CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Kapampangans from this capital city and neighboring towns on Thursday benefited from the whole-day medical mission of SM Foundation Inc. (SMFI) at SM City Pampanga dubbed as ‘Gamot Para sa Kapwa.’

SM Public Relations Officer Venus Manalang said that the event is a joint project with Watsons, Philippine National Red Cross, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Department of Health. Other volunteers include the nurses from the Angeles University Foundation’s College of Nursing.

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Some 250 to 300 walk-in patients benefited from the free medical and dental services provided by volunteer doctors. Beneficiries came from as far as Mexico and Bacolor towns. The mission aims to provide affordable health care services to indigent families within the communities near SM Supermalls. Medicines were also dispensed for free to respective beneficiaries.

“The objective is that we want to reach out to people who are in need of medical assistance and could not have access to such due to financial constraints,” Manalang said. Gamot Para Sa Kapwa is an important component of SM Foundation’s health advocacy. SM Foundation considers health care and medical services as essential in building the human resources of the country because a healthy people make up a healthy society, in education or as workers, according to Manalang.

Grace Sitchon, 58, said that the medical mission has been timely as she has been unable to visit a doctor due to financial difficulty.

“This activity is a great help for me and I thank the people who have ushered me all through the process,” Sitchon said.

SM Foundation also appealed to kind-hearted citizens to donate their spare but unexpired medicines and medical supplies so these can be used by those who need them most.

“We conduct the medical mission in a way that they become a venue for participation among many sectors,” Manalang said.

Gamot Para Sa Kapwa 2009 has the support of pharmaceutical companies like Unilab Laboratories, GX International, Multicare Philippines, Glaxo Smith Kline Rx, Glaxo Smith Kline (Consumer Division), Boie Takeda Pharma, Pan Pharmaceutical, Collins international, Wyeth Consumer, Abbot Laboratories, International Pharmaceutical Inc., and Getz Bros. Pharma.