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Community Organizing

The Reluctant Doctor

Jaileen F. Jimeno - GMA News

October 5, 2023

As a child, Junice Demeterio-Melgar loathed the barking of dogs at night, for it meant unpleasant events were about to unfold. Her mother, Dr. Josefa Demetrio, was a private doctor and the late-night rousings in the 1960s meant medical emergencies; the household would spend hours waiting and worrying until she was home safe.

But Dr. Josefa’s patients in Batan, Aklan, didn’t always have cash.

“Sometimes she was paid in eggs and chicken,” recalls Junice, now a doctor herself.

That early, Junice says, she decided not to follow her path.

“I didn’t view her life in the clinic as a happy one,” she recalls.

But there was her pride for her mother’s passion, too: “She either walked, rode motorcycles, or boats to get to her patients, to serve.”

Dr. Junice Melgar


Women 15-49 in very poor communities served in the current year


Health consultations performed annually by Likhaan in the last 5 years


Community health volunteers organized and mobilized to help their neighborhoods in the current year


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