Philippine Disaster-Medical Response and Recovery

by Mercy In Action Vineyard, INC
Vetted
Rina at home visit, checking up mother and baby
Rina at home visit, checking up mother and baby

Outreach is an part of providing maternity care, especially in a disaster zone where most families do not have vehicles to drive to the doctor or midwife's office. The midwives at Cumpio Clinic, sponsored by Mercy In Action, are excellent at providing home visits for pregnancy and postpartum care to the homes around Tanauan on Leyte island. This is where the disastrous super typhoon of 2013 hit the hardest, and the community is still struggling to recover.

Thank you for being a donor to Mercy In Action through Global Giving. Your donations make a world of difference to those families still living in temporary shelters in the disaster zone. Through your generosity, they have caring and thoughtful midwives and childbirth educators coming right into their own communities and homes to help them safely navigate pregnancy and early child raising. Because of your donations, they have a safe, clean, and well-stocked birth center to give birth in, and kind, compassionate, and well-trained staff to assist them.

If you want to help further, please write to us with your ideas or encouragements at info@mercyinaction.com.

Or consider mailing a donation of new or gently used newborn baby clothes and blankets; we will make sure it gets into the community where it is needed the most: 

Mercy In Action
c/o Nerissa Reynera Cumpio
Zone 2 Brgy. Sto.
Nino Tanauan
Leyte 6502, Philippines

Nerissa on outreach
Nerissa on outreach
Mother and Grandmother with new baby
Mother and Grandmother with new baby
Brand new, heading home from Birth Center
Brand new, heading home from Birth Center

Links:

Mothers crowding into teachings at clinic
Mothers crowding into teachings at clinic

Another room is going up this month on the Cumpio Clinic, and not a minute too soon! We are bursting at the seams with parents who are eager for the health teachings and child survival educational programs we offer. It is like life water to the survivors of the disaster. And we just want to say a heartfelt Thank You to our many wonderful donors who give to our disaster recovery work through Global Giving.

Together we are helping people rebuild their lives after the worst storm to make landfall on the planet last November 2013. It is true that while the news showed all the buildings that were destroyed, the worse crisis was the human face of the tragedy; the loss of life, the deep inconsolable grief, the injuries and disease among the survivors, and the multitude of homeless people. With clinics and hospitals also damaged and destroyed, there was no safe place for the babies to be born.

And that is where Mercy In Action came in. Responding to the immediate disaster, we took a team and flew in soon after the airport was repaired enough to re-open, and we set up tents to deliver babies at ground zero. But of course this was a temporary band aide on a human disaster of enormous proportions. We knew we had to help rebuild, and you helped us do that. By 6 months after the disaster, we had begun rebuilding one birth center and clinic that had been smashed into rubble. By 9 months after the disaster, I was privileged to attend the grand opening, and babies started having a safe, clean, equipped place to be born again. And by two years after the disaster, we raised enough money to rebuild a home for the midwife Nerissa and her family.

In this new birth center, Cumpio Clinic, (named after the original clinic that was destroyed) all maternity care is offered FREE OF CHARGE, and they teach childbirth and parenting classes, cramming dozens of women and babies into the clinic waiting room. This is especially difficult on the clinic staff because they are having babies born day and night, and prenatal check ups coming in and out, all the while trying to carry on good parent education. 

Mercy In Action, with a partial grant from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, is committed to building on to the existing clinic and expanding their ability to teach public health as a free service to the community. 

Anna at Center for Disaster Philanthropy just sent us this letter, and I quote her:  "It makes me ever so happy to start my Monday by sending you this note. Attached please find an agreement letter for $4,750 to go towards the completion of the multi-purpose room at Cumpio Clinic. I look forward to hearing about the continuation of yours and Nerissa’s wonderful work there!"

Please consider helping us with the rest we will need to put up this Multipurpose hall for health education (approximately $3,000 more.) Prevention of problems in pregnancy and prevention of childhood illnesses is one of the most important things we can be involved in at this stage of the disaster recovery.

 

And if you have suggestions for teaching aides or topics to teach to new mothers, or have any questions about our current disaster recovery phase, please feel free to contact me at info@mercyinaction.com.

Bless you, thank you, keep praying for the recovery...it is a long long road back from Typhoon Haiyan. 

We need more space for them all !
We need more space for them all !
So many mothers hungry to learn child health
So many mothers hungry to learn child health
The midwives faithfully pack them in and teach
The midwives faithfully pack them in and teach

Links:

Vicki holding baby John
Vicki holding baby John

In the super typhoon named Haiyan that hit the Philippines November 8th, 2013, terrible things happened. Some parents we met experienced the horror of having their young child or little baby ripped from their arms and washed away by the waves. Such was the case for a young couple named Beth and Jose. A year after the disaster Beth was fortunate enough to give birth in the newly rebuilt Cumpio Clinic in Tanauan, the clinic and birth center that Mercy In Action rebuilt with help from Global Giving donors. She was so happy to be alive and to have a new baby, but her heart was also hurt by the birth defect she saw on her new baby son's face.

This week, Mercy In Action is funding the corrective surgery that baby John needs. 

His mother wrote this heartfelt note to me: 

"Ma'am thank you so much for the big help to my son that would change for good in his entire life. My son owe the part of his good life from mercy in action. On Monday December 28, we will go to hospital to have a surgery schedule for Jeffrey. Ma'am Vicki a big thank you for the help. We pray for a more good things to come in mercy in action."

Can't you just hear the mother's love for her child come through these words? She wants what every mother wants, she wants what all of us want--just for her child to have a good life.

Please continue to support the good work of Mercy In Action in the disaster zone.  Right now there is $15,000 available in Matching Funds for the disaster zone in the Philippines, available to be matched dollar for dollar by any donation to our Mercy In Action Philippine Disaster-Medical Response and Recovery Project.  

God Bless you and thank you for the difference you make in the life of real people with real needs. 

* Names are changed to protect the dignity and privacy of the people we serve.

 

Links:

New Life after Survival
New Life after Survival

Cumpio Clinic was rebuilt after being destroyed in Super Typhoon Haiyan (known as Yolanda in the Philippines.) They have a patient named Jerrylyn. She lived at the base of a mountain in Tanauan with her husband and two boys. On November 8 2013, the storm surges of Typhoon Yolanda swept her house away. She was 5 months pregnant at the time. When the waters came, they lost hold of their older boy and he died in the fast moving currents. He was 2 years old. Five months later in March 2014 she gave birth to a baby boy in a Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) medical tent.

Then on Oct 22 2015 she delivered her fourth baby here at the clinic, her first girl. Both mother and baby are healthy and well! She was very happy and thankful that she was able to deliver here at the clinic wherein she was treated with respect and dignity.

Most patients who come to our birth center to give birth lost children in Typhoon Yolanda. Often they are very poor. If patients don’t have money for food, we feed them for the entire 24 hour postpartum stay. Sometimes this means preparing a meal in the middle of the night after a birth. But Jerrylyn and the hundreds of other mothers who’ve delivered at Cumpio Clinic are examples of resiliency and strength in the wake of tragedy.

Clinic updates as of October 2015 (since rebuilding and opening September 2014)
Births- 209
Prenatal-435
Postpartum visit- nearly 200

One of our donors in the disaster recovery wrote an email this week saying: "My thanks to you for the incredible work that Mercy in Action did...was one of the most personally gratifying things I have done ... am so glad that Global Giving introduced us and we were able to work with you on this! "

Thank you for your part in helping us help Cumpio Clinic open again to serve their community. The anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda is coming up; On November 5th Global Giving will hold a Matching Funding day, matching all donations 100% to help with the rebuilding. Would you be willing to give a generous donation on that day, to further help Cumpio Clinic move forward after the storm?

Beautiful new Mother and Baby
Beautiful new Mother and Baby
Cumpio Clinic, Rebuilt from the Ruins
Cumpio Clinic, Rebuilt from the Ruins

Links:

5 babies share a Birthday
5 babies share a Birthday

"Hi ma'am Vicki, i received a package, beautiful baby blankets. nice gifts for the patients. By the way such a busy day for us 6 babies in 24 hrs. Such a blessing and fulfilling job. Love Nerissa"

This is the letter I received this past week from the head midwife and owner of the birth center and clinic Mercy In Action rebuilt after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated Leyte Island in the Philippines. 

With the help of Global Giving and all our wonderfully generous donors, Mercy In Action was able to not only rebuilt her private clinic, but also her home. And now she is busy again, as you can see, and fulfilled in being able to serve her community with such a vital service. Six babies in 24 hours! it is a mini miracle in itself, for those of us who remember that her clinic and home were smashed beyond recognition in the typhoon that made her and thousands of her neighbors homeless. And yet, babies come, and life goes on, and now there is a safe place for these babies to be welcomed into the world.

As Leyte island rebuilds, lets not forget them. There is still a long way to go, and much work to do. Supporting free clinics like Nerissa's is essential for families that still do not have homes, jobs, or food security. When they are pregnant, at least they know where to go for good care, totally free, thanks to the support of Mercy In Action and all our donors and supporters.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Mercy In Action Vineyard, INC

Location: Boise, ID - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.mercyinaction.com
Project Leader:
Vicki Penwell
Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales, Philippines Philippines

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