Responding to Medical Needs after Typhoon Haiyan

 
$79,356
$0
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Dec 31, 2013

"This Hospital Is A Blessing"

Philippines 2013  Florian Lems/MSF
Philippines 2013 Florian Lems/MSF

Thank you so much for your support of our programs in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.  With your help, we were able to reach our funding goal!  Below you'll find our final report from the field about the medical treatment that our teams have been able to provide with help from donors like you.

Should wish to support our work in the future, please consider giving to our Emergency Relief Fund (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/doctors-without-borders-emergency-relief-fund/), which allows our teams to react whenever the next disaster strikes.

Thank you again for your extraordinary contribution.

A Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) tent hospital set up in Guiuan in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan is currently the largest medical facility in this devastated region of eastern Samar Island. Ten-year-old Ayron was the first child to undergo surgery in the hospital’s inflatable operating theater.

"When Ayron was a little boy of three, he fell from a bridge and his leg got stuck between some wooden planks," says Ruby Sanchez Abendaño, Ayron’s aunt. "Ever since then he has had problems with his left leg."

Abendaño sits outside the inflatable operating theater with Ayron's father, a shy rickshaw driver, who is nervously waiting for his son to come out of surgery. While they wait, Abendaño tells her nephew’s story.

"We were always worried he would lose his leg," she remembers. When Ayron was five, his left thigh started to swell. His parents travelled with him to the Philippine island of Mindoro to see an orthopedic doctor.

"The doctor advised amputation," says Abendaño, "but Ayron’s parents couldn’t afford it, so they went back home." After some time, Ayron’s leg became infected and developed abscesses. Ayron was unable to walk, so his father carried the boy around on his back. "The child was suffering so much," says Abendaño. "He was given antiobiotics, but his leg only got worse and worse."

"Then the typhoon came and destroyed our houses," says Abendaño. The two families, who lived next to door to each other in a small town on the coast of Samar island, sought shelter in a neighbor’s house.

They survived the storm without injury, but, Abendaño says, "The storm took our livelihoods away. We relied on processing coconuts, but now most of the palm trees are destroyed. If we plant new trees now, it will take ten years before we can harvest them."

After the storm subsided, Ayron’s family brought him to Guiuan to have his leg checked by one of MSF’s doctors, who are providing free medical care in the tented hospital there, as well as in a number of rural health centers in the surrounding area. Ayron was admitted immediately.

"The doctor said that he would have to undergo surgery, but that there is no need for an amputation," says Ruby. "We told the doctor we had no money to pay for an operation, but she told us she didn’t need our money. We were so happy."

Three weeks later, after receiving supplementary therapeutic food to build up his strength, Ayron went into surgery. The team working in MSF’s inflatable operating theater is filling the gap left by the destruction of the district hospital which had been the only health facility in the region offering surgical treatment.

Ayron’s operation was a success. Rowena Evangelista, a Filipino surgeon working with the MSF team in Guiuan, says Ayron has a good chance of recovery and will probably be able to walk again—but it will take time.

"He suffered from chronic osteomyelitis, which is an infection of the thigh bone. It was probably caused by a viral infection when he was five, rather than his fall from a bridge," she says. "He will have to stay with us in hospital for at least six weeks to recover, he’ll need to take antibiotics and we will give him more therapeutic food to keep him strong. Finally, Ayron will have to learn to walk again." This is not going to be easy. "He will need special shoes, as his left leg is some centimetres longer than his right leg."

Ayron and his family are prepared for the challenge, says his aunt. "We thought he would lose his leg, but now it has been saved," she says. "The typhoon was a disaster, but this hospital is a blessing."

"In total, five municipalities or 110,000 people depended on this hospital before the storm," says Anne Khoudiacoff, who coordinates MSF's medical activities in Guiuan. "It had a very good reputation, and parts of it had actually just been renewed. The next hospital for referrals is in Tacloban, which is three hours [away] by road and has also been devastated.

"Therefore, we decided to set up a temporary hospital in Guiuan. We started with only a few beds, now we have 60 beds and up to 100 admissions per week. During the first week we carried out six Caesarean sections and surgeries for seven other patients." 

MSF is providing medical and humanitarian assistance on three islands that were battered by the typhoon. MSF supports hospitals in Tacloban and Burauen (on Leyte Island), Balasan (on Panay Island), and Guiuan (on Samar Island) with the aim of helping to restore normal medical services as quickly as possible. The support includes repairing damaged buildings; providing medical supplies, drugs and staff; and setting up an ambulance service. 

 

A Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) tent hospital set up in Guiuan in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan is currently the largest medical facility in this devastated region of eastern Samar Island. Ten-year-old Ayron Sanchez was the first child to undergo surgery in the hospital’s inflatable operating theater.

"When Ayron was a little boy of three, he fell from a bridge and his leg got stuck between some wooden planks," says Ruby Sanchez Abendaño, Ayron’s aunt. "Ever since then he has had problems with his left leg."

Abendaño sits outside the inflatable operating theater with Ayron's father, a shy rickshaw driver, who is nervously waiting for his son to come out of surgery. While they wait, Abendaño tells her nephew’s story.

"We were always worried he would lose his leg," she remembers. When Ayron was five, his left thigh started to swell. His parents travelled with him to the Philippine island of Mindoro to see an orthopedic doctor.

"The doctor advised amputation," says Abendaño, "but Ayron’s parents couldn’t afford it, so they went back home." After some time, Ayron’s leg became infected and developed abscesses. Ayron was unable to walk, so his father carried the boy around on his back. "The child was suffering so much," says Abendaño. "He was given antiobiotics, but his leg only got worse and worse."

"Then the typhoon came and destroyed our houses," says Abendaño. The two families, who lived next to door to each other in a small town on the coast of Samar island, sought shelter in a neighbor’s house.

They survived the storm without injury, but, Abendaño says, "The storm took our livelihoods away. We relied on processing coconuts, but now most of the palm trees are destroyed. If we plant new trees now, it will take ten years before we can harvest them."

After the storm subsided, Ayron’s family brought him to Guiuan to have his leg checked by one of MSF’s doctors, who are providing free medical care in the tented hospital there, as well as in a number of rural health centers in the surrounding area. Ayron was admitted immediately.

"The doctor said that he would have to undergo surgery, but that there is no need for an amputation," says Ruby. "We told the doctor we had no money to pay for an operation, but she told us she didn’t need our money. We were so happy."

Three weeks later, after receiving supplementary therapeutic food to build up his strength, Ayron went into surgery. The team working in MSF’s inflatable operating theater is filling the gap left by the destruction of the district hospital which had been the only health facility in the region offering surgical treatment.

Ayron’s operation was a success. Rowena Evangelista, a Filipino surgeon working with the MSF team in Guiuan, says Ayron has a good chance of recovery and will probably be able to walk again—but it will take time.

"He suffered from chronic osteomyelitis, which is an infection of the thigh bone. It was probably caused by a viral infection when he was five, rather than his fall from a bridge," she says. "He will have to stay with us in hospital for at least six weeks to recover, he’ll need to take antibiotics and we will give him more therapeutic food to keep him strong. Finally, Ayron will have to learn to walk again." This is not going to be easy. "He will need special shoes, as his left leg is some centimetres longer than his right leg."

Ayron and his family are prepared for the challenge, says his aunt. "We thought he would lose his leg, but now it has been saved," she says. "The typhoon was a disaster, but this hospital is a blessing."

"In total, five municipalities or 110,000 people depended on this hospital before the storm," says Anne Khoudiacoff, who coordinates MSF's medical activities in Guiuan. "It had a very good reputation, and parts of it had actually just been renewed. The next hospital for referrals is in Tacloban, which is three hours [away] by road and has also been devastated.

"Therefore, we decided to set up a temporary hospital in Guiuan. We started with only a few beds, now we have 60 beds and up to 100 admissions per week. During the first week we carried out six Caesarean sections and surgeries for seven other patients." 

MSF is providing medical and humanitarian assistance on three islands that were battered by the typhoon. MSF supports hospitals in Tacloban and Burauen (on Leyte Island), Balasan (on Panay Island), and Guiuan (on Samar Island) with the aim of helping to restore normal medical services as quickly as possible. The support includes repairing damaged buildings; providing medical supplies, drugs and staff; and setting up an ambulance service. 

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7233&cat=field-news#sthash.RZgN5Ojm.dpuf
Dec 17, 2013

"Roofless, Homeless, but Not Hopeless"

Philippines 2013  Sarah Badiei/MSF
Philippines 2013 Sarah Badiei/MSF

Thank you so much for your support of our programs in the Philippines.  Here is an update on our work from the field.

One month after Typhoon Haiyan swept through the central Philippines, Filipinos are starting to rebuild their homes and lives, says Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) emergency coordinator Ibrahim Younis. But while people in cities are receiving assistance, many remote farming communities have still received little aid.

One month on, have people received the assistance they need?

Humanitarian aid is still not reaching the villages as it should. Much of the relief effort is focused around coastal cities, such as Tacloban, the “ground zero” of the disaster. But aid is still not really reaching areas outside the urban centers.

This is increasingly worrying as the situation in remote areas gradually becomes more and more critical. We are still in the wet season, meaning that it rains a lot, and we’re concerned about people’s health.

How bad is the situation in remote areas?

According to the medical indicators, we’re not yet in an alarming situation. We’ve heard rumors of severe malnutrition and of high rates of diarrhea in certain areas. We are investigating these reports, but so far our screenings have shown that morbidity rates are no higher than before the typhoon.

But the longer that remote communities are cut off from humanitarian aid, the more likely it is that people’s health will be affected.

What is MSF doing to help people?

MSF teams are working in a number of places, running hospitals and mobile clinics, among other things. The mobile clinics are focused on visiting remote villages, where they provide basic health care to people who have received little or no assistance so far. Very sick patients are referred to our hospitals—for example to the inflatable hospital [that] we have set up in Tacloban city.

We are also supporting health centers [that] have been damaged or [that] can’t cope with the number of patients seeking medical attention, and we are donating drugs and medical equipment where needed.

Our psychosocial teams are focusing on providing mental health care, and our water and sanitation experts are distributing clean water, both to local people and to damaged health centers.

In our mobile clinics, we are seeing many patients with chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiac conditions. Health centers in remote areas rely on drug deliveries from Tacloban and other major towns, but this supply system has been disrupted, so drugs are not reaching the people in these areas. MSF is maintaining the drug supply for these people.

Is MSF delivering relief supplies?

Our teams are distributing essential relief items such as shelter materials, hygiene kits, cooking utensils, blankets, and mosquito nets, with a focus on remote villages that have been completely destroyed. Most of these areas are homes to poor farming families. These communities are not as robust as those in towns, and so the vulnerability in these areas is much higher.

When we go to a village, we distribute relief items to all of the households. Because many people’s homes have been destroyed, we are also handing out “reconstruction kits,” which include plastic sheeting, hammers, nails, and other tools to help people build themselves temporary shelters until they have long-term solutions for reconstructing their homes.

How are Filipinos coping in the aftermath of the disaster?

Let me give you an example: When you arrive by boat in the heavily damaged city of Ormoc, you can see a big sign. It says: “Roofless, homeless, but not hopeless.” That gives you an idea of the spirit of the Filipino people. You have to bear in mind that people here are used to natural disasters, although this typhoon was bigger than anybody had expected.

For how long will people need aid?

Reconstruction after the typhoon is going to be a huge, long-term challenge. As an emergency medical organization, we are looking at a shorter timespan—maybe between three and six months, depending on the needs. Compared to many other places where we work, the Philippines is quite a developed country, with a functioning health care system and enough manpower to run it. What we are doing now is filling the gap until the authorities are able to take over again. 

One month after Typhoon Haiyan swept through the central Philippines, Filipinos are starting to rebuild their homes and lives, says Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) emergency coordinator Ibrahim Younis. But while people in cities are receiving assistance, many remote farming communities have still received little aid.

One month on, have people received the assistance they need?

Humanitarian aid is still not reaching the villages as it should. Much of the relief effort is focused around coastal cities, such as Tacloban, the “ground zero” of the disaster. But aid is still not really reaching areas outside the urban centers.

This is increasingly worrying as the situation in remote areas gradually becomes more and more critical. We are still in the wet season, meaning that it rains a lot, and we’re concerned about people’s health.

How bad is the situation in remote areas?

According to the medical indicators, we’re not yet in an alarming situation. We’ve heard rumors of severe malnutrition and of high rates of diarrhea in certain areas. We are investigating these reports, but so far our screenings have shown that morbidity rates are no higher than before the typhoon.

But the longer that remote communities are cut off from humanitarian aid, the more likely it is that people’s health will be affected.

What is MSF doing to help people?

MSF teams are working in a number of places, running hospitals and mobile clinics, among other things. The mobile clinics are focused on visiting remote villages, where they provide basic health care to people who have received little or no assistance so far. Very sick patients are referred to our hospitals—for example to the inflatable hospital [that] we have set up in Tacloban city.

We are also supporting health centers [that] have been damaged or [that] can’t cope with the number of patients seeking medical attention, and we are donating drugs and medical equipment where needed.

Our psychosocial teams are focusing on providing mental health care, and our water and sanitation experts are distributing clean water, both to local people and to damaged health centers.

In our mobile clinics, we are seeing many patients with chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiac conditions. Health centers in remote areas rely on drug deliveries from Tacloban and other major towns, but this supply system has been disrupted, so drugs are not reaching the people in these areas. MSF is maintaining the drug supply for these people.

Is MSF delivering relief supplies?

Our teams are distributing essential relief items such as shelter materials, hygiene kits, cooking utensils, blankets, and mosquito nets, with a focus on remote villages that have been completely destroyed. Most of these areas are homes to poor farming families. These communities are not as robust as those in towns, and so the vulnerability in these areas is much higher.

When we go to a village, we distribute relief items to all of the households. Because many people’s homes have been destroyed, we are also handing out “reconstruction kits,” which include plastic sheeting, hammers, nails, and other tools to help people build themselves temporary shelters until they have long-term solutions for reconstructing their homes.

How are Filipinos coping in the aftermath of the disaster?

Let me give you an example: When you arrive by boat in the heavily damaged city of Ormoc, you can see a big sign. It says: “Roofless, homeless, but not hopeless.” That gives you an idea of the spirit of the Filipino people. You have to bear in mind that people here are used to natural disasters, although this typhoon was bigger than anybody had expected.

For how long will people need aid?

Reconstruction after the typhoon is going to be a huge, long-term challenge. As an emergency medical organization, we are looking at a shorter timespan—maybe between three and six months, depending on the needs. Compared to many other places where we work, the Philippines is quite a developed country, with a functioning health care system and enough manpower to run it. What we are doing now is filling the gap until the authorities are able to take over again. 

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7203&cat=voice-from-the-field#sthash.zdkewbLw.dpuf
Nov 18, 2013

Expanding Medical Activities in the Aftermath

Philippines 2013  Caroline Van Nespen
Philippines 2013 Caroline Van Nespen

Thank you so much for helping us to reach our fundraising goal.  As I am sure you have heard, the needs in the Philippines are still great, so you will notice that we have increased the goal for our project. 

We wanted to send along this update from the field.

Philippines: Expanding Medical Activities in Typhoon's Aftermath

While serious logistical difficulties remain, the activities of MSF teams on the islands most affected by typhoon Haiyan are taking shape. With 137 international staff in the Philippines today, and the arrival of 232 tons of supplies, MSF teams continue to assess areas outside the main cities while providing immediate medical care in a growing number of locations.

MSF is now active on the islands of Samar, Leyte, and Panay, and has most recently started assessing needs on Masbate. More staff are en route and further substantial cargo flights of relief items are also on their way.

A summary of activities as of the end of November 16 follows:

Samar

MSF's emergency team in the far east of Samar Island, where the typhoon first struck, has started medical activities in the town of Guiuan. They performed 600 medical consultations on the first day of medical activities, mostly for infected wounds and lacerations. The MSF staff are working with two Filipino doctors and numerous volunteers from the community who are assisting in any way they can.

Half of Guiuan hospital is destroyed and the other half damaged almost beyond repair. For now the medical staff are working among the ruins, but work has started to set up a makeshift tent hospital.

Through the end of November 16, 30 tons of material and supplies had reached the team in Guiuan. More cargo planes will be landing in the coming days, inclding one with water and sanitation equipment and one with around 1,700 tents to distribute as shelter. More medical supplies will also arrive.

"In Guiuan town, every single roof has been blown off in a town of 45,000 inhabitants," says Dr Natasha Reyes, MSF emergency coordinator in the Philippines. "Half of the city's hospital has been destroyed—no roof, destroyed electricity equipment, etc. It used to be a 50-bed facility with X-Ray, operating theaters, everything. The wind destroyed the concrete."

Leyte

In Tacloban city, a team of eight is being reinforced with additional staff—medical doctors, nurses, logisticians, a psychologist—and preparations are being made to set up an inflatable hospital. The site will be located next to Bethany hospital, on the severely-damaged Tacloban seafront.

The plan is to set up comprehensive medical services including an Emergency Room, an inpatient department, an operating theater, a post-operative ward, an obstetrics and gynecology unit, a maternity delivery room, psychosocial activities, a blood bank, x-ray, and an isolation ward.

In Palo town, 12 kilometers south of Tacloban, a team of three is organising primary health care activities. In and around Ormoc town, teams that include a medical doctor, nurses, logistics specialists and a psychologist started to conduct mobile clinics while assessing further needs. The focus is especially on evacuation centers where people have gathered following the typhoon. The team has provided some basic medical care.

Two teams conducted assessments along the east and west coasts of the island. Along the west coast there was structural damage in most of the houses, but generally the situation was not as bad as on the east coast, where most of the health structures visited have been damaged and have supply problems.

In Dulang town, with a population of around 48,000, the health facility has been partially destroyed and the medical staff report an increase in patients with diarrhea. They have also received some wounded people, mainly with cuts. The referral system is not working anymore because there is no fuel to transport patients. The MSF team is planning distributions of relief items and support for the medical facility.

Panay

In the northern part of Iloilo Province, and on nearby offshore islands, some 90 percent of buildings appear destroyed. MSF is planning to focus on the most acute needs, including primary medical care, through mobile clinics and distribution of relief items. Needs assessments will continue in other parts of the area to identify where MSF’s medical response is most acutely required.

Relief items will soon arrive in Roxas city and MSF is opening two outpatient departments, in the towns of Cartes and Estancia.

Masbate

MSF has started a needs assessment on Masbate island.

 

While serious logistical difficulties remain, the activities of MSF teams on the islands most affected by typhoon Haiyan are taking shape. With 137 international staff in the Philippines today, and the arrival of 232 tons of supplies, MSF teams continue to assess areas outside the main cities while providing immediate medical care in a growing number of locations.

MSF is now active on the islands of Samar, Leyte, and Panay, and has most recently started assessing needs on Masbate. More staff are en route and further substantial cargo flights of relief items are also on their way.

A summary of activities as of the end of November 16 follows:

Samar

MSF's emergency team in the far east of Samar Island, where the typhoon first struck, has started medical activities in the town of Guiuan. They performed 600 medical consultations on the first day of medical activities, mostly for infected wounds and lacerations. The MSF staff are working with two Filipino doctors and numerous volunteers from the community who are assisting in any way they can.

Half of Guiuan hospital is destroyed and the other half damaged almost beyond repair. For now the medical staff are working among the ruins, but work has started to set up a makeshift tent hospital.

Through the end of November 16, 30 tons of material and supplies had reached the team in Guiuan. More cargo planes will be landing in the coming days, inclding one with water and sanitation equipment and one with around 1,700 tents to distribute as shelter. More medical supplies will also arrive.

"In Guiuan town, every single roof has been blown off in a town of 45,000 inhabitants," says Dr Natasha Reyes, MSF emergency coordinator in the Philippines. "Half of the city's hospital has been destroyed—no roof, destroyed electricity equipment, etc. It used to be a 50-bed facility with X-Ray, operating theaters, everything. The wind destroyed the concrete."

Leyte

In Tacloban city, a team of eight is being reinforced with additional staff—medical doctors, nurses, logisticians, a psychologist—and preparations are being made to set up an inflatable hospital. The site will be located next to Bethany hospital, on the severely-damaged Tacloban seafront.

The plan is to set up comprehensive medical services including an Emergency Room, an inpatient department, an operating theater, a post-operative ward, an obstetrics and gynecology unit, a maternity delivery room, psychosocial activities, a blood bank, x-ray, and an isolation ward.

In Palo town, 12 kilometers south of Tacloban, a team of three is organising primary health care activities. In and around Ormoc town, teams that include a medical doctor, nurses, logistics specialists and a psychologist started to conduct mobile clinics while assessing further needs. The focus is especially on evacuation centers where people have gathered following the typhoon. The team has provided some basic medical care.

Two teams conducted assessments along the east and west coasts of the island. Along the west coast there was structural damage in most of the houses, but generally the situation was not as bad as on the east coast, where most of the health structures visited have been damaged and have supply problems.

In Dulang town, with a population of around 48,000, the health facility has been partially destroyed and the medical staff report an increase in patients with diarrhea. They have also received some wounded people, mainly with cuts. The referral system is not working anymore because there is no fuel to transport patients. The MSF team is planning distributions of relief items and support for the medical facility.

Panay

In the northern part of Iloilo Province, and on nearby offshore islands, some 90 percent of buildings appear destroyed. MSF is planning to focus on the most acute needs, including primary medical care, through mobile clinics and distribution of relief items. Needs assessments will continue in other parts of the area to identify where MSF’s medical response is most acutely required.

Relief items will soon arrive in Roxas city and MSF is opening two outpatient departments, in the towns of Cartes and Estancia.

Masbate

MSF has started a needs assessment on Masbate island.

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7154&cat=field-news#sthash.0hCnbYA9.dpu

While serious logistical difficulties remain, the activities of MSF teams on the islands most affected by typhoon Haiyan are taking shape. With 137 international staff in the Philippines today, and the arrival of 232 tons of supplies, MSF teams continue to assess areas outside the main cities while providing immediate medical care in a growing number of locations.

MSF is now active on the islands of Samar, Leyte, and Panay, and has most recently started assessing needs on Masbate. More staff are en route and further substantial cargo flights of relief items are also on their way.

A summary of activities as of the end of November 16 follows:

Samar

MSF's emergency team in the far east of Samar Island, where the typhoon first struck, has started medical activities in the town of Guiuan. They performed 600 medical consultations on the first day of medical activities, mostly for infected wounds and lacerations. The MSF staff are working with two Filipino doctors and numerous volunteers from the community who are assisting in any way they can.

Half of Guiuan hospital is destroyed and the other half damaged almost beyond repair. For now the medical staff are working among the ruins, but work has started to set up a makeshift tent hospital.

Through the end of November 16, 30 tons of material and supplies had reached the team in Guiuan. More cargo planes will be landing in the coming days, inclding one with water and sanitation equipment and one with around 1,700 tents to distribute as shelter. More medical supplies will also arrive.

"In Guiuan town, every single roof has been blown off in a town of 45,000 inhabitants," says Dr Natasha Reyes, MSF emergency coordinator in the Philippines. "Half of the city's hospital has been destroyed—no roof, destroyed electricity equipment, etc. It used to be a 50-bed facility with X-Ray, operating theaters, everything. The wind destroyed the concrete."

Leyte

In Tacloban city, a team of eight is being reinforced with additional staff—medical doctors, nurses, logisticians, a psychologist—and preparations are being made to set up an inflatable hospital. The site will be located next to Bethany hospital, on the severely-damaged Tacloban seafront.

The plan is to set up comprehensive medical services including an Emergency Room, an inpatient department, an operating theater, a post-operative ward, an obstetrics and gynecology unit, a maternity delivery room, psychosocial activities, a blood bank, x-ray, and an isolation ward.

In Palo town, 12 kilometers south of Tacloban, a team of three is organising primary health care activities. In and around Ormoc town, teams that include a medical doctor, nurses, logistics specialists and a psychologist started to conduct mobile clinics while assessing further needs. The focus is especially on evacuation centers where people have gathered following the typhoon. The team has provided some basic medical care.

Two teams conducted assessments along the east and west coasts of the island. Along the west coast there was structural damage in most of the houses, but generally the situation was not as bad as on the east coast, where most of the health structures visited have been damaged and have supply problems.

In Dulang town, with a population of around 48,000, the health facility has been partially destroyed and the medical staff report an increase in patients with diarrhea. They have also received some wounded people, mainly with cuts. The referral system is not working anymore because there is no fuel to transport patients. The MSF team is planning distributions of relief items and support for the medical facility.

Panay

In the northern part of Iloilo Province, and on nearby offshore islands, some 90 percent of buildings appear destroyed. MSF is planning to focus on the most acute needs, including primary medical care, through mobile clinics and distribution of relief items. Needs assessments will continue in other parts of the area to identify where MSF’s medical response is most acutely required.

Relief items will soon arrive in Roxas city and MSF is opening two outpatient departments, in the towns of Cartes and Estancia.

Masbate

MSF has started a needs assessment on Masbate island.

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7154&cat=field-news#sthash.0hCnbYA9.dpuf
Nov 14, 2013

"People are in Need of Everything"

Philippines 2013  MSF
Philippines 2013 MSF

Esther Sterk is a medical doctor who arrived in the Philippines earlier this week to assist in the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) response to Typhoon Haiyan. She is working with a team assessing the immediate needs in some of the islands west of Cebu, remote areas that have been massively affected by the typhoon. Here she describes the first days of MSF’s work and her initial impressions of the situation.

“Tacloban City has been the major focus of the aid effort, but the damage in other places is also huge. Yesterday, we managed to assess some areas in Panay, Negros, and Bantayan Islands.

The eastern part of Panay Island has been heavily affected. In some villages, 80 percent of the houses have been partially or completely destroyed. A lot of roofs and walls have fallen or been torn apart. In many cases, the whole house has completely collapsed. In the next days, we will focus on the isolated villages along the coast and on the surrounding islands. At the moment we do not know if health care is accessible and functioning there, but medical facilities are likely to be destroyed."

People Are in Need of Everything

"People tell us that they need drinking water, because the lakes became salty when the sea water surged. In the rural areas, many people have no means of subsistence, as their crops have been destroyed. Usually, those living on small islands travel from one island to another by boat, but many boats have been ruined. Sick people have no way of reaching the main island. On bigger islands, communities are working to clear the roads that are covered with falling trees."

Preparing for a Second Wave of Patients

"The hospital that we visited in Roxas City, in the northern part of Panay, has been damaged but is still functioning. Local medical staff have done what they can to cope with the first wave of patients who suffered from fractures and wounds due to falling objects.

But it has been raining a lot and survivors have no shelter. We are now preparing for a second wave of patients. They are already seeing cases of respiratory infections and diarrhea, and we expect the number of cases to increase. MSF will focus on supporting the medical facilities with staff, drugs, and medical equipment. We also plan to carry out mobile clinics to remote villages and small islands. We need to be fast—with the floods, there are a lot of mosquitoes. We are worried about an increase in malaria and dengue cases. Leptospirosis, a parasitic disease, is also a threat, as it is endemic in this part of the Philippines."

Providing Aid to the Most Isolated

"We are focused on providing aid fast to the most isolated areas. As of tomorrow, we will be working with staff from the Ministry of Health. Two teams will go back to the eastern coast of Panay by helicopter and by boat. They will take medication with them and will identify the areas for the mobile clinics, in order to go as close as possible to the people in need."

 

Esther Sterk is a medical doctor who arrived in the Philippines earlier this week to assist in the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) response to Typhoon Haiyan. She is working with a team assessing the immediate needs in some of the islands west of Cebu, remote areas that have been massively affected by the typhoon. Here she describes the first days of MSF’s work and her initial impressions of the situation.

“Tacloban City has been the major focus of the aid effort, but the damage in other places is also huge. Yesterday, we managed to assess some areas in Panay, Negros, and Bantayan Islands.

The eastern part of Panay Island has been heavily affected. In some villages, 80 percent of the houses have been partially or completely destroyed. A lot of roofs and walls have fallen or been torn apart. In many cases, the whole house has completely collapsed. In the next days, we will focus on the isolated villages along the coast and on the surrounding islands. At the moment we do not know if health care is accessible and functioning there, but medical facilities are likely to be destroyed."

People Are in Need of Everything

"People tell us that they need drinking water, because the lakes became salty when the sea water surged. In the rural areas, many people have no means of subsistence, as their crops have been destroyed. Usually, those living on small islands travel from one island to another by boat, but many boats have been ruined. Sick people have no way of reaching the main island. On bigger islands, communities are working to clear the roads that are covered with falling trees."

Preparing for a Second Wave of Patients

"The hospital that we visited in Roxas City, in the northern part of Panay, has been damaged but is still functioning. Local medical staff have done what they can to cope with the first wave of patients who suffered from fractures and wounds due to falling objects.

But it has been raining a lot and survivors have no shelter. We are now preparing for a second wave of patients. They are already seeing cases of respiratory infections and diarrhea, and we expect the number of cases to increase. MSF will focus on supporting the medical facilities with staff, drugs, and medical equipment. We also plan to carry out mobile clinics to remote villages and small islands. We need to be fast—with the floods, there are a lot of mosquitoes. We are worried about an increase in malaria and dengue cases. Leptospirosis, a parasitic disease, is also a threat, as it is endemic in this part of the Philippines."

Providing Aid to the Most Isolated

"We are focused on providing aid fast to the most isolated areas. As of tomorrow, we will be working with staff from the Ministry of Health. Two teams will go back to the eastern coast of Panay by helicopter and by boat. They will take medication with them and will identify the areas for the mobile clinics, in order to go as close as possible to the people in need.”

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7148&cat=voice-from-the-field#sthash.v9c7Mbg6.dpuf

Esther Sterk is a medical doctor who arrived in the Philippines earlier this week to assist in the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) response to Typhoon Haiyan. She is working with a team assessing the immediate needs in some of the islands west of Cebu, remote areas that have been massively affected by the typhoon. Here she describes the first days of MSF’s work and her initial impressions of the situation.

“Tacloban City has been the major focus of the aid effort, but the damage in other places is also huge. Yesterday, we managed to assess some areas in Panay, Negros, and Bantayan Islands.

The eastern part of Panay Island has been heavily affected. In some villages, 80 percent of the houses have been partially or completely destroyed. A lot of roofs and walls have fallen or been torn apart. In many cases, the whole house has completely collapsed. In the next days, we will focus on the isolated villages along the coast and on the surrounding islands. At the moment we do not know if health care is accessible and functioning there, but medical facilities are likely to be destroyed."

People Are in Need of Everything

"People tell us that they need drinking water, because the lakes became salty when the sea water surged. In the rural areas, many people have no means of subsistence, as their crops have been destroyed. Usually, those living on small islands travel from one island to another by boat, but many boats have been ruined. Sick people have no way of reaching the main island. On bigger islands, communities are working to clear the roads that are covered with falling trees."

Preparing for a Second Wave of Patients

"The hospital that we visited in Roxas City, in the northern part of Panay, has been damaged but is still functioning. Local medical staff have done what they can to cope with the first wave of patients who suffered from fractures and wounds due to falling objects.

But it has been raining a lot and survivors have no shelter. We are now preparing for a second wave of patients. They are already seeing cases of respiratory infections and diarrhea, and we expect the number of cases to increase. MSF will focus on supporting the medical facilities with staff, drugs, and medical equipment. We also plan to carry out mobile clinics to remote villages and small islands. We need to be fast—with the floods, there are a lot of mosquitoes. We are worried about an increase in malaria and dengue cases. Leptospirosis, a parasitic disease, is also a threat, as it is endemic in this part of the Philippines."

Providing Aid to the Most Isolated

"We are focused on providing aid fast to the most isolated areas. As of tomorrow, we will be working with staff from the Ministry of Health. Two teams will go back to the eastern coast of Panay by helicopter and by boat. They will take medication with them and will identify the areas for the mobile clinics, in order to go as close as possible to the people in need.”

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7148&cat=voice-from-the-field#sthash.v9c7Mbg6.dpuf

Esther Sterk is a medical doctor who arrived in the Philippines earlier this week to assist in the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) response to Typhoon Haiyan. She is working with a team assessing the immediate needs in some of the islands west of Cebu, remote areas that have been massively affected by the typhoon. Here she describes the first days of MSF’s work and her initial impressions of the situation.

“Tacloban City has been the major focus of the aid effort, but the damage in other places is also huge. Yesterday, we managed to assess some areas in Panay, Negros, and Bantayan Islands.

The eastern part of Panay Island has been heavily affected. In some villages, 80 percent of the houses have been partially or completely destroyed. A lot of roofs and walls have fallen or been torn apart. In many cases, the whole house has completely collapsed. In the next days, we will focus on the isolated villages along the coast and on the surrounding islands. At the moment we do not know if health care is accessible and functioning there, but medical facilities are likely to be destroyed."

People Are in Need of Everything

"People tell us that they need drinking water, because the lakes became salty when the sea water surged. In the rural areas, many people have no means of subsistence, as their crops have been destroyed. Usually, those living on small islands travel from one island to another by boat, but many boats have been ruined. Sick people have no way of reaching the main island. On bigger islands, communities are working to clear the roads that are covered with falling trees."

Preparing for a Second Wave of Patients

"The hospital that we visited in Roxas City, in the northern part of Panay, has been damaged but is still functioning. Local medical staff have done what they can to cope with the first wave of patients who suffered from fractures and wounds due to falling objects.

But it has been raining a lot and survivors have no shelter. We are now preparing for a second wave of patients. They are already seeing cases of respiratory infections and diarrhea, and we expect the number of cases to increase. MSF will focus on supporting the medical facilities with staff, drugs, and medical equipment. We also plan to carry out mobile clinics to remote villages and small islands. We need to be fast—with the floods, there are a lot of mosquitoes. We are worried about an increase in malaria and dengue cases. Leptospirosis, a parasitic disease, is also a threat, as it is endemic in this part of the Philippines."

Providing Aid to the Most Isolated

"We are focused on providing aid fast to the most isolated areas. As of tomorrow, we will be working with staff from the Ministry of Health. Two teams will go back to the eastern coast of Panay by helicopter and by boat. They will take medication with them and will identify the areas for the mobile clinics, in order to go as close as possible to the people in need.”

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7148&cat=voice-from-the-field#sthash.v9c7Mbg6.dpuf

Esther Sterk is a medical doctor who arrived in the Philippines earlier this week to assist in the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) response to Typhoon Haiyan. She is working with a team assessing the immediate needs in some of the islands west of Cebu, remote areas that have been massively affected by the typhoon. Here she describes the first days of MSF’s work and her initial impressions of the situation.

“Tacloban City has been the major focus of the aid effort, but the damage in other places is also huge. Yesterday, we managed to assess some areas in Panay, Negros, and Bantayan Islands.

The eastern part of Panay Island has been heavily affected. In some villages, 80 percent of the houses have been partially or completely destroyed. A lot of roofs and walls have fallen or been torn apart. In many cases, the whole house has completely collapsed. In the next days, we will focus on the isolated villages along the coast and on the surrounding islands. At the moment we do not know if health care is accessible and functioning there, but medical facilities are likely to be destroyed."

People Are in Need of Everything

"People tell us that they need drinking water, because the lakes became salty when the sea water surged. In the rural areas, many people have no means of subsistence, as their crops have been destroyed. Usually, those living on small islands travel from one island to another by boat, but many boats have been ruined. Sick people have no way of reaching the main island. On bigger islands, communities are working to clear the roads that are covered with falling trees."

Preparing for a Second Wave of Patients

"The hospital that we visited in Roxas City, in the northern part of Panay, has been damaged but is still functioning. Local medical staff have done what they can to cope with the first wave of patients who suffered from fractures and wounds due to falling objects.

But it has been raining a lot and survivors have no shelter. We are now preparing for a second wave of patients. They are already seeing cases of respiratory infections and diarrhea, and we expect the number of cases to increase. MSF will focus on supporting the medical facilities with staff, drugs, and medical equipment. We also plan to carry out mobile clinics to remote villages and small islands. We need to be fast—with the floods, there are a lot of mosquitoes. We are worried about an increase in malaria and dengue cases. Leptospirosis, a parasitic disease, is also a threat, as it is endemic in this part of the Philippines."

Providing Aid to the Most Isolated

"We are focused on providing aid fast to the most isolated areas. As of tomorrow, we will be working with staff from the Ministry of Health. Two teams will go back to the eastern coast of Panay by helicopter and by boat. They will take medication with them and will identify the areas for the mobile clinics, in order to go as close as possible to the people in need.”

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7148&cat=voice-from-the-field#sthash.v9c7Mbg6.dpuf

Esther Sterk is a medical doctor who arrived in the Philippines earlier this week to assist in the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) response to Typhoon Haiyan. She is working with a team assessing the immediate needs in some of the islands west of Cebu, remote areas that have been massively affected by the typhoon. Here she describes the first days of MSF’s work and her initial impressions of the situation.

“Tacloban City has been the major focus of the aid effort, but the damage in other places is also huge. Yesterday, we managed to assess some areas in Panay, Negros, and Bantayan Islands.

The eastern part of Panay Island has been heavily affected. In some villages, 80 percent of the houses have been partially or completely destroyed. A lot of roofs and walls have fallen or been torn apart. In many cases, the whole house has completely collapsed. In the next days, we will focus on the isolated villages along the coast and on the surrounding islands. At the moment we do not know if health care is accessible and functioning there, but medical facilities are likely to be destroyed."

People Are in Need of Everything

"People tell us that they need drinking water, because the lakes became salty when the sea water surged. In the rural areas, many people have no means of subsistence, as their crops have been destroyed. Usually, those living on small islands travel from one island to another by boat, but many boats have been ruined. Sick people have no way of reaching the main island. On bigger islands, communities are working to clear the roads that are covered with falling trees."

Preparing for a Second Wave of Patients

"The hospital that we visited in Roxas City, in the northern part of Panay, has been damaged but is still functioning. Local medical staff have done what they can to cope with the first wave of patients who suffered from fractures and wounds due to falling objects.

But it has been raining a lot and survivors have no shelter. We are now preparing for a second wave of patients. They are already seeing cases of respiratory infections and diarrhea, and we expect the number of cases to increase. MSF will focus on supporting the medical facilities with staff, drugs, and medical equipment. We also plan to carry out mobile clinics to remote villages and small islands. We need to be fast—with the floods, there are a lot of mosquitoes. We are worried about an increase in malaria and dengue cases. Leptospirosis, a parasitic disease, is also a threat, as it is endemic in this part of the Philippines."

Providing Aid to the Most Isolated

"We are focused on providing aid fast to the most isolated areas. As of tomorrow, we will be working with staff from the Ministry of Health. Two teams will go back to the eastern coast of Panay by helicopter and by boat. They will take medication with them and will identify the areas for the mobile clinics, in order to go as close as possible to the people in need.”

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7148&cat=voice-from-the-field#sthash.v9c7Mbg6.dpuf

Esther Sterk is a medical doctor who arrived in the Philippines earlier this week to assist in the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) response to Typhoon Haiyan. She is working with a team assessing the immediate needs in some of the islands west of Cebu, remote areas that have been massively affected by the typhoon. Here she describes the first days of MSF’s work and her initial impressions of the situation.

“Tacloban City has been the major focus of the aid effort, but the damage in other places is also huge. Yesterday, we managed to assess some areas in Panay, Negros, and Bantayan Islands.

The eastern part of Panay Island has been heavily affected. In some villages, 80 percent of the houses have been partially or completely destroyed. A lot of roofs and walls have fallen or been torn apart. In many cases, the whole house has completely collapsed. In the next days, we will focus on the isolated villages along the coast and on the surrounding islands. At the moment we do not know if health care is accessible and functioning there, but medical facilities are likely to be destroyed."

People Are in Need of Everything

"People tell us that they need drinking water, because the lakes became salty when the sea water surged. In the rural areas, many people have no means of subsistence, as their crops have been destroyed. Usually, those living on small islands travel from one island to another by boat, but many boats have been ruined. Sick people have no way of reaching the main island. On bigger islands, communities are working to clear the roads that are covered with falling trees."

Preparing for a Second Wave of Patients

"The hospital that we visited in Roxas City, in the northern part of Panay, has been damaged but is still functioning. Local medical staff have done what they can to cope with the first wave of patients who suffered from fractures and wounds due to falling objects.

But it has been raining a lot and survivors have no shelter. We are now preparing for a second wave of patients. They are already seeing cases of respiratory infections and diarrhea, and we expect the number of cases to increase. MSF will focus on supporting the medical facilities with staff, drugs, and medical equipment. We also plan to carry out mobile clinics to remote villages and small islands. We need to be fast—with the floods, there are a lot of mosquitoes. We are worried about an increase in malaria and dengue cases. Leptospirosis, a parasitic disease, is also a threat, as it is endemic in this part of the Philippines."

Providing Aid to the Most Isolated

"We are focused on providing aid fast to the most isolated areas. As of tomorrow, we will be working with staff from the Ministry of Health. Two teams will go back to the eastern coast of Panay by helicopter and by boat. They will take medication with them and will identify the areas for the mobile clinics, in order to go as close as possible to the people in need.”

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7148&cat=voice-from-the-field#sthash.v9c7Mbg6.dpuf

Esther Sterk is a medical doctor who arrived in the Philippines earlier this week to assist in the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) response to Typhoon Haiyan. She is working with a team assessing the immediate needs in some of the islands west of Cebu, remote areas that have been massively affected by the typhoon. Here she describes the first days of MSF’s work and her initial impressions of the situation.

“Tacloban City has been the major focus of the aid effort, but the damage in other places is also huge. Yesterday, we managed to assess some areas in Panay, Negros, and Bantayan Islands.

The eastern part of Panay Island has been heavily affected. In some villages, 80 percent of the houses have been partially or completely destroyed. A lot of roofs and walls have fallen or been torn apart. In many cases, the whole house has completely collapsed. In the next days, we will focus on the isolated villages along the coast and on the surrounding islands. At the moment we do not know if health care is accessible and functioning there, but medical facilities are likely to be destroyed."

People Are in Need of Everything

"People tell us that they need drinking water, because the lakes became salty when the sea water surged. In the rural areas, many people have no means of subsistence, as their crops have been destroyed. Usually, those living on small islands travel from one island to another by boat, but many boats have been ruined. Sick people have no way of reaching the main island. On bigger islands, communities are working to clear the roads that are covered with falling trees."

Preparing for a Second Wave of Patients

"The hospital that we visited in Roxas City, in the northern part of Panay, has been damaged but is still functioning. Local medical staff have done what they can to cope with the first wave of patients who suffered from fractures and wounds due to falling objects.

But it has been raining a lot and survivors have no shelter. We are now preparing for a second wave of patients. They are already seeing cases of respiratory infections and diarrhea, and we expect the number of cases to increase. MSF will focus on supporting the medical facilities with staff, drugs, and medical equipment. We also plan to carry out mobile clinics to remote villages and small islands. We need to be fast—with the floods, there are a lot of mosquitoes. We are worried about an increase in malaria and dengue cases. Leptospirosis, a parasitic disease, is also a threat, as it is endemic in this part of the Philippines."

Providing Aid to the Most Isolated

"We are focused on providing aid fast to the most isolated areas. As of tomorrow, we will be working with staff from the Ministry of Health. Two teams will go back to the eastern coast of Panay by helicopter and by boat. They will take medication with them and will identify the areas for the mobile clinics, in order to go as close as possible to the people in need.”

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7148&cat=voice-from-the-field#sthash.v9c7Mbg6.dpuf

Esther Sterk is a medical doctor who arrived in the Philippines earlier this week to assist in the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) response to Typhoon Haiyan. She is working with a team assessing the immediate needs in some of the islands west of Cebu, remote areas that have been massively affected by the typhoon. Here she describes the first days of MSF’s work and her initial impressions of the situation.

“Tacloban City has been the major focus of the aid effort, but the damage in other places is also huge. Yesterday, we managed to assess some areas in Panay, Negros, and Bantayan Islands.

The eastern part of Panay Island has been heavily affected. In some villages, 80 percent of the houses have been partially or completely destroyed. A lot of roofs and walls have fallen or been torn apart. In many cases, the whole house has completely collapsed. In the next days, we will focus on the isolated villages along the coast and on the surrounding islands. At the moment we do not know if health care is accessible and functioning there, but medical facilities are likely to be destroyed."

People Are in Need of Everything

"People tell us that they need drinking water, because the lakes became salty when the sea water surged. In the rural areas, many people have no means of subsistence, as their crops have been destroyed. Usually, those living on small islands travel from one island to another by boat, but many boats have been ruined. Sick people have no way of reaching the main island. On bigger islands, communities are working to clear the roads that are covered with falling trees."

Preparing for a Second Wave of Patients

"The hospital that we visited in Roxas City, in the northern part of Panay, has been damaged but is still functioning. Local medical staff have done what they can to cope with the first wave of patients who suffered from fractures and wounds due to falling objects.

But it has been raining a lot and survivors have no shelter. We are now preparing for a second wave of patients. They are already seeing cases of respiratory infections and diarrhea, and we expect the number of cases to increase. MSF will focus on supporting the medical facilities with staff, drugs, and medical equipment. We also plan to carry out mobile clinics to remote villages and small islands. We need to be fast—with the floods, there are a lot of mosquitoes. We are worried about an increase in malaria and dengue cases. Leptospirosis, a parasitic disease, is also a threat, as it is endemic in this part of the Philippines."

Providing Aid to the Most Isolated

"We are focused on providing aid fast to the most isolated areas. As of tomorrow, we will be working with staff from the Ministry of Health. Two teams will go back to the eastern coast of Panay by helicopter and by boat. They will take medication with them and will identify the areas for the mobile clinics, in order to go as close as possible to the people in need.”

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7148&cat=voice-from-the-field#sthash.v9c7Mbg6.dpuf
Nov 13, 2013

Philippines: Rapidly Scaling Up the Response

Wednesday, November 13, 2013—In the ongoing effort to assist people in the central Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have traveled by car, boat, plane, and helicopter to reach some of the areas that were in the center of the storm’s path—northern Cebu island, eastern Samar island, Panay Island, and western Leyte province—in order to evaluate the damage in the area and the medical needs of the populations.

The storm’s toll was clearly massive and much of the region’s infrastructure was rendered inoperable, meaning that large numbers of people have yet to receive assistance—particularly in outlying islands that neither the national government nor international agencies have been able to reach.

“Access is extremely difficult and [the situation] is preventing people from receiving help,” says Dr. Natasha Reyes, MSF emergency coordinator in the Philippines. “Our priority is to get to those people in more isolated areas; they are the hardest to reach and often the last to receive much-needed assistance.”

Assessing the Needs

One MSF team went by plane to Guiuan, a village of 45,000 people in the east of Samar, one of the first areas the typhoon hit. The damage is extensive and the needs immense.

“The situation here is bleak,” says Alexis Moens, MSF’s assessment team leader. “The village has been flattened—houses, medical facilities, rice fields, fishing boats, all destroyed. People are living out in the open; there are no roofs left standing in the whole of Guiuan. The needs are immense and there are a lot of surrounding villages that are not yet covered by any aid organizations.”

A full team will return by helicopter tomorrow and immediately get to work delivering medical assistance to as many people as possible. The priority will be to treat the wounded and ensure that people who need additional care are referred to more specialized services. The team will also provide clean water, shelter, and relief items.

An MSF aid worker packs essential kits before heading to Tacloban, one of the areas hit hardest by the storm.

“Today I met a man who lost his whole family,” says Moens. “He was hospitalized because he tried to stab himself with a knife in the chest. Tragically, we hear these sorts of stories in many places. There are villages that have lost so many people, and psychosocial assistance is going to be essential to help people rebuild their lives.”

Another MSF team carried out an assessment of Panay Island by helicopter and estimates that around 50 percent of Roxas City, a town in Cadiz province, has been destroyed. Further assessments will be carried out in the affected villages surrounding Roxas. A third team is currently in Ormoc, from which it will survey the situation in western Leyte.

A fourth MSF team drove to northern Cebu, where most of the people who were displaced appear to have found shelter with other families and communities. The local hospital was overwhelmed with patients immediately after the typhoon passed through the area, but other nearby health centers and hospitals provided support, and it is now coping relatively well. The MSF team later boarded a ferry to Bantayan Island, where they will stay overnight and continue the assessment.

More Staff and Materials on the Way

MSF is rapidly scaling up its response and will have more than 100 staff in the area in the coming days, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, logisticians, psychologists, and water and sanitation experts. Nine planeloads of aid materials—including medical supplies, shelter materials, hygiene kits, and water and sanitation equipment—are being dispatched to the Philippines from MSF warehouses around the world. Three of the planes arrived in Cebu today.

 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013—In the ongoing effort to assist people in the central Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have traveled by car, boat, plane, and helicopter to reach some of the areas that were in the center of the storm’s path—northern Cebu island, eastern Samar island, Panay Island, and western Leyte province—in order to evaluate the damage in the area and the medical needs of the populations.

The storm’s toll was clearly massive and much of the region’s infrastructure was rendered inoperable, meaning that large numbers of people have yet to receive assistance—particularly in outlying islands that neither the national government nor international agencies have been able to reach.

“Access is extremely difficult and [the situation] is preventing people from receiving help,” says Dr. Natasha Reyes, MSF emergency coordinator in the Philippines. “Our priority is to get to those people in more isolated areas; they are the hardest to reach and often the last to receive much-needed assistance.”

Assessing the Needs

One MSF team went by plane to Guiuan, a village of 45,000 people in the east of Samar, one of the first areas the typhoon hit. The damage is extensive and the needs immense.

“The situation here is bleak,” says Alexis Moens, MSF’s assessment team leader. “The village has been flattened—houses, medical facilities, rice fields, fishing boats, all destroyed. People are living out in the open; there are no roofs left standing in the whole of Guiuan. The needs are immense and there are a lot of surrounding villages that are not yet covered by any aid organizations.”

A full team will return by helicopter tomorrow and immediately get to work delivering medical assistance to as many people as possible. The priority will be to treat the wounded and ensure that people who need additional care are referred to more specialized services. The team will also provide clean water, shelter, and relief items.

Philippines 2013 © Baikong Mamid/MSF

An MSF aid worker packs essential kits before heading to Tacloban, one of the areas hit hardest by the storm.

“Today I met a man who lost his whole family,” says Moens. “He was hospitalized because he tried to stab himself with a knife in the chest. Tragically, we hear these sorts of stories in many places. There are villages that have lost so many people, and psychosocial assistance is going to be essential to help people rebuild their lives.”

Another MSF team carried out an assessment of Panay Island by helicopter and estimates that around 50 percent of Roxas City, a town in Cadiz province, has been destroyed. Further assessments will be carried out in the affected villages surrounding Roxas. A third team is currently in Ormoc, from which it will survey the situation in western Leyte.

A fourth MSF team drove to northern Cebu, where most of the people who were displaced appear to have found shelter with other families and communities. The local hospital was overwhelmed with patients immediately after the typhoon passed through the area, but other nearby health centers and hospitals provided support, and it is now coping relatively well. The MSF team later boarded a ferry to Bantayan Island, where they will stay overnight and continue the assessment.

More Staff and Materials on the Way

MSF is rapidly scaling up its response and will have more than 100 staff in the area in the coming days, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, logisticians, psychologists, and water and sanitation experts. Nine planeloads of aid materials—including medical supplies, shelter materials, hygiene kits, and water and sanitation equipment—are being dispatched to the Philippines from MSF warehouses around the world. Three of the planes arrived in Cebu today. 

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7144&cat=field-news#sthash.igqWgpnH.dpuf

Wednesday, November 13, 2013—In the ongoing effort to assist people in the central Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have traveled by car, boat, plane, and helicopter to reach some of the areas that were in the center of the storm’s path—northern Cebu island, eastern Samar island, Panay Island, and western Leyte province—in order to evaluate the damage in the area and the medical needs of the populations.

The storm’s toll was clearly massive and much of the region’s infrastructure was rendered inoperable, meaning that large numbers of people have yet to receive assistance—particularly in outlying islands that neither the national government nor international agencies have been able to reach.

“Access is extremely difficult and [the situation] is preventing people from receiving help,” says Dr. Natasha Reyes, MSF emergency coordinator in the Philippines. “Our priority is to get to those people in more isolated areas; they are the hardest to reach and often the last to receive much-needed assistance.”

Assessing the Needs

One MSF team went by plane to Guiuan, a village of 45,000 people in the east of Samar, one of the first areas the typhoon hit. The damage is extensive and the needs immense.

“The situation here is bleak,” says Alexis Moens, MSF’s assessment team leader. “The village has been flattened—houses, medical facilities, rice fields, fishing boats, all destroyed. People are living out in the open; there are no roofs left standing in the whole of Guiuan. The needs are immense and there are a lot of surrounding villages that are not yet covered by any aid organizations.”

A full team will return by helicopter tomorrow and immediately get to work delivering medical assistance to as many people as possible. The priority will be to treat the wounded and ensure that people who need additional care are referred to more specialized services. The team will also provide clean water, shelter, and relief items.

Philippines 2013 © Baikong Mamid/MSF

An MSF aid worker packs essential kits before heading to Tacloban, one of the areas hit hardest by the storm.

“Today I met a man who lost his whole family,” says Moens. “He was hospitalized because he tried to stab himself with a knife in the chest. Tragically, we hear these sorts of stories in many places. There are villages that have lost so many people, and psychosocial assistance is going to be essential to help people rebuild their lives.”

Another MSF team carried out an assessment of Panay Island by helicopter and estimates that around 50 percent of Roxas City, a town in Cadiz province, has been destroyed. Further assessments will be carried out in the affected villages surrounding Roxas. A third team is currently in Ormoc, from which it will survey the situation in western Leyte.

A fourth MSF team drove to northern Cebu, where most of the people who were displaced appear to have found shelter with other families and communities. The local hospital was overwhelmed with patients immediately after the typhoon passed through the area, but other nearby health centers and hospitals provided support, and it is now coping relatively well. The MSF team later boarded a ferry to Bantayan Island, where they will stay overnight and continue the assessment.

More Staff and Materials on the Way

MSF is rapidly scaling up its response and will have more than 100 staff in the area in the coming days, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, logisticians, psychologists, and water and sanitation experts. Nine planeloads of aid materials—including medical supplies, shelter materials, hygiene kits, and water and sanitation equipment—are being dispatched to the Philippines from MSF warehouses around the world. Three of the planes arrived in Cebu today. 

- See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=7144&cat=field-news#sthash.igqWgpnH.dpuf

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Project Leader

Kat Read

New York, NY United States

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