Departure to a new mission location

by Margret Müller/RBU, 2011/10/19

Together with the second humedica team, consisting of Dr. Rashid al Badi, the Belgian nurse Cindy Chielens and coordinator David Hoffmann, Margret Müller travelled to the Philippines a few days ago. Now, the young woman from Berlin wants to tell you, dear friends and sponsors of our work, about her first humedica mission, her experiences and the situation in the disaster region.

The team consists of 15 relief assistants, among them the humedica mission team members Cindy Chielens, Margret Müller, Rashid al Badi (from left to right) and David Hoffman (right, in the back). Photo: humedica

"The time has come. The truck is full of medications. We squeeze into the car and set out northwards. Yesterday, our partner organisation Operation Blessing Philippines already sent a small team to Aurora, our destination area, in order to make an assessment (note: to find out which kind of relief measures are necessary, and where).

It is the objective of Operation Blessing Phlippines to reach the remotest regions of the country and to offer and finance comprehensive medical care to those who have no access to this care or cannot afford it. The programmes run to achieve this objective include measures from medical relief aid as offered e.g. by us, to the distribution of wheelchairs and other relief goods.

Including us four humedica members, we are a team of fifteen persons. In the heat of the car, all team members sweat a lot, which contributes almost as much to getting to know each other as the many songs, we will be singing over the next twelve hours.

The destination of our trip is the remote and not particularly easily accessible province of Aurora; in particular three villages in the Dinalung Region. Aurora is located directly at the sea, to the north-east of Manila, and therefore it was hit by the full force of the typhoon. Destruction in the region is substantial, and all the 980 families living there have been affected severely. That is all we know so far.

Medical treatment will be needed urgently. All the more so, as the majority of the country's public hospitals are overcrowded and often do not dispose of sufficient drugs to distribute to their patients. Private hospitals, in turn, are reserved for those who can afford them.

On our trip to our destination we can see numerous flooded fields. Many farmers, most of whom rent their land, have been deprived of their annual income due to the floods. Since they do not have any income without harvest, many of them are forced to give up their tools or even their land and will not even have the money to buy seeds next year.

Humidity and unhygienic conditions cause the affected persons to suffer from fever or infections of the eyes, the skin or the airways and deprive them of their strength. Photo: humedica/Irmgard Harms

Landslides and collapsed bridges that have been destroyed by the floods force us to make detours. At six o'clock in the evening, it is already too dark and too dangerous to continue our journey. We will set out to the first village tomorrow morning at four o'clock.

We are excited about what to expect tomorrow and we are grateful for the cooperation with Operation Blessing; and we hope that we will be able to reach many of those who need our help most urgently."

The support of the German Federal Foreign Office already allowed us to implement our current relief measures. But nevertheless, we still depend on your support. Please help us to support the flood victims in Asia by means of a targeted donation. Thank you very much.

      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference “Flood Relief Philippines
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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