Philippines Typhoon Haiyan: 6-Months of Progress in Restoring Health for Survivors

Photo by Matthew McDermott
Photo by Matthew McDermott

“One of the difficulties in any kind of huge humanitarian response is getting the right resources at the right time and AmeriCares has done a great job getting on the ground quickly, identifying needs and getting the right medications here at the right time.”
Rob Bristow, MD, MPH, Medical Director, NYC Medics

Our large-scale Typhoon Haiyan response – an effort that is still underway – has helped save lives, reduce suffering and restore health care services for countless survivors.  In the first 6 months, we have provided $19.7 million in medicines and supplies– enough to fill nearly 1 million prescriptions— and supported health services to protect the health of 1.3 million people.

“From the beginning of our response, we drew on our established network of strong local partners, collaborating with more than 100 organizations, including the Philippines Department of Health,” explained Garrett Ingoglia, our vice-president of emergency response.

Our response was immediate and strategic, with goals to create long-term, sustainable improvements in the health system and services:

  1. Treat the injured and protect the health of survivors: Deliver medicines and supplies to frontline health workers.
  2. Re-establish health services: Support medical teams caring for displaced survivors, transport urgent-care patients and provide equipment to re-open health centers.
  3. Rebuild health facilities: Identify, prioritize and repair damaged clinics and health centers, and improve their ability to withstand future disasters.
  4. Create healthy futures for affected communities: Introduce training to expand health workers’ skills in the areas of mental health and psychosocial support, malnutrition surveillance and disaster preparedness skills.

Immediate response

Before the storm struck, Our Filipino partners could immediately supply an estimated 19,000 survivors with critical medicines and relief supplies because we had pre-positioned materials in the Philippines months before this typhoon season.

Photo by Matthew McDermott, All rights reserved.
 Photo by Matthew McDermott, All rights reserved.

Within 72 hours after the storm, AmeriCares team members were in the field guiding deliveries, coordinating relief and assessing damage to tar­get our response.

In the three weeks following the storm, AmeriCares had made 29 shipments to the disaster area, with enough medicine to fill 148,000 prescriptions and more than 250,000 units of medical supplies—total value more than $3 million.

In the first six months, we delivered crucial medicines to 44 health facilities in the Central Philippines, including enough medicine to fill 924,000 prescriptions.

  • Antibiotics for 107,000 prescriptions for people with acute infections.
  • Pain medications for 46,000 prescriptions.
  • Cardiovascular meds for prescriptions to treat 47,000 patients for three months
  • Diabetes prescriptions for 16,000 diabetic patients for three months
  • 300,000 units of gauze, bandages and other wound dressings

Photo by Matthew McDermott, All Rights Reserved.
Photo by Matthew McDermott, All Rights Reserved.

Restoring health services for survivors

The typhoon damaged or destroyed an estimated 2,000 health facilities.  Because continuity of health care is crucial to save lives and prevent the spread of disease, our team coordinated with the government and health partners to restore health services. In addition to medicines, our field team delivered equipment so staff of damaged health centers could treat survivors, and supported trans­portation services for patients and clinic staff, and salaries for health workers.

  • Generators for health centers to power refrigerators chilling critical vaccines.
  • Two health teams to serve thousands of survivors in Pontevedra and Pilar.
  • Transportation for patients to functioning health centers and hospitals.
  • Clean birth kits for damaged but functioning health center.

Repairing and rebuilding health centers


  Philippines Typhoon Haiyan 6-Month Report  (1.60 MB)
Six-Month Emergency Response Progress Report: AmeriCares immediately launched a large-scale response to save lives, reduce suffering and restore health care services for survivors—an effort that is still underway.

In collaboration with the Philippines Department of Health and local partners, AmeriCares is repairing 67 community health centers, mostly in hard-hit rural areas. Half of these facilities had suffered extensive dam­age and were closed, while the others were partially operational. We are providing medical equipment, replacing roofs and windows, reconnect­ing water and power and, when possible, build in measures to mitigate damage in future disasters. This work will restore health services for an estimated 1.3 million people.

67 health centers

  • 40 rural health centers in the Western Visayas region
  • 18 village health centers in Capiz, Leyte and Cebu provinces
  • Six rural health centers in Capiz, Leyte and Cebu provinces
  • Three urban clinics and hospitals in Capiz and Leyte provinces

“In just six months, we have made measureable progress towards restoring and enhancing health services,” said Ingoglia. “We are committed to working alongside our partners in the Philippines into 2015, and longer if need be.”

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