WHO Taking Medical Kits to Philippines

With the government estimating some 4.5 million people have been affected in the central Philippines, WHO is mobilizing supplies.

The World Health Organization has activated an organization-wide mobilization to bring relief supplies to the survivors of Haiyan, announcing Nov. 11 that it will work closely with the Department of Health, Philippines.

The monster storm devastated parts of the country last Friday, and it left health facilities damaged or destroyed, according to WHO, and medical supplies are sorely needed. "We are working closely with the Philippine government and local authorities to assess and rapidly address the life-saving needs of the people affected by this typhoon," said Dr. Julie Hall, WHO Representative to the Philippines. "WHO has an assessment team on the ground in Bohol, and we are sending teams to Cebu and Tacloban with the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination teams in support of national response efforts. WHO is flying in more than two dozen health emergency relief experts and emergency health kits for the initial response."

The initial shipment of four emergency kits contains medicines and supplies to cover basic health needs of 120,000 people for a month and supplies to perform 400 surgical interventions are being deployed. Four diarrheal disease kits with medicines and supplies to treat 3,000 cases also are being sent.

With the government estimating some 4.5 million people have been affected in the central Philippines, WHO is mobilizing supplies. The government is receiving international assistance, such as field hospitals and medical teams, and WHO is working to ensure those supplies and teams go where they are needed most.

WHO reported its deployment of health experts and supplies to the Philippines is possible thanks to the financial support for surge capacity provided by numerous international partners, including the European Commission. WHO is seeking immediate financial contributions to cover initial response operations, and a joint appeal by United Nations and non-governmental organizations will be issued within days.

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