Humanitarian group calls on Filipino doctors to help save lives

INTERNATIONAL humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières or MSF, is inviting experienced and skilled medical and non-medical Filipino professionals in providing quality medical care to populations affected by conflicts, natural disasters, epidemics, pandemics, and exclusion from healthcare.

In the opening program of its week-long exhibit held at Level 1 Ayala Center Cebu, entitled #WeAreMSF: A Walk Through Photo Exhibit, two Filipino field physicians, Dr. Shirly Pador and Dr. Karina Aguilar, shared stories from the frontlines of healthcare emergencies, and encouraged Filipino professionals, with at least two years of experience to consider working for the humanitarian organization.

“I first joined MSF as one of the numerous emergency national staff mobilized to respond to the needs during Typhoon Yolanda. That’s where I saw that the speed of MSF’s response to the emergency did not compromise the quality of care given to the affected population. The level of infection control measures in the tent hospital was amazing. So seeing the standard of care we provided during Yolanda, I decided that one day I’ll join more MSF missions overseas,” Dr. Pador said.

Dr. Aguilar, who has been to 22 missions in nine conflict-stricken countries since joining MSF in 2012, said, “I would encourage Pinoys to join MSF for them to have the opportunity to feel a sense of fulfilment that no other profession can offer. It is a road less travelled but it is a path worth-taking.”

On the last day of exhibit on June 12, another Filipino doctor, Dr. Morpheus Causing, former board president of MSF Hong Kong, will lead the closing ceremonies at 5 p.m. and give a recruitment talk.

“I would like to invite both medical and non-medical professionals to our upcoming recruitment talk. Unknown to many, MSF not only hires medical professionals. In our worldwide missions and projects, we work interdependently in multidisciplinary settings. Medical professionals concentrate in giving high quality patient care while non-medical professionals give support. Logisticians, for example, see to it that medical supplies, equipment and other materials are enough for a hospital or clinic operation; HR managers ensure that there is a good number of staff in a hospital, and; the finance team takes care of the budget and expenses,” Dr Causing explained.

As of 2018, 47 percent of MSF staff worldwide are non-medical professionals. To date, there are 108 active Filipino medical and non-medical field workers working for MSF. The first field worker deployed by MSF Hong Kong in 1994 is a Filipino. MSF Hong Kong is in charge of the recruitment of staff from Southeast Asia.

Aside from joining MSF, Filipinos can also support its work by donating or by spreading the word and engaging with the organisation through its website,, or social media channels: @msf.philippines on both Facebook and Instagram. (PR)


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