One month after the typhoon, MSF supporting the health system as it recovers
Over a month after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is still working on three of the country’s hardest-hit islands, providing healthcare for people in remote areas and supporting the health system as it recovers. Teams are setting up temporary structures, supporting and helping to repair existing medical facilities.
MSF has distributed relief supplies, tents, reconstruction kits and provided clean drinking water to affected communities. MSF intends to stay in the Philippines, ensuring that urgent medical needs are met, until the health system has adequately recovered.
The first MSF teams arrived in the Philippines on November 9. During the first ten days, transport was problematic: airports and ports were congested, roads were blocked and damaged, and fuel and vehicles were in short supply.
In spite of logistical constraints, teams gradually gained access to the most affected areas. Some of the main roads have now been cleared, and travel by boat and plane has become easier.
MSF teams have set up four temporary hospitals, including an inflatable hospital in Tacloban, and tented hospitals in Burauen and Tanauan (Leyte Island) and in Guiuan (Samar Island). In Balasan (Panay Island), teams are supporting existing hospitals and health centres.
MSF also supports health centres and runs mobile clinics around Estancia (Panay Island), Palo, Santa Fe, Buruaen, Ormoc (Leyte Island) and in Guiuan (Samar Island), serving isolated inland and coastal communities.
Patients seen by MSF are suffering from respiratory infections and infected wounds. There are also patients with obstetrical complications, trauma injuries, and people with chronic diseases who have had their treatments interrupted. Psychologists are offering individual consultations and group sessions.
More than 600 MSF staff are currently working in the Philippines. MSF teams have carried out more than 30,900 outpatient consultations and admitted more than 300 patients to hospital. MSF has performed more than 2,100 surgical procedures and dressing, and distributed more than 28,000 relief kits and 9,100 tents, shelters or reconstruction kits.
Typhoon Haiyan killed 5,600 people and displaced more than four million.