On November 8th 2013, the Philippines were devastated by what is being called the most powerful typhoon to have made landfall in modern times. With sustained winds of over 200 kph (peaking at 315 kph), typhoon Haiyan, locally called Yolanda, killed over 6,000 people, injuring more than 27,000 others, displacing approximately 4 million people, and affecting a grand total of 16 million people. 48 hours later, IsraAID's first emergency team left Israel.
Strengthening Leyte's health response to Typhoon Haiyan
IsraAID's team arrived in the Philippines and travelled to Tacloban city via military aircraft (C-130) to begin its humanitarian mission. Upon consultation and coordination with municipal and national authorities, as well as OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), the team joined St. Paul's hospital and immediately began treating patients. 3 days later, after seeing hundreds of patients, the team was relieved by permanent aid groups, donated its remaining stock of medicine and food/water, and travelled to Ormoc City to regroup with the arriving second contingent from Israel, and restock.
Once in Ormoc, at the request of the City Department of Health (CDH), and in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), IsraAID adopted the district of Ipil (population 29,571). There, together with the local health personnel (approximately 100), the organization developed a new model for the symbiotic and synergetic combination of international medical teams into the local health infrastructure. This new system was highly successful, earning the commendation of the US government liaison and the WHO, and the subsequent addition of the city's most populous district - Cogon (population 44,596). Within these two districts, IsraAID is providing daily support to local health centers and running mobile health clinics, together with American, German, and Filipino medical volunteers and partners. In addition, the organization was also donated portable water filters and over 1 ton of medical supplies by supporting international organizations, rebuilt the roof of the Ipil District Health Center (DHC), and is in the process of rebuilding the roof of the San Antonio health station and daycare center.
Finally, to help meet the urgent medical needs of some of Ormoc's neighboring municipalities, IsraAID also organized 1-2 day weekly mobile clinics in villages from Kananga and Albuera municipalities. The project was completed on December 31st, 2013.
- Provide emergency medical treatment to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan
- Strengthen local health actors
- Support national and international efforts to map out Leyte health needs and monitor their
- Treated over 5,000 patients in 2 months
- Donated over 2 tons of medical equipment
Mental Health and Psycho-Social Services
Training Ormoc professionals to deal with trauma cases
During the emergency phase, and at the request of the Ormoc CDH, IsraAID took the lead on Mental Health and Psycho-Social Services (MHPSS), conducting stress-debriefing sessions for local professionals. In addition, in close cooperation with the municipal coordinator on MHPSS issues, IsraAID began building a 1-year post-trauma training course for local professionals. This program was launched in January 2014 and provides support and capacity building for targeted groups that are either first responders or that service large pockets of population (namely teachers, health workers, community volunteers and social welfare staff). The program aims to promote the resilience and wellbeing of families through the provision of post and preventive emergency psycho- social services in Ormoc.
- Increase the capacity of selected education, health and social welfare workers to understand the impact of trauma and offer expressive arts based tools for basic psycho-social intervention
- Improve the standard of the clinical counselling component provided by MHPSS professionals for trauma related family issues using expressive arts as a tool for intervention
- Strengthen the MHPSS referral and support systems among service providers (social welfare, school and mental health workers)
- Stress-debriefing activities completed for 821 teachers, Philippines National Police (PNP) members, the local rescue team, and health workers
- Completed the first Training-Of-Trainers (TOT) seminar in January 2014 for 17 local professionals.
Reconstruction and Recovery
Rebuilding key health and education structures
Prior to the Typhoon, Ormoc was home to 50,488 students enrolled in 97 public schools and taught by 1,544 teachers. Yolanda damaged 95% of school buildings, destroying 92 (7%) classrooms and rendering 55% (692) of them roofless and unusable. Among these, Ipil Central School and Ipil National High School were severely damaged by the Typhoon and are in dire need of repair and reconstruction. IsraAID contracted a local engineer to assess the renovation costs in both schools. For the time being two buildings are scheduled to be ready by the end of February 2014.
In addition, as part of its 'adoption' of Ipil district, IsraAID is renovating and equiping the District Health Center and the San Antonio Barangay Health Station and daycare center.
- Rebuild Key health and educational buildings to support local public infrastructure
- Provide basic equipment and materials for the above
- Rebuilt the roof of the Ipil district Health Center that caters to a population of 29,571
- Reconstruction underway in the San Antonio Barangay Health Station and daycare center and the Ipil National High School