With the one month mark past us, please read the comprehensive overview below to find out more about Direct Relief’s relief and recovery efforts in the Philippines since Typhoon Haiyan hit the island nation.
THE LARGEST TYPHOON EVER
Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Typhoon Yolanda), the largest typhoon in recorded history, struck the Visayas regions of the Philippines on November 8 and caused widespread damage and destruction. Because of the typhoon’s size and storm path, it made landfall across a large geographic area where millions of people live and work. The United Nations reports up to 15 million people have been affected in some way. More than 90 percent of structures in the storm’s path suffered damage or total destruction, more than 4 million people remain displaced from their homes, and at least 7,500 people are confirmed dead or still missing. Additionally, the majority of health facilities located in and around the storm path were severely damaged—many lost power and water, and even more lost all of the supplies and equipment needed to treat the patients injured during the typhoon.
THE IMMEDIATE RESPONSE
Direct Relief rapidly mobilized relief supplies just hours after Typhoon Haiyan made landfall and was in close communication with the Embassy of the Philippines and the Philippine Consulate of Los Angeles to ensure the needed supplies made it to responders.
Currently, Direct Relief’s Emergency Response Team is on the ground doing on-site assessments of the medical facilities in the most severely affected regions of the Visayas. Working with Palantir Technologies, which provides the platform for live-sharing of information, the groups have assessed over 125 health facilities, including health outposts, provincial hospitals, and mobile medical facilities.
SAVING LIVES WITH MEDICINES AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES
In response to the overwhelming medical needs of storm survivors, Direct Relief has provided more than 50 tons of medical material valued at over $10 million (wholesale) to the region. Shipments have included antibiotics, pain relievers, nutritional supplements, anti-fungal medications, wound dressings, and chronic disease medicines.
On November 23, FedEx provided an MD-11 cargo plane to ship the largest single donation of medicines and supplies in Direct Relief’s history. This shipments contained enough antibiotics and oral rehydration solutions to treat more than 200,000 people for dehydration and bacterial infections.
To date, the largest portion of medications and supplies have been donated directly to the Philippine Red Cross, which is uniquely positioned to rapidly deploy medical material and personnel into the hardest hit areas. Working with local leadership and local communities, they have deployed basic healthcare units to treat the ongoing medical needs of patients in eight areas where local medical capacity was limited. Additionally, they have set up hospitals in two areas where they have the in-patient capacity to care for 25 people in the facility. These facilities have all been stocked with medicines and supplies from Direct Relief.
To facilitate the efficient aggregation and distribution of medicines and supplies throughout the affected region, Direct Relief is working with local partner the IPI Foundation Inc., which is providing temporary warehousing space in Cebu.
WORKING WITH LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES
Direct Relief has been working closely with Department of Health Directors and Provincial Health Officers to ensure support is being provided to the large provincial hospitals where patients go for critical care. At the request of these local health officials, Direct Relief has delivered essential medications, supplies, and nutritional supplements to ten hospitals in all three of the hardest-hit regions.
Direct Relief staff continue to visit health facilities and build relationships with key government officials and charitable organizations working in Regions 6, 7, and 8. Among the hospitals visited was the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, also known as Leyte Provincial Hospital, a 250 bed level 4 tertiary facility and training hospital and the main referral center for Tacloban City. Hospital officials expressed an urgent need for medical equipment and durables.
The teams also visited the Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital in Leyte, a 25-bed facility which was founded in 1975 to treat Schistosomiasis a (neglected tropical disease) but now offers a whole range of medical services including mental health support. Staff then traveled to Samar and assessed four additional facilities that are in need of support. Much of the attention and support in the aftermath of the typhoon has been focused on Tacloban; however, it is clear that the need extends much further into outlying areas.
PROVIDING IMMEDIATE RELIEF THROUGH CASH GRANTS
Thanks to the generous monetary donations from individuals, foundations, and companies wanting to assist in this recovery, Direct Relief has been able to provide $150,000 in cash grants to locally-run Filipino organizations that are the best-suited to provide immediate relief and long-term recovery to this crisis. As a result of this support, 6,680 relief packs have been distributed to families in need throughout Eastern Samar, Leyte, and northern Cebu.
Health Facilities Supported
Below is list of some of the health facilities benefiting from Direct Relief’s medical material support:
- Bethany Hospital, Tacloban
- Divine Word Hospital, Tacloban
- Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, Tacloban
- Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital, Palo
- Bantayan District Hospital, Bantayan Island
- Cebu Provincial Hospital, Bogo
- Barotac Veijo District Hospital, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo
- Sara District Hospital, Sara, Iloilo
- Balasan District Hospital, Balasan, Iloilo
- Bailan District Hospital, Pontevedra, Capiz
- Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital, Roxas City, Capiz
- Dao District Hospital, Doa, Capiz
- Samar Provincial Hospital, Catbalogan
- Calbayog District Hospital, Calbayog
- Tarangnan Community Hospital, Tarangnan
Surigao Del Norte
- Caraga Regional Hospital, Surigao
Direct Relief and the Asia America Initiative have partnered with several charitable organizations that are transporting, storing, distributing, and utilizing donations of medicine and medical supplies, including:
Access Aid International
IPI Foundation Inc.
Philippine Red Cross
Philippines Center for Relief and Disaster Risk Reduction (PHIL Relief)
Reach Out WorldWide
Without the generosity of corporate supporters, this effort would not be possible. Companies that have donated urgently-needed medicines, medical supplies, nutritional items and/or cash include:
Abbott and Abbott Fund
AbbVie and AbbVie Foundation
Actavis Pharma Inc.
Advanced Sterilization Products
Aera Energy LLC
Allergan, Inc. and the Allergan Foundation
Baxter International Inc.
Cera Products, Inc.
Clif Bar & Company
Cost Plus World Market
Merck & Co., Inc.
Mylan Laboratories Inc.
News America Incorporated
Pfizer Prestige Brands
Pro Packing, Inc.
Ranbaxy Senator Investment Group LP
Yorba Oil Company, Ltd