“Stop TB Now,” our TB eradication program, is going places, spreading its curative benefits to children whose growth is stunted by tuberculosis in many parts of the country.
Pres. David Ackerman, together with project chair PDG Tony Quila & Ann Angela and Ferdie Ordoveza were in Bacolod this past weekend, May 6 and 7, to preside over the launch of a module with 86 children who tested positive for juvenile TB. This module, implemented with project partners Zonta Club of Bacolod, the City Health Office, Kabisig ng Kalahi and Pediatrica, will wrap up in November when the six-month medical treatment is completed.
This nationwide move is being made possible by the $85,000 global grant we received from The Rotary Foundation last RY which has enabled the Club to share said resource with other clubs in District 3830 and provincial communities as well. This module brings to eight the number of modules funded by the global grant and to 558 the number of children receiving medical treatment under said grant.
The lead partner in the Bacolod run is the Zonta Club led by Pres. Suzette Lacson. In the brief program on the 6th, graced by a full force of Zontians—Pres. Suzette Lacson, VP Aurora “Ruray” Fuentebella, Clarissa L. Araneta, Reeda Bantug, Honey Lopue, Josefa ‘Patching’ Puentevella, Nina Arceo, Tess Nazarea, Isabel Urra, Ope Servando, Virgie Lopue, Lina Lim and Elsie Gonzaga—Nina Arceo delivered the invocation while Patching Fuentebella delivered a welcome message and Dr. Shirley Rodriguez of the City Health Office briefed the parents of the sick children on the disease, advising them of the need for the children to take their medicines religiously, every single day, for six months so that they may be cured. They were joined by two Rotarians—RC Bacolod East PN Philip Araneta, son of Johnny Araneta, honorary member of RC Makati, and PP Louie Gonzaga of RC Bacolod North.
PDG Tony gave a brief backgrounder on the project, recalled that the Club had been in Bacolod ten years earlier for an anti-TB project led by Ann Angela, and enjoined the parents to make certain that their kids take the medicine every day, without fail.
Pres. David brought home the message that the Club’s involvement in TB eradication efforts began 42 years ago, way before he was born, and informed the Zontians and parents that the project, with focus on TB-afflicted children, now runs in a number of provinces. He expressed pleasure over the partnership with Zonta and appreciation for the warm reception.
For her part, Zonta Pres. Suzette spoke of the need for Rotarians and Zontians to serve humanity “with passion and compassion” and thanked RC Makati for bringing the project to her city and the DOH and barangay kagawads for the cooperation, even as she saluted the Club for “your untiring efforts to serve humanity” and determination “to leave the world a better place than when you found it.”
The rest of their two-day stay in Bacolod was spent fellowshipping with the Zontians who laid out a deep-red carpet of hospitality for the Rotarians.
A tour saw them admiring “the Ruins,” poetic remains of the mansion of the Lacsons in the glory days of that genteel era, and the Hofilena heritage house in Talisay, a living testament to that sweet time when the sugar barons held sway over Negros. They were brought to the best restos, for taste after taste of Negrense specialties that the palate will long remember. The reception was as warm as it was generous, as sweet as the sugar that grows on the rich land. They arrived to the most cordial of welcomes, with a proper tarp to announce their coming, and other tarps at every turn on their brief stay, and left with a tinge of nostalgia, not unlike the taste of sadness when one leaves home.
The annoying flight delays to and fro—two hours at NAIA, five at the Bacolod airport—were more than made up for by the generosity and graciousness of the Zontians.