Issue of February 12, 2017
     
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Persons deprived of liberty in city back free dialysis drive
by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO

WILLING HEARTS -- The signature campaign for free dialysis has reached detainees of the Baguio City Jail, who, from time to time pass the hat to raise funds for some patients needing money to sustain their medication, as they did to a leukemia patient recently. Next week, the inmates will hold a dinner for-a-cause for some patients including their mentor and benefactor Ramon Dacawi, now a dialysis patient himself. -- Rosa Moresto

 

 

Their own life’s miseries notwithstanding, inmates, now called persons deprived of liberty (PDLs), at the Baguio City Jail do not let their confinement deter them from reaching out to the needy or support worthy causes.

Their latest cause is to support the signature campaign rallying the public to urge the government to provide free dialysis treatment for all kidney patients undergoing the blood-cleansing procedure.

A total of 594 PDLs along with the 88 personnel of the male and female dorms led by wardens Elvis Luis Danglose and April Rose Ayangwa, respectively, signed the petition last week.

Like the numerous others who supported the campaign, the PDLs felt for the dialysis patients in their struggle to stay alive amid the financial strain of sustaining the lifetime treatment.

“I signed the campaign because I want to help those people to lessen their financial problems.  May health problem na nga, dadagdag pa yung pag-iisip nila kung saan sila kukuha ng perang gagastusin,” Freda said.

Pumirma po ako sapagkat alam ko po na ang pagda-dialysis ay isang magastos na proseso.  Paano na lang po ang mga mahihirap na may ganitong karamdaman?” Michelle asked.

The inmates were convinced that their signature could make a difference in the lives of the patients.

Carmina said, “Naniniwala ako na sa pamamagitan ng campaign na ito, matutulungan namin ang lahat ng mga dialysis patients.”

Pumirma ako sa kagustuhan kong maipadama sa mga taong nangangailangan ng tulong na hindi sila nag-iisa sa pakikibaka sa kanilang buhay,” Joanne offered. 

Gusto kong maging kaisa sa paghikayat sa gobyerno na magkaroon ng libreng dialysis para sa mga taong may malubhang sakit,” Lelibeth said.

Jam said she wanted to be an instrument to convey the plight of the patients to the government.

Lalo na ‘yung may mga talent na pwede pang makapagturo o ibahagi pa sa iba ang angking kaalaman,” she said.

Jam was one of the participants in the free journalism training and workshop conducted by the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club at the city jail last Tuesday which BCBC president Ramon Dacawi, a dialysis patient, facilitated along with newshen and Alternative Learning System volunteer Nonette Bennett.

As a newsman and city government information officer, Dacawi had spearheaded various reformatory programs at the city jail for years making him practically the inmates’ benefactor.

He had also inspired the inmates to do humanitarian acts through his writings of patients’ appeal for help which drove the jailbirds on several occasions to pass the hat and help pool funds for patients with various illnesses.

Now it was time for their benefactor to wear the other shoe.

The inmates at the close of the journalism training announced that Dacawi will be among the beneficiaries in their dinner for-a-cause, yet another humanitarian project of the PDLs, which they will mount soon.

But more importantly, Dacawi will be among the thousands who will benefit should the signatures of the inmates and of countless others who joined the petition be counted and the clamor to make dialysis totally free in the country become a reality.


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