Learning in Davao

We began today by joining a case discussion at the ward at SPMC. Two residents presented details about seven new patients to the other doctors. It was sad to hear about the barriers to treatment experienced by all of the children’s families; some live many miles from the hospital, and each depends on the modest earnings of one parent. But it was wonderful to see the multidisciplinary team in action, considering everything from the results of urine analysis to the day-to-day needs of whole families. After paying a brief visit to the friendly Regional Director of Health, Dr Abdullah Dumama, we drove to Davao Regional Hospital (a satellite centre in the regional childhood cancer network) in Tagum City. We were warmly welcomed by the local team and led to a fantastic lunch. Dr Mae Dolendo made excellent use of her time at the hospital by reviewing cases with the local paediatricians, residents and nurses. It was inspiring to see Mae sharing her expertise with many young and impressionable health professionals. (We hope that many choose to specialise in paediatric oncology!) After dinner Mae treated us to halo-halo (literally mix-mix) – an extraordinary concoction that I highly recommend!

Giving out wonderful Woolly Hugs blankets to patients staing at House of Hope, Southern Philippines Medical Centre

The awesome team at Davao Regional Hospital

About the author

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Liz Burns

Liz is the Head of Programmes at World Child Cancer and oversees our work globally.