” said Philippine Air Force SSgt. Benjamin Manabat, a veterinarian with General Headquarters. “Doing so helps out the community as a whole, animals and people at the same time, which is great.”
The engagement consisted of an initial check-up and registration, pediatric care, physical therapy and a pharmacy for the adults and children in the community. Pet animals received rabies vaccinations, vitamins and various medications.
“Things here are definitely different compared to back home,” said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Marsh, corpsman with 1st Marine Division in Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. “The medicine and antibiotics we provide here may be common in America, but these locals really need it.”
While medical treatments and medicine were being provided, civil affairs service members also entertained and played with the children by providing a movie, coloring books and games.
“We are all so thankful for the help in our barangay,” said Luz Magallano, a 6th grade teacher at the elementary school. “I am happy seeing everyone come together to not only help the kids, but the whole community.”