Sulu First Lady Hajja Nurunisah Tan and Dr Farah Omar during a humanitarian mission at the Sulu Provincial Hospital. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 21, 2009) - The Sulu Integrated Provincial Health Office recently launched the “Libre Pag Islam - Operation Tuli,” which was aimed to provide free circumcision to residents.
The program was a joint project between the Sulu Integrated Provincial Health Office and Hajja Nurunnisah Tan, wife of the provincial governor Dr Sakur Tan DHm. Medical volunteers also provided assistance and vowed to help in the program.
The First Lady, herself a registered nurse, and Dr Farah Omar, chief of the Sulu Integrated Provincial Health Office, led the “Libre Pag Islam - Operation Tuli.”
Dr Omar said they were targeting at least 1,000 patients in Sulu this year. In 2008, more than 750 patients, mostly children, were circumcised.
Mrs. Tan said she would continue to support the “Libre Pag Islam - Operation Tuli,” to help the indigents avail of the free circumcision. Private hospitals charge as much as P2,000 for circumcision.
The First Lady - whose father Habib Aminkadra “Barlie” Abubakar - is active in humanitarian missions and had either provided or sponsored many medical outreach programs across Sulu and other islands in the past. Her father was one of Sulu’s great political leaders, who had helped the poor throughout his colorful life.
The Radyo ng Bayan in Sulu quoted Mrs. Tan in an interview, as saying, that her humanitarian missions are aimed at serving the poor communities. “I am always ready to help at anytime I am needed, ha kagausan ko,” said Mrs. Tan, a known philanthropist.
“It is truly heartbreaking to see our people, especially the poor who live on island municipalities where medical facilities are lacking, and they are so poor that they cannot even afford to buy medicines for themselves. It always feels good to help other people,” she said.
Mrs. Tan has also been visiting different municipalities together with Sulu Vice Governor Hajja Nur-Ana Sahidulla and the group of Dr Omar and representatives of various non-government organizations to conduct medical outreach missions.
Other sources close to Mrs. Tan said aside from her humanitarian works, she also funded the building of mosque and a children’s playground on a land donated by Sulu Bishop Angelito Lampon in the capital town of Jolo for the benefit of the public. (With a report from Radyo ng Bayan)