Direct Relief’s Emergency Response Team on the ground in the Philippines continues to deliver life-saving medicines in areas affected by Typhoon Hagupit (locally known as Ruby).
The typhoon made at least four landfalls in the island nation on Dec. 7, with winds reaching 125 mph, according to The Weather Channel. More than 30 million people have been affected by the storm, reports AccuWeather.
In the last few days, a 32-foot truck filled with medicines and medical supplies made deliveries to Leyte Provincial Hospital, Bumi Wadah, Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital, Western Samar Provincial Hospital and the West Samar Emergency response division/pre-positioned for the Health Futures Foundation, Inc. mission.
At the Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital, the Provincial Health Officer asked for IV fluids and staff on the ground was able to deliver a pallet of Baxter IV fluid and over 4,000 bottles of 1L oral rehydration solution (ORS) as they are starting to have issues with clean drinking water.
Direct Relief Emergency Preparedness & Response Manager Gordon Willcock reported that the power is out along the coast and it took six hours to drive in due to poor roads, damaged bridges, and power lines hanging across all the roads.
“The damage is pretty bad. The health situation is stable but a little sketchy when linked with shelter, food, sanitation and water issues,” he said.
Pre-positioned medicines on the ground, including three typhoon preparedness modules, enabled quick response to medical needs immediately after the storm.
Dr. Absin, Provincial Health Officer and Chief of Hospital at Leyte Provincial Hospital – where one of the modules was pre-positioned – said that having the typhoon module on hand “meant we were ready and didn’t have to look for medicines when we needed them.”
Absin said they opened the module as soon as the storm passed and it meant they had supplies immediately and could send some medicines to support other facilities. She also reported that in the preceding weeks they had been able to distribute another Direct Relief donation to district hospitals across Leyte.