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Hundreds avail of free circumcision by Maguindanao medics

HEALTH • 21:51 PM Sun May 29, 2016
John Unson
Muslim, Christian and Lumad children wait for their turns to undergo circumcision during an outreach mission this week by the Maguindanao provincial government. JOHN UNSON

BULUAN, Maguindanao --- The People’s Medical Team (PMT) of Maguindanao province has cut a new path to tri-people unity, a little bloody and painful, but far from being deadly and destructive.The tri-people term refers to the monolithic but ethnically diverse Muslim, Christian and Lumad communities in Mindanao.The PMT, operating under the direct supervision of the newly-reelected Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, circumcised 250 Muslim, Christian and Lumad children in a three-day Operation Tuli” that culminated on Friday.The three-day medical mission was held at the office of Mangudadatu in Buluan town, the new provincial capital. It’s nice to see Muslim, Christian and Lumad children mingle together and avail of the free circumcision we facilitated,” Mangudadatu said on Saturday.He said the outreach project brought closer together the parents of the 250 school children, who were also given free antibiotics and pain killers by attending medical practitioners.The medical team has circumcised more than 5,000 Muslim, Christian and Lumad children in Maguindanao in the past five years, besides having treated more than 100,000 sick people during the period.Lynette Estandarte, who is helping Mangudadatu supervise the PMT, said it was so fascinating to observe the children that came to their office talk about their schools, their villages and about their parents as if they are siblings in one big family. Parents too grouped together while waiting for their kids to come out of the makeshift clinic we established,” Estandarte said.The PMT also donated on Friday 100 polymer toilet bowls to the Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, through the office of DepEd-ARMM Regional Secretary John Magno.The toilet bowls, made of polyvinyl (PVC) materials, were turned over to Magno by Ameer Jehad Ambolodto, a senior staff of the provincial PMT.Magno will distribute the toilet bowls to selected schools in Maguindanao province, which covers 36 towns scattered in two congressional districts.

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