Emergency Response Manager, Andrew MacCalla, recently returned from a trip to the Philippines to facilitate long-term typhoon recovery efforts. He shares a report from the field below:
It was clear after Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) struck that the people living in the Municipality of Concepcion – the typhoon’s fifth point of landfall – would need medical assistance. All of the Barangay (village) Health Stations on the municipality’s 11 islands suffered damage and residents were largely unable to access care on the mainland because of the damage of their boats. Therefore, the medical care had to go to them.
Direct Relief, in partnership with Access Aid International (AAI), has provided medical care to more than 2,000 people in 16 remote barangays in Concepcion. This was done over the course of two months and 44 medical clinics, all of which were run with medicines and supplies provided by Direct Relief.
According to Dr. Helen Minguez, the Municipal Health Officer for Concepcion, and the only doctor for the entire Municipality of 50,000 people, “without a doubt, these medical interventions saved lives, both in the immediate aftermath of Yolanda and in the recovery phase in later in identifying serious illnesses that could have easily become life-threatening if not for the services provided by Direct Relief and AAI.”
Direct Relief continues to provide medical resources to its partners providing care for typhoon survivors as they recover from the storm. Because of generous donations from individuals, companies, and foundations, Direct Relief has supported a total of more than 100 health care facilities across the Philippines with over $13.2 million worth of medical aid – enough to treat more than 500,000 people.