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Repairing and Rebuilding Health Centers in the Philippines

  • May 27, 2014
  • Photos by Matthew McDermott

Typhoon Haiyan damaged or destroyed an estimated 2,000 health facilities, many on remote, hard-to reach islands in the Philippines. 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 support access to health services in the immediate aftermath. We also developed a long-term plan to restore health services for more than 1.3 million people in the hardest-hit rural areas.

In collaboration with the Philippines Department of Health and local partners, we are repairing 67 community health centers. 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, building in measures to mitigate damage in future disasters. This work will restore health services for an estimated 1.3 million people in Capiz, Leyte and Cebu provinces. 

67 health centers: 

  • 53 community health centers
  • Eight rural health centers
  • Six health centers (including two hospitals) in urban areas

Work on five clinics has already been completed, and many more are well underway.  For residents and health workers living on these remote islands, the clinic restoration work makes a crucial difference.  “Thank you AmeriCares for coming to this remote site and rehabilitating our barangay health center,” said Mrs. Vilmasantillan, a health worker at a village health station in Kampingganon, Bantayan, Region 7. “Members of our community don’t have enough [money] to pay for transport to a higher level [health] facility. Rehabilitation of this facility will be a great financial help for them. As a health worker, I will have a better environment to work.”