LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Allan Pineda Lindo, better known as Apl.de.ap, a founding member of the international Grammy award-winning group, The Black Eyed Peas, delivered on a promise he made almost three and a half years ago.
The Apl.de.ap Foundation International (ADAFI) installed a second retinal imaging camera system at the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital (JBLMRH) in San Fernando, Pampanga, his home province.
“I’m really proud to donate this in my hometown of Pampanga,” Apl.de.ap said, when asked what delivering this medical equipment to his home province meant. “As a kid who grew up with visual impairment, I know firsthand what it is to navigate this region without being able to see. I’m glad I can make a small impact to changing this, but there’s still a long way to go.”
The launch took place at 11:00 a.m. at the JBLMRH Auditorium, 2000 MacArthur Highway in San Fernando, Pampanga. Guest speakers included Dr. Monserrat S. Chichioco of JBLMRH; Dr. Francisco T. Dugue III, Secretary of the Department of Health; Dr. Pearl Tamesis-Villalon from the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology, and Dr. Roland Mangahas, Chair of the Ophthalmology Department at JBLMRH.
In October of 2015, the Apl.de.ap Foundation Intl. began its first healthcare program called “Campaign for Filipino Children,” to address ROP retinopathy of prematurity, a cause of childhood blindness among premature newborn babies in the Philippines. The first outcome of the initiative was to purchase a retinal imaging camera system to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of ROP. With the collaboration of the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology, it was successfully delivered and installed at the Southern Philippines Medical Center, a public hospital in Davao City, Davao del Sur, serving the people of Mindanao. Apl.de.ap brought with him Dr. Thomas C. Lee, Director of the Vision Center at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and a leading pediatric ophthalmologist in the U.S., to train practitioners on the use of the RetCam. At the time, Apl promised additional retinal imaging camera systems to other regional hospitals in the Philippines.
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 ROP, an affliction among pre-term infants that can cause lifelong blindness if not addressed within 48 hours of birth/diagnosis.
“The Campaign for Filipino Children’s choice to address ROP is both strategic and sustainable,” said Sonia Delen, Chairperson, and a member of the ADAFI Executive Committee. “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. It is a medical issue that hits home for Apl.de.ap because he himself has a visual impairment,” she added.
The Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology – the leading industry association of Filipino ophthalmologists – heads an impressive list of collaborators that include The Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc., benefactor of the Campaign; WesternUnion.com and ALQ Foundation as sponsors; and members of the ADAFI Executive Committee, specifically Sonia Delen of San Francisco, Chair, and J. Robbie Fabian, a member of the ADAFI Executive Committee.
About Apl.de.ap Foundation International
The first priority of the Apl.de.ap Foundation (Philippines) and 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. For more information please visit www.apldeapfoundation.org