Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) – the strongest storm on record to ever hit land – battered the Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013, causing more than 7,200 deaths or missing persons, displacing 4 million people, and affecting up to 16 million people total. One year later, health systems remain vulnerable and tens of thousands of people are still rebuilding their lives, but hope remains.
Because of an outpouring of support from people like you, 286 tons of life-saving aid valued at more than $16.4 million has been delivered over the last year to partner agencies and health care facilities caring for survivors throughout the Philippines. Direct Relief’s ongoing response will continue to help rebuild local health systems and strengthen resiliency in the hardest-hit areas.
Direct Relief’s relief and recovery activities over the last year focused on the following three objectives:
Providing Medical Resources to Underserved Areas
More than 100 health facilities have received donations of medical aid since Typhoon Haiyan. Direct Relief also continues to support medical missions that provide care for survivors in remote and underserved regions of the country.
Rebuilding, Repairing, and Re-equipping Health Centers
Direct Relief has been working with partners on the ground to help rebuild damaged health systems in the hardest-hit regions of the Philippines. This includes restoring damaged Barangay Health Stations, securing a new building for Yayasan Bumi Sehat’s medical relief camp and birthing center, and equipping a mobile medical van that provides dental care to 200 survivors per month.
Creating Resiliency in High-Risk Areas
In collaboration with the Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines, 20 Midwife Kits containing enough supplies to deliver 1,000 babies safely were delivered to birthing centers throughout the Visaya Islands. Direct Relief also expanded its Hurricane Preparedness Program to the Philippines by pre-positioning typhoon modules in-country containing enough medical supplies to treat 15,000 people for up to one month. Additionally, Direct Relief worked with Palantir Technologies to implement a data preparedness network to assess and analyze emerging health needs and respond accordingly.
Direct Relief’s relationships with its on-the-ground partners and officials and nonprofit organizations in the Philippines continue to guide the efforts to plan and implement long-term solutions to strengthen resiliency among vulnerable communities. Work will contine to strengthen health systems left fragile by the typhoon. Three specific projects are:
Investing in the Capacity of Ormoc District Hospital
In Leyte, the province most heavily affected by the typhoon, Direct Relief is mobilizing life-saving medical supplies and equipment for Ormoc District Hospital. Because of damages and loss of staff lives from the storm, the hospital currently lacks the capacity to adequately treat patients in need of intensive care.
Preparing for Future Disasters
Twenty Emergency Medical Packs filled with medicines and supplies to treat people affected by disaster are being delivered to first-responders in high-risk communities. Direct Relief will also equip its partners in the Philippines with more typhoon preparedness modules in 2015.
Equipping Midwives With Essential Resources to Enable Safe Births
An additional 100 Midwife Kits will be distributed in the municipalities of Samar and Leyte to ensure that pregnant women have access to care during delivery. Each kit contains essential medical resources to ensure 50 safe births, enabling skilled birth attendants to full implement their life-saving skills.