It’s been over 2 weeks since Typhoon Haiyan has hit the Philippines. The news media is now abating where many national US new streams are moving to new global pressing issues. But the health needs continue on. Below is a recap of health issues since the beginning of the disaster.
POPULATION ESTIMATES Government estimates from the NRDMC escalated quickly to a total of 5000+ deaths. The numbers of displaced individual is now starting to decline to 3.43 million people. This is likely an indication that people are returning home.
ACCESS TO HEALTH & INFORMATION In the first week, needs were identified in some of the most affected areas, such as Tacloban. But providing immediate medical care was limited due to lack of fuel, logistics, and road access. Missing information is very common during disasters and the below is an example of missing information from health facilities as of Nov 20, 2013MEDICAL RESPONSE TEAMS Is is likely that local medical teams deployed followed then by international medical teams. It is easier to discern from public sources the work of larger international organizations likely because of their robust communication and PR efforts. But from previous humanitarian crisis, the local health response from communities and local government offices are often the earliest to respond and there for the long haul.
ONGOING HEALTH NEEDS Health interventions in the early days focused on traumatic injuries, common medical interventions (treatment of URIs, diarrhea, and births). Healthcare is now transitioning to primary care services. Local and national health offices, international NGOs, the WHO and other entities are working to provide essential medical supplies, coordinate to provide food and water, strengthen disease surveillance systems, and commence vaccination campaigns