News from the Philippines

Post a Comment » Written on November 27th, 2013     
Filed under: Disaster Relief
We have several partners providing relief and recovery in the Philippines (The Jesus Covenant Church, World Relief, Medical Teams International, and Operation Hope). Dave had a great conversation yesterday with MTI about their work. They also sent this longer written update that we wanted to pass along to you:

Medical Teams International is committed to providing high-impact relief to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Our teams of medical professionals are based in the city of Cebu, which is the staging area for relief operations in the Philippines.

We currently have 4 teams and more than 25 volunteers in the Philippines. Each team is comprised of physicians, nurses and paramedics. We are serving primarily in Tacloban and Guiuan assessing needs as well as providing primary health care services via a mobile medical clinics and in fixed health centers and hospitals. Our teams have currently treated almost 3,000 patients and they report that they are treating patients suffering from moderate trauma, upper respiratory infections, and chronic illnesses, such as heart problems and diabetes. In addition Medical Teams International has distributed more than $400,000 of medicines and supplies.

Here is a story that illustrates our work in the Philippines:

As it did for hundreds of families in central Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan descended with a fury into the world of eleven year old Rizza. Her life would be forever changed.

Rizza lived in Leyte with her mother, father, and seven sisters and brothers. Just the day before Haiyan hit land, Rizza’s mother, Yolanda gave birth to another child and Rizza went to stay with her aunt and uncle. While there the typhoon spent it’s fury on the islands of the Philippines causing the house where Rizza was staying to collapse, trapping her under debris. She was rescued but not before the storm badly fractured her leg and claimed the life of her father.

With the infrastructure badly damaged, there was little Rizza’s family could do to treat her leg. The local healer offered some help but the pain continued to be excruciating with any movement. Finally the village chief offered assistance. She arranged for 4 young men to carry Rizza on a hammock 14 miles through the wreckage to the nearest medical care. Without an x-ray machine available and no surgical facilities there was nothing that could be done. Onto another hospital where finally a diagnosis was made of a complex femur fracture but no one had the proper equipment to repair. Now 14 days after the storm, Rizza was out of options to find healing.

This is where MTI volunteer paramedics, Ian Yocum and Robert Petracca found Rizza. Using contacts they had developed while treating victims of the storm, Ian and Robert were able to secure private helicopter transport to Cebu, arrange an orthopedic surgeon to treat Rizza for free and then personally monitored Rizza’s condition as she was transported to safety.

After exchanging information with the medical staff, Ian and Robert went to Rizza’s bedside reassuring her that she was now in good hands. Their reward was the immediate look of relief on Rizza’s face and the grateful response by her village chief. Rizza was on the path to healing.

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