TACLOBAN CITY – About 30,000 people from various parts of Leyte benefitted the medical services offered by the Korean Joint Support Group since they arrived in the province to help typhoon stricken victims.
The Korean group, also known as the Araw Contingent, was among the first foreign groups that provided assistance to the people of Leyte which bore the brunt of supertyphoon Yolanda’s wrath on November 8, 2013.
They started their operations and medical missions December last year and continue to provide free services to the people of Tacloban City, Tolosa, Tanauan, Dulag and Palo where the group put up a camp base located at the Government Center of said town.

The group conducts their free medical services inside their base camp every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with the rest of the days to the various villages. Services offered in the medical missions include dental, orthopedic, internal medicine and surgical as well as accommodate 200 general medical and 20 dental patients per day. Patients normally queue in the outpatient department to see the nursing officers and doctors for examination and medication, after which, they proceed to the pharmacy to avail of free medicines.
Imelda Palaña was identified to be the 30,000th patient of the Araw medical mission who expressed her gratitude to the Korean forces.
“I never expected that I will be the 30,000th patient and I am so blessed because I also received boxes of gifts aside from the free medicines I had. I thank them wholeheartedly,” said Palaña.
She received gifts from the Korean group consisting of foods and relief goods.

Meanwhile, Private First Class Kim Jinhyuk revealed that their reason in coming here was not only to aid the victims but also to repay what the Filipino soldiers did during the Korean War.
“It has been a great opportunity to come here, we are not just here to help but also to repay the sacrifices you made during the 1950’s Korean war,” Kim expressed.
The Araw forces will carry on their operations and medical missions until they return to their country. They are scheduled to leave by December this year. (SHAIRA VALENZONA, LNU Intern)