When Typhoon Hagupit (known locally as “Ruby”) tore through the Philippines in December 2014, 16 women had something else on their minds: giving birth. They were among the patients at the Abulera Rural Health Unit where a powerful generator installed by AmeriCares kept the lights on and medical equipment powered, even as the storm knocked out electricity in the surrounding area. Under generator power, 16 healthy babies were born.
“No lights, no power, no worries – because we have our generator,” said clinic director Dr. Noemi Mencidor. “Everywhere else was dark but here there was light.”
When Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines a year earlier, the Abulera clinic lost power for two weeks and doctors were forced to treat patients under tarps in the courtyard. AmeriCares responded immediately with medicine and supplies and has remained in the Philippines helping to build back a strong, resilient health system. Among the contributions were 10 generators donated by the GE Foundation, which AmeriCares installed in storm-proof enclosures at clinics, including Abulera, so they are able to treat patients during future disasters.
With more than 200 million people affected by disasters every year, preparedness is a critical component of our Emergency Response and Recovery Program. AmeriCares helps families and communities reduce risk and prepare to cope with likely hazards. We also work with health care facilities around the world to ensure they have the plans, training, equipment and supplies to continue providing health care services in times of disaster.
As we rebuild damaged health clinics we build back better, ensuring the structures are strong enough to withstand the next emergency. In the Philippines alone, AmeriCares is rebuilding more than 80 typhoon-damaged health care facilities, restoring access to care for nearly 2 million patients.