Typhoon Bopha hits Philippines - one month on
Merlin is providing medical care to over 50,000 people affected by Typhoon Bopha which devastated the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on 4th December 2012.
The most powerful storm to hit the Philippines this year, and the worst to ever hit the south of the country, Typhoon Bopha claimed over 1,000 lives and left over 100,000 homeless.
After facing the destruction, floods and landslides caused by the typhoon, communities in Davao and Caraga – particularly children, the elderly and pregnant women – are now in desperate need of healthcare.
Over 330 clinics, which are relied on by an estimated 1.1 million people (including at least 163,000 children under five) have been damaged. Nearly 40% of these are no longer functional and those which are still open are struggling to cope with demand, and severely lack personnel, drugs and equipment.
Where Merlin is working, most clinics have been completely destroyed and doctors and nurses themselves affected.
We are jumpstarting health services by providing consultations, vaccinations, prenatal and postnatal care. We are also screening children for malnutrition and providing nutrition supplements, conscious that the risk of malnutrition is high when livelihoods are lost.
To help get the health system back on its feet for the long term, we are repairing and equipping clinics.
This is vital because with so many people displaced, we expect health problems to continue to grow, already having seen an increase in respiratory infections, skin diseases and diarrhoea.
Merlin has been saving lives in the Philippines since 2009, whether it’s been providing women in Manila’s slums with contraception or emergency relief to typhoon and flood victims.
“To ensure an comprehensive response to the needs of the affected population Merlin has joined hands with other humanitarian actors and is part of a consortium of 6 INGOs (ACF-Spain, Care, Save the Children, Plan International and Merlin). The consortium is funded by the European Union Directorate General for Humanitarian and Aid and Civil Protection – ECHO)”