Yesterday (November 14th), an International Medical Corps team, including medical staff and water, sanitation and hygiene experts landed in Guiuan, on a remote island of the Philippines. They were met by hundreds of people on the tarmac, and immediately begin providing medical relief.
Typhoon Haiyan made landfall at Guiuan, knocking out water, power and communication. Two of the island’s three hospitals have been completely destroyed. Our teams have provided medical care for infected wounds from flying debris; upper respiratory infections; and complications from a lack of available medication for chronic diseases, such as diabetes. There have already been cases of diarrheal disease caused by a lack of clean drinking water, and local health officials fear an increase in cases of tetanus, dengue fever and measles in the coming weeks and months.
Just two hours after the team landed, we spoke to Margaret Aguirre, a member of our Emergency Response Team, and she noted "We were able to see the scope of the devastation. It was immense … Whole villages were flattened … We brought in food, water and medicine with us, and we’ve already begun treating patients … There are whole villages in Guiuan that have not been reached yet. That’s where we are going to be going.”
To meet the needs of the people of Guiuan, International Medical Corps is operating mobile medical units and providing access to clean water and hygiene promotion to thwart the spread of disease.
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