Responding to the 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake in the Philippines



Direct Relief is working with the Asia America Initiative on an emergency air-freight shipment of medications and medical supplies to treat people affected by last week’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the Philippines island of Bohol and nearby Cebu, causing extensive damage and killing more than 183 people.

The large-scale destruction combined with roughly 1,200 aftershocks in the region has forced tens of thousands of people to stay outdoors for fear of further structural collapse. Early reports indicate over 350 people are injured, 22 missing, and over 3.4 million people affected by the earthquake.

Additionally – as is usually the case with earthquakes – damage to roads, bridges, and buildings makes it hard for responders to access those in need of food, water, shelter, and medical assistance. Furthermore, the destruction of homes will lead to long-term needs for shelter materials, personal care items, and chronic medications that people can no longer access.

The ten-pallet emergency module that has been put together by Direct Relief’s Emergency Response Team and the Asia America Initiative, has supplies that can be specifically used to treat people who have been injured and will require long-term care as they remain cut off from their homes. Part of the shipment also contains antibiotic supplies that will stay in the northern part of the country to treat a Leptospirosis – or bacterial disease – outbreak resulting from contaminated flood waters in Olongapo City.

Asia America Initiative is a U.S. 501c3 that seeks to create and support long-term sustainable medical systems and provide emergency relief in countries throughout Asia. AAI’s medical focus in the Philippines has primarily consisted of supporting health organizations treating cancer and rare diseases, in addition to humanitarian relief for communities experiencing violence and natural disasters.

Their longtime relationship with the Philippine Department of Health and long-term cooperation with local military civil relations units, enables them to deliver vital medicines and equipment to the poorest and hardest-to-reach communities.

Direct Relief thanks its generous corporate supporters who made this relief effort possible: Abbott, AbbVie, Allergan, Inc, Baxter International Inc., BD, Boehringer Ingelheim Cares, Cera Products, Inc., Covidien, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Ethicon, Inc., Johnson & Johnson Consumer Company, Merck & Co., Inc., Microflex, Mylan Laboratories Inc., Prestige Brands, and  Teva Pharmaceuticals.

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