COVID-19 Mobilization Drive to Benefit Frontliners

Posted by Javan Poblador | Posted on March 28, 2020

COVID-19 Mobilization Drive to Benefit Medical and AFP/PNP Frontliners
by Mutya Valenzuela
March 27, 2020
Manila, Philippines

When you receive this kind of message from your niece, you can’t help but feel the urge to help right away.

Today, not just our country, but the whole world is facing a battle that is killing us silently without us realizing it until it’s too late.

CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 ( SARS-CoV2). The disease was first identified in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, China, and has spread globally resulting in the 2019-20 Coronavirus Pandemic. Common symptoms may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include muscle pain, sputum production, diarrhea, sore throat, and loss of smell. While a majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some progress into pneumonia and multiple organ failure.

Within three months, COVID-19 has affected a lot of countries. It has resulted in global lockdowns, implementation of strict social distancing protocol, and indefinite suspension of classes. The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic may never stop.

Our Medical Frontliners are overwhelmed by the number of patients, both POSITIVE and PUI (Person Under Investigation ). They are instructed to work 12 hours a day and some of them can’t even go home due to the lockdown. Imagine what they are facing now to help us and keep us safe.

Due to the effects of this crisis on all Philippine hospital supplies, my niece Anne Christine Valenzuela – a Nurse 1 assigned to the Male Surgical Ward of Jose R Reyes Memorial Medical Center in Tayuman, Manila  messaged me and asked for help (photo above). It’s the first time that a family member asked me for HAPI’s assistance. She asked for face masks, disinfecting alcohol, germicidal hand soap, and also food.

Our frontliners are fighting for us. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) resources are not enough as there is a greater need and demand in the Emergency Room. The nurses in various hospital wards understand the situation and so they chose to find ways to provide for themselves. One of those options was to seek help from HAPI.

After I have read the message, I immediately asked HAPI’s Executive Secretary and Disaster Risk Reduction Manager Claris Quezon, what we could do to help. She called for an “Action Plan” and so the Covid-19 Mobilization Drive to Benefit Frontliners began.

We asked for help from our members and donors. Thanks to their generosity, we were able to raise money to buy what they needed. Instead of cooked food that would only feed them once, we decided to buy them a rice cooker, 2 sacks of rice, cup noodles, and canned goods. We also asked for help from a group of mothers in Pampanga to sew washable facemasks. By doing so, we were able to help the mothers as well. Looking for alcohol was the hardest part as it was already out of stock. We looked for it online, but the price has doubled due to the high demand.  Luckily, one of my friends had a contact in a manufacturing company and this helped us provide the alcohol.

( Washable Facemasks, Alcohol, Hand Soap, Rice Cooker, 2 Sack of Rice and Canned goods bravely bought by Claris at the Supermarket)

After completing all the items, Claris communicated and coordinated with her disaster management contacts to deliver it. After four days of nonstop coordination, the help arrived at Jose R Reyes Memorial Medical Center.

(March 26, 2020, the donated items were received by Jose R Reyes Memorial Medical Center Male Surgical Ward.)
(Anne Christine Valenzuela Nurse 1 is HAPI with their new Rice Cooker. Due to lockdown all the food stalls, fast food chain near the hospital are closed and the only option they have is to cook their own food.)

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UPDATE for April 3, 2020

HAPI was also able to give assistance to (4) additional hospitals which sought our help:

*Olivares General Hospital Emergency Room of Parañaque

*East Avenue Medical Center Laboratory Department in Quezon City

*Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center, Las Piñas City

*Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu City, Cebu

and was able to purchase food donations for the active personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Reserve Command (AFP RESCOM) and face masks for on-duty Philippine National Police Southern Police District members .

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ALL OUR FRONTLINERS are fighting for us, both medical and military/police personnel. Supplies of PPEs are not enough as more is needed in the emergency rooms and the other hospital wards. As our sign of gratitude, we chose to find ways to arm them in this battle against the virus. We hope this helps them so they will be able to serve us more comfortably and safely.

(Medical Frontliners of Jose R Reyes Memorial Medical Center Male Surgical Ward.)

Please donate so WE CAN PROVIDE MORE FRONTLINERS with the help that they so badly need. It’s a battle we cannot afford to lose. This is the only way we can help them.

Thank You!

#FightAgainstCovid

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For more information, please message THE HAPI SECRETARIAT on how you may also be able to help:

Viber/WhatsApp: +63 929 248 2231
info@hapihumanist.org

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About The Author

Mutya Valenzuela

Head of Operations, HAPI Secretariat
Assistant Lead Convenor for Central Luzon
Photographer and HAPI Resident Chef
Foodie mother of one. Anime lover. Deadpool fan. Traveler. Part-time mermaid.
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