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Carthage doctor travels to aid in Philippine relief effort


CARTHAGE — A local doctor is heading to her homeland to offer medical relief following the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that recently hit the island nation.

Dr. Jocelyn C. Aznar-Beane is headed to Cebu, where her mother, two sisters — who are also physicians — and brother, a lawyer, still live.

“A lot of people are really suffering,” she said.

According to the Associated Press, the powerful typhoon — the deadliest there on record — slammed into the central Philippines Nov. 9. Rescuers there have confirmed 4,044 dead and many more injured. Although the typhoon missed her family, just two hours away there is total devastation, the Family Medicine Center family practitioner said.

She is taking medications and supplies with her. She has been recruiting the aid of fellow physicians and soliciting for supplies. For the time being, LBC Cargo has offered free shipping of relief supplies, the doctor said.

Besides offering medical help on the 10-day trip, Dr. Beane said, she hopes to “instigate movement for ongoing relief to help rebuild the country.”

“We need money toward the construction of roofs over their heads,” she said, noting entire cities and villages have been flattened.

With the help of the Carthage Area Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Beane has put out the word to the community asking for monetary donations.

“No donation is too small when many in the country only earn $2 a day,” she said.

She said many may be reluctant to donate because the tragedy occurred so far away and people don’t know those who were affected directly by the storm.

“A lot of you may feel far removed from this tragedy, not having been to my country,” she wrote in a note asking for donations. “Look around you and it would not be surprising that your medical care is given by Filipino physicians, nurses, medical technologists, physical or occupational therapists.”

She added, “Charity does begin at home but these people do not have the resources we have here.”

Dr. Beane and the group she is going with will be adopting families to help them rebuild their lives.

To help with the relief effort, checks, made payable to Southwestern University Medical Mission, can be dropped off to Lori Ashcroft at Carthage Area Hospital, or to JoAnn L. Zando or Natalie M. Burnham at the Carthage Area Hospital Foundation office at 3 Bridge St., West Carthage.

In her note to the community, Dr. Beane wrote, “We will be providing medical care [medications, especially antibiotics], food and water through our medical clinics there. This misfortune and its effects will be felt for years and generations to come, so that any help extended now will make a huge impact.”

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