'Medicines should not be a luxury'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2019 10:51 PM

Two Filipino workers at a renowned independent medical organization underscored the importance of making healthcare accessible to everyone.

Karina Aguilar and Polly Cunanan of Doctors Without Borders told ANC's "Talkback" they have mounted an exhibit in Cebu where they share their experiences providing medical aid to various parts of the world.

"Included in that particular exhibition is actually the pill jewelry that we have. It's a jewelry. Because basically our point there is to show that medicines should not be a luxury. It should not be as expensive as jewelry," Cunanan said.

"You're talking about countries wherein, like here you have the health centers that is readily available for everybody. Imagine a country that has zero. And you're talking about a mud hut in the middle of nowhere and they call it a clinic. And that was one of my previous missions, that I give support to one of these clinics," Aguilar added.

Reflecting on their experience, Aguilar and Cunanan said their job as volunteers in conflict zones is to accommodate people in need of medical aid regardless of their background.

"We're very neutral. And that is like one of the things that we primarily focus on when we first arrive in an area: it's to establish that with the community. Because in more often, in more ways than one, it's mostly the community that also provides us the protection," Aguilar said.

"For us, any patient, any body that walks through that door, a patient is a patient, and that is what we stand by in all of our hospitals all over the world," she added.