Airlift aids Philippines

It started with a couple of dental chairs, and now a whole container of dental and hospital equipment has been shipped to the Philippines.

It started with a couple of dental chairs, and now a whole container of dental and hospital equipment has been shipped to the Philippines.

Kitimat’s Filipino community, the Rotary Club of Kitimat, the Rotary World Help Network (RWHN) and Kitimat’s health care community came together to ship a container of supplies to Tarlac City, Philippines.

One day when Dr. Stevenson, operating in the OR, he mentioned he had two dental chairs he wanted to dispose of explained Kitimat General Hospital (KGH) nurse Edwin Empinado explained.

Dr. Stevenson was updating the equipment in his practice and Empinado asked if he could acquire the old, but still serviceable chairs for himself.

Empinado’s wife Doris Agdeppa, also a nurse at KGH, decided the equipment should be sent to the Philippines where it could be used in dental practice or school.

Dr. Stevenson agreed to donate more of his old equipment including an X-ray machine and advised Empinado and Agdeppa of the RWHN, which co-ordinates the shipment of educational, humanitarian, and medical supplies.

They then contacted Linda Rocha of the local Rotary club which had previously sent books collected for donation to Cebu City in the Philippines through the RWHN.

“That is the easiest way for us to send stuff overseas,” explained former Rotary Club president Linda Rocha, adding the organizing alone would be a daunting task for a local club.

Bandstra Transportation Systems crated the donated equipment without charge and shipped it to RWHN in Vancouver at a reduced rate.

St. Anthony’s Catholic Elementary school also donated desks which were being kept in storage.

Empinado approached the Kitimat Filipino Canadian Community, of which he was president at the time, to gather supplies, equipment and toys which could be sent.

Supplies from KGH which could no longer be used were also sent in the shipment.

By co-ordinating with the RWHN, the shipment to Tarlac City became more than just the equipment and supplies.

RWHN was able to fill the remaining space in a 20-foot container with supplies from their stores. Empinado and Agdeppa planned to be in the Philippines when the container arrived.

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