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Aiding the Victims of Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines
January 11, 2013
Philippines 2012 © Jeff Stewart/MSF
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has dispatched two teams to run mobile clinics providing basic health care, monitoring for outbreaks of disease, and supporting recovery efforts after Typhoon Bopha devastated coastal parts of Mindanao Island in early December.
“There is a massive swath of destruction along around 100 kilometers [about 62 miles] of coast. This destruction has made what was previously a pretty healthy community vulnerable,” said Anne Taylor, MSF’s regional emergency coordinator.
An MSF team arrived in the region to assess the impact of the typhoon in the second week of December, and, after establishing that the west of the island of Mindanao was the worst affected, is focusing on communities around Baganaga and Cateel. In the near future, the team plans to expand activities further to a third municipality in the area.
In the worst-affected area all the health posts have been destroyed and regional hospitals have also been badly damaged. Operating in close conjunction with the Department of Health, the MSF mobile clinics will help close gaps in health care in eight districts in Cateel and Baganaga municipalities.
“We now have two teams, including two nurses from the Department of Health, who are running four mobile clinics in the area. We will continue this activity for at least four weeks, and then decide whether we should stay longer,” Taylor said.