We Knew It Was Coming But…

The start of 2022 was rough for the province of Cebu. Aside from the threat of rising COVID-19 cases, the latter half of December was met with heavy rainfall and strong winds. Typhoon Odette managed to inflict heavy damage to our cities and municipalities wherein its after effects extended up to the new year. The ravaging winds dismantled homes, took off roofs, damaged walls, uprooted trees, and took down electricity and phone lines. We knew a storm was coming but we did not expect it to be this strong.

Our institution, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, was not spared as well. Rotational electricity supply hindered some of our Ophthalmology OPD and surgical services. Aside from the loss of mobile network signal for communication and referrals, impassable roads also caused a lack of manpower. Our residents had to stay for days in the hospital but thankfully most of our Medical Officers were able to be with them during clinic hours. 

Despite all that, the great news for our department for the first half of 2022 is that we welcomed 4 new promising 1st year residents and an even greater news is that we were recently given re-accreditation for our 3-year residency training program up to 2024. The Philippine Board of Ophthalmology was able to assess our department via the virtual format last November 2021. We were able to pick up steam for our online meetings and conferences by early February as most of our electric and communication lines had been fixed around this time. Since then, we have been able to gather for our M&M conference, Journal report, and Residents Research Proposal presentations.

With the improving situation of Cebu post-Odette, patients have been coming more often to our institution and the eye clinic has been running smoothly. We’re back to our daily hustle and we’re happy to serve our patients back again. No one probably expected such damage to occur in our beloved province eventhough we knew a strong typhoon was coming. However, we always knew that we were going to rise out of this situation stronger.

Martin Dionson. Physicist by education, Ophthalmologist by profession, whatever by nature. Cebuano.

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