Campaign for Filipino Children pledges similar gifts to four other regional hospitals in the country
(Los Angeles, Calif.) Allen Pineda Lindo, or better known as Apl.de.ap of the Grammy award-winning group Black Eyed Peas, is legally blind. So it was only appropriate that when his international foundation decided to launch its first healthcare initiative it chose to tackle the issue of eyesight preservation, specifically addressing retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) – one cause of childhood blindness in the Philippines.
“The Campaign for Filipino Children’s choice to address ROP is both strategic and sustainable,” says Ted I. Benito, Executive Director of the Apl.de.ap Foundation International. “The capacity of the Philippines to effectively address this issue is enhanced tremendously by the continuing professional development of the medical community and the provision of proper diagnostic equipment.”
The Campaign for Filipino Children brings together an impressive list of collaborators: Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology – the leading industry association of Filipino ophthalmologists; Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, specifically through the world-renown director of its Vision Center – Dr. Thomas C. Lee; WesternUnion.com as presenting sponsor of the campaign; and the men and women of the Executive Committee of the Apl.de.ap Foundation International, specifically Sonia T. Delen of San Francisco who agreed to be Chairperson of the Campaign.
The Campaign’s approach is to assist the medical community in the Philippines through five regional/provincial hospitals to increase the capacities of these regions to adequately diagnose retinopathy of prematurity (commonly referred to as ROP), an affliction among pre-term infants that can cause lifelong blindness if not addressed within 48 hours of birth/diagnosis. Each hospital will receive a brand new Retcam TM Shuttle diagnostic equipment.
“By training the physicians on the ground, we are able to dramatically improve outcomes for infants facing blindness as a result of ROP, which affects thousands of children annually in the Philippines alone,” says Dr. Lee, Director of the Vision Center of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has given its commitment to be of service to children everywhere, and we are honored to partner with Apl.de.ap Foundation International and the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology in this important initiative.”
At the recommendation of the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology, the Campaign for Filipino Children has chosen to launch at the Southern Philippines Medical Center, a public hospital in Davao City, Davao del Sur, serving the people of Mindanao.
On Tuesday, October 20, 2015, Apl.de.ap will host a press conference and reception at the Davao hospital to launch the initiative and deliver the diagnostic equipment. He will be accompanied by his manager Audie Vergara, Dr. Thomas C. Lee, Sonia T. Delen, and Bob Fan of WesternUnion.com. At the reception the Campaign for Filipino Children will honor its Presenting Sponsor, WesternUnion.com, and Knights Templar Eye Foundation, a lead donor to the Campaign. Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Philippines, Sir Knight Danilo C. Datu Sr. will receive the award on behalf of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc.
“I am pleased to accept this donation on behalf of the men and women of the Southern Philippines Medical Center and the families we are privileged to serve,” says Leopoldo J. Vega, MD, Chief Administrator of Southern Philippines Medical Center. “We thank Apl.de.ap and the members of the Executive Committee of the Apl.de.ap Foundation International for their trust in our work.”
For more information on the Campaign for Filipino Children and ways to support the initiative please visit www.ForFilipinoChildren.com or contact J. Robbie Fabian, Consultant to the Campaign at email@example.com
About Apl.de.ap Foundation International
The first priority of the Apl.de.ap Foundation International is education. The Foundation built a music studio and computer lab in the two schools that Apl attended in his hometown of Sapang Bato in the province of Pampanga, Philippines: Sapang Bato National High School and Holy Angels University. These facilities provide opportunities for disadvantaged Filipino children to unleash their musical and technology talents. The initiative also includes the development of teacher training modules, a mentoring program and educational scholarships. The Foundation currently sponsors 14 scholars at Angeles University. The Foundation also participates in the Department of Education initiative to build new schools especially in far flung and hard-to-reach areas of the country. To date, it has built 15 new schools including one in the war-torn area of Zamboanga in Mindanao. Please visit www.apldeapfoundation.orgfor more information.
The Campaign for Filipino Children is the Foundation’s first health initiative and it is in line with the Foundation’s education priority because of its emphasis on training doctors and creating local capacity in the medical community in the Philippines to address the eye ailment called retinopathy of prematurity.
About Southern Philippines Medical Center
Southern Philippines Medical Center is a government hospital under the Department of Health of the Republic of the Philippines. It is located at the JP Laurel Ave, Bajada, Davao City, Davao del Sur. The 600-bed hospital is designated as the medical Center for Mindanao and Sulu. During the martial law years and the conflict between the MNLF/MILF/NPA and the government of the Republic of the Philippines, the hospital was the major trauma center. Today the medical center is under the supervision of Leopoldo J. Vega, Chief Administrator and its Ophthalmology Chair is Josephine Cadayona, MD.