No announcement yet.

The Lancet. Responding to Typhoon Haiyan

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Lancet. Responding to Typhoon Haiyan

    [Source: The Lancet, full page: (LINK). Excerpt.]

    The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 27 November 2013


    Copyright ? 2013 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

    Responding to Typhoon Haiyan

    Original Text

    Lester Sam Araneta Geroy

    The Lancet emailed more than 40 doctors based in the Philippines for personal accounts of the medical response to the Nov 8 Super Typhoon Haiyan. Below are three of several responses.

    Tacloban, Leyte

    On Nov 11, 2013, on the road to Tacloban from Manila, I received a text from Dr Tacela Gler, the first of our team to arrive in Tacloban: ?It is so dismal here. We need lots of tetanus vaccines. All types of medicine. Food, food, and food. Nothing to eat here.? I am thankful that I won't be entering Tacloban alone. I join the convoy of a Department of Health team from a nearby province. We arrived in Tacloban on the morning of Nov 12. The Department of Health regional office has taken charge. 5 days after the typhoon, the streets are still clogged with debris and the smell of decay is strong. Bodies litter the streets, a few in body bags, but more by the roadside. There is only one open hospital. The other four remain closed because the doctors and nurses were victims themselves. A coordination desk at the airport has been created to guide foreign and local volunteers. Health-care workers and volunteers are tired and weary. I joined the health cluster meeting and slowly, things are getting better. Today (Nov 13), the streets had fewer dead bodies. I was asked to manage the medicine department while waiting for the new batch of volunteers. There is only one functioning operating room due to a lack of water and electricity. Loss of water is mainly due to desperate people cutting secondary distribution lines along the roadside. Tomorrow, we will be doing community mobilisation to divert angst and confusion by providing activities that give a sense of purpose. We are launching Oplan Walis Tingting (Operation Broomstick) to empower the community to start the clean up.