Some 1,055 indigent residents of Bohol will be extended free surgical operation by the Philippine Gift of Life. Under the project “Operation Klaro:Bohol Gift of Sight,” the eye surgical mission is set for June 22-30, 2022 at the Borjal Family Hospital in Tagbilaran City. Patient screening and ocular biometry were conducted last April 20 and May 20 , respectively. Some 10 volunteer doctors and 9 nurses from Manila will be arriving on June 21 for the eye surgical mission.
The Philippine Gift of Life (PGL) Foundation was created way
back in the year 1999 as a pace-setting initiative in the Philippines
to help children with heart disease from poor families get renewed
lease of life through the miracle corrective surgical intervention.
From its simple beginnings of conducting its first heart surgical mission in the early 2000’s, to
further reach out to more patients the PGL branched into other medical and surgical missions
for cataract and other eye problems, myoma, cysts, tumors, cleft lip and cleft palate, hernia,
thyroid, goiter, and other surgically correctable medical anomalies.
With its office strategically located at the heart of provincial capital Tagbilaran City, the PGL
foundation doggely pursues its health thrusts by conducting medical mission sorties, food
distribution assistance, and disaster response activities in the rural towns in the province of
The foundation’s multi-specialty medical-surgical missions are performed by highly-
experienced surgeons, cardiologists, ophthalmologists, physicians, and other medical
professionals who are the leading experts in their respective medical fields. Our partner experts
include topnotch surgeon-doctors led by Dr. Florante Lomibao from the Philippine Heart
Center (PHC); Dr. Federico Malubay from the International Academy of Medical Specialists
(IAMS); and from the international community Dr. Renato Rivera of the Operation Giving
Back Bohol Surgical Team based in Illinoi (US); Dr. Joseph Paul Clawson of the JP Clawson
Medical Missions Foundation based in Washington, USA; Dr. Jeffrey Levenson of the
Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International; Dr. Rifat Latifi – Chairman of Surgery at the
Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, and many other renowned specialists from
the US, Canada, Australia, UK and Europe.
We also have partnered with several leading institutions and foundations across the globe
including the Heart Foundation of the Philippines, Philippine Medical Association, Home-
Reach Foundation, Inc., (based in New York, USA); Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) –
Bohol Chapter, Bohol Medical Society, Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) – Bohol Chapter
and the Rotary Club of Tagbilaran.
To date, through the multi-specialized medical-surgical missions and various community
outreach programs, the PGL foundation has helped over 50,000 patients, over 200,000
community folks… and counting.
EYE SURGICAL MISSION
Eye problems are one of the leading ailments in the Philippines, and cataract is the number one
prevailing disease that affects the eyes. This prevalent eye condition occurs when a dense and
a cloudy area forms in the lens of the eyes instead of being clear. Majority of cataracts are
caused by normal changes occurring in the eyes as people get older.
In our younger years, the lens of our eyes are normally clear. But at the onset of age 40, the
proteins in the lens of our eyes begin to break down and clump together, leading to the
formation of a cloudy area or cataract in the lens. Those afflicted with cataract have a clouded
or blurred vision, increased difficulty with vision at night, develop sensitivity to light and
glare. They usually undergo frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription, need
brighter light for reading and other activities, and experience seeing “halos” around lights. So
much so that cataract is considered as one of the leading precursors of injuries especially
among the old folks who suffer from floor slippage and falls from elevated surfaces, driving
collisions, and other impaired-vision related accidents.
In the province of Bohol alone, thousands of patients are suffering from cataracts especially in
the elderly population, although there are also a few cases of cataracts affecting the middle-
aged brackets and even the young children as in the case of congenital cataract.
Advances in the medical-surgical field are now available to remedy this burgeoning cataract
problem in the population. But the cost of each cataract surgery which is around P50,000 is
exceedingly large and simply out of reach for the thousands of poor cataract patients who
mostly come from below-the-poverty-line strata and low-income families. For them the
situation seems hopeless.
It is for this very profound problem that the Philippine Gift of Life Foundation wants to find a
far-reaching solution for. Thus, this free cataract mission came to the fore of the PGL’s
visionary program, to help alleviate the plight of the thousands of cataract sufferers in the
general populace by giving them access to the life-changing free corrective eye surgeries.
In the past normal years, the Philippine Gift of Life has conducted free massive cataract
missions every year for the past two decades, benefitting over 10,000 eye patients. And then the
covid pandemic happened and caused an enormous backlog of cataract patients out there
needing surgical intervention, due to the government-mandated restrictions and protocols.
Now, with easing restrictions and improving pandemic downslope here in the province of
Bohol, the PGL firmly believes it is the most opportune time to stage the free cataract mission
dubbed as “Operation Klaro – Bohol Gift of Sight” which is slated this June 22-30, 2022 at the
Borja Family Hospital along Gallares Street in the City of Tagbilaran, the capital of Bohol
province. It is time to give the gift of hope and vision to those hapless cataract patients left out
in the pandemic’s wake.
This upcoming gargantuan cataract surgical mission, which targets around 1,000 patients, will
be performed by the Philippine’s topnotch experts in the field of ophthalmology and surgery
led by Dr. Federico Malubay from the International Academy of Medical Specialists (IAMS)
who will be heading a medical delegation from Manila to come here in Bohol for these life-