As a follow up to a highly successful medical and dental mission in Quezon City back in March, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran took a team of Iranian medicine and dentistry students enrolled in the Philippines to give out free services to residents of Caloocan City.
Held on August 2 at the Caloocan City High School, the medical and dental mission was made possible with the support of the Philippine-Iran Cultural and Scientific Society, Caloocan City Dental Society, Manila Central University (MCU) Dental Organization, Global Filipino-Iranian Organization, Iranian students in MCU, local government officials, and the cultural section of the Iranian Embassy.
“I hope we can continue these missions around the city every quarter, and possibly there will be more people to join us in these efforts,” Ambassador Ali Asghar Mohammadi said in an interview with The Manila Times.
“[The frequency] depends on the availability of the students and their curriculum, so we need to coordinate with them,” the ambassador furthered.
Besides deepening the ties between the two countries, the embassy also hopes to fulfill their religious obligation through these charitable efforts.
“Caring for the needs of the people is of our utmost concern, and has been emphasized even by the religious of the Islamic and Christian faiths. This is the reason we are here as Muslims together with our Christian brothers and sisters. We perform our humble duties through this second medical and feeding mission,” Acting Cultural Councilor Mahdi Abolghasemi said in a separate interview.
The missions also serve as immersion and training grounds for the Iranian students in the country.
“Most of the [Iranian] students in Manila are studying Medicine and Dentistry. They are preparing to go to Iran afterward so this gives them an opportunity to learn many things from the Filipinos,” Abolghasemi added.
“I’m very certain we will continue to do these missions because most of the students are very enthusiastic to serve the society of the Philippines especially in Manila, and if authorities allow us, we can also provide this service in the provinces.”
Through the support of the Iranian community in the country the embassy is determined to expand their goodwill throughout the Philippines.
“We are thinking of different regions and provinces especially in Mindanao,” Ambassador Mohammadi related.
The Caloocan High School covered court accommodated 500 patients throughout the mission, surpassing the Iranian Embassy’s expected turnout of 300 Caloocan residents.