Posted by: ihfgeneva | November 18, 2013

Philippines Typhoon Haiyan

On Friday, November 8, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded on land, Typhoon Haiyan, hit the coastal provinces of Leyte and Samar and 6 central islands in the Philippines. The storm demolished cities, homes, hospitals, and schools and left millions displaced, sick and starving. In the wake of the storm, the United Nations has reported a death toll of 3631.

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Healthcare facilities have been hit hard by the typhoon, and hospitals currently lack necessary supplies such as electric power, water, food, antibiotics, gauze, sterile gloves and more. An example reported on the impact on healthcare facilities is on the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center located in Leyte province, forced to close its Intensive Care Unit, for lack of electric power and supplies. Its pathology lab and blood bank have been destroyed with the only generator available having just enough power to light the Emergency room and a single operating room. Compromised water supply has increased the risk of waterborne diseases such as cholera.

Several logistical challenges have delayed the distribution of international aid, such as the lack of fuel to move trucks with supplies, impassible roads blocked by fallen trees and debris, frequent downpours, and debris blocking the airport. Although aid is finally reaching the devastated areas, there is still much left to be done. Fortunately, as international aid begins to pick up pace, field hospitals have been established by 9 teams from countries including Australia, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United States.

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The whole IHF Membership community extends its sincere condolences and solidarity to the Philippines and its Full Member – The Philippine Hospital Association (PHA) – over this tragedy and the great loss and destruction to life and property.  Dr Bu Castro, PHA President has communicated to the IHF Secretariat the country’s priority needs as being:

–          Food and Water

–          Clothes

–          Any kind of shelter

–          Medicines

PHA is also soliciting donations for the typhoon victims in forms of medical supplies, cash, food, clothes, blankets, etc at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Philippine-Hospital-Association/131202700289954).

IHF members and colleagues wishing to respond to the request may do so by the PHA facebook site provided above or directly by telephone: +632 922 76 74 – Philippine Hospital Association, 14, Kamias Road, Quezon City 1102, Philippines.

For any support or additional information the IHF Secretariat may also be contacted at: Tel: +41.22.850.90.20; Email: info@ihf-fih.org

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