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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fact Sheet: Medical-Relief Mission

November 20-25, 2013 

Medical Mission – 1,088 beneficiaries from 5 barangays in the municipality of Hernani and 3 barangays in Municipality of General MacArthur in Eastern Samar province; 6 barangays in Basey, Western Samar.
Relief Distribution operation – 1,664 families from 14 barangays in municipalities of General MacArthur, Hernani, Basey.
The areas covered are mostly far-flung barangays outside the town centers who have received few or no relief / assistance.

3 medical mission teams and 2 relief distribution teams, from a 40-man team with 10 doctors, 16 nurses, 2 medical interns and health workers and volunteers. 

1.  Many barangays especially those far from town centers have received few or no relief assistance from any group, whether government or private. One example is Barangay Cacatmonan in the municipality of Hernani, where the typhoon destroyed all but 1 out of 35 houses. The barangay captain and several counselors, carrying a list of survivors in the barangay, requested that their barangay be given relief goods.
Other survivors lament that only those with high numbers of casualties are prioritized so that their barangays are not given or seldom included as beneficiaries.

2. Some cadavers and debris are still not retrieved and cleared in the barangays.

3.  The survivors are living in most vulnerable conditions:
a. Some are staying in evacuation center in public schools (some barangays in Basey), some in tents made from tarpaulins.
b. Lack of electricity make night time pitch black and movement in the areas difficult and dangerous.
c. Survivors have difficulty cooking food in tin cans using firewood from debris.

4. Major health risks which could lead to serious disease outbreaks were noted:
a. Lack of water supply.
b. Lack of toilet facilities.
c. Lack of shelter.
d. Irregular provision of food.
e. Crowded condition in evacuation areas.

5. Common illnesses include: upper respiratory tract infections, hypertension, arthritis, error of refraction, diarrhea, wound and injuries, skin diseases.

6. Other needs: people verbalized need to reconstruct their houses and desire to start livelihood activities. The people lined-up for construction materials such as nails, saw, hammers.

1. Systematic way to reach out to far-flung areas and provide urgently-needed relief and assistance.
2. Immediate retrieval of cadavers and clearing of debris, both for faster relief efforts and health and psychological recovery of survivors.
3. Immediate and comprehensive health interventions to address potential sources of outbreaks and epidemics. These include immediate clearing of debris, provision of water source, construction of shelter, construction or provision of latrines, provision/assistance in food production. Medical teams and service groups must reach far-flung areas not only those in town centers.
4. Start reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts: provision of construction materials, livelihood, food production, and economic activities.

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