Catbalogan, Samar Island, Philippines

December 2000

Surgical mission

Samar Island, the third largest island in the Philippine archipelago, contains some of the Philippines’ largest extant, unfragmented tracts of lowland rainforest. It is home to 50 Philippine endemic bird species and 18 Philippine endemic mammals, many of which are endangered. To protect this valuable resource the Philippine government, along with the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Program, has launched the Samar Island Biodiversity Project. In 1996 a presidential proclamation created the Samar Island Forest Reserve with minimal protection. It is the goal of the biodiversity program to establish the Samar Island Natural Park, an 857,000-acre protected area. Due to widespread poverty many residents of Samar cannot afford basic surgical procedures. Seacology has underwritten an all-volunteer surgical mission to Samar by the Society of Philippine Surgeons in America, which took place in December 2001, as a means of thanking Samar islanders for setting aside such a large protected area for the benefit of the environment.

Full or partial funding for this project provided by
Project Updates
November 2003
The Society of Philippine Surgeons in America traveled to Samar Island in December 2001. A total of 72 major surgeries and 50 consultations were performed as a way of thanking Samar Islanders for...
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