“Ten days after Typhoon Haiyan, aid is still quite concentrated on Tacloban city and little aid has reached devastated rural areas on Leyte and Samar islands,” writes François Dumont of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
According to a Monday morning update, MSF - which has staff in Tacloban, further south on the coastal and inlands areas of Leyte island, Samar island to the east and Panay island to the north - has found an increasing number of diarrhoea patients in Dulag, on the east coast of Leyte island south of Tacloban. Team assessments indicate widespread destruction in cities and on islands to the southwest and west of Tacloban.
”In Burauen, a city of 55,000 inhabitants, the situation is disastrous,” Federica Nogarotto, emergency coordinator in south Leyte, says in the update. “Nearly 100 percent of houses are damaged or destroyed and the hospital – formerly a 70-bed referral hospital with surgical capacity – is completely damaged.”
Across the region, MSF is setting up tent and inflatable hospitals, as well as mobile clinics.
MSF on Samar island:
- An MSF team of 26 is in Guiuan, eastern Samar, working with local Filipino medical
staff at a rural health unit for the past three days.
- At the severely damaged Guiuan public hospital, an MSF logistical team is preparing to set up a tent hospital to provide secondary healthcare. Maternal care, including care for complicated deliveries and c-sections, has been identified as a priority, as most of the secondary healthcare capacity has been destroyed. In the coming days, MSF will start rehabilitation work on the hospital building.
On Leyte island:
- In Tacloban a team of eight is being reinforced with 10 additional staff from Cebu – including medical doctors, nurses, logisticians and a psychologist – to prepare the parking lot next to Bethany Hospital for setting up an inflatable hospital, which should be up and running in the next few days with an emergency room, inpatient department, operating theatre, post-operative ward, obstetrics & gynaecology unit, maternity delivery room, psychosocial activities, blood bank, X-ray, and an isolation ward in case of tetanus cases.
- South of Tacloban, starting on Monday MSF teams will provide primary healthcare at a fixed health post in Palo, and through mobile clinics in Talawan and Talosa, as well as basic care in evacuation centres in Ormoc town and the surrounding district.
- MSF is deploying a combined mobile clinic and assessment team to the town of Santa Fe, near Tacloban, and will provide medical care in Cebu where people being evacuated from Tacloban are arriving.
- In Dulag town (population 48,000) on the east coast of Leyte island, the health facility has been partially destroyed and the medical staff report an increasing numbers of patients with diarrhoea.
- The team plans to set up a tented hospital with surgical capacity in Burauen.
- Forty-seven tons of cargo arrived in Cebu on Sunday and three trucks loaded with logistical and medical materials are on their way to Burauen by ferry, due to arrive on Monday.
On Panay island:
- On Sunday, teams carried out further assessments by helicopter of several small islands northeast of Panay island. The northeastern coastline of Panay and the islands have been severely affected, and teams estimate 90 percent destruction. The immediate needs are for shelter and water, while access to healthcare is also a major concern. MSF expects to see many people with respiratory illnesses and diarrhoea.
- On Saturday, MSF teams also visited the towns of Balasan, Sara, Bagacai, Estancia and San Dionisio in Iloilo province, where many health facilities are destroyed.
- MSF plans to establish a base in Estancia and carry out mobile clinics from there. Teams will travel by boat to reach the small islands east of Panay.