Aboleg - a united village

by Margret Müller,  2011/10/22

"For Teresa Pincas it was high time that we reached her village Aboleg. Her house had completely been destroyed by the typhoons. And the water masses that had surged towards the sea had also carried along the drugs which Teresa has been taking since the stroke she suffered one year ago.

All the roads to the outer world and hence to new tablets were destroyed, blocked or flooded. And even if it were different: Teresa would not have been able to afford the trip, anyway.

Hence she attended humedica doctor Rashid al Badi suffering from extremely high blood pressure. He could prescribe her drugs that would last her one month - prescribing more than that would be irresponsible in this disaster situation, as it is our objective to help as many persons as possible and our stocks of drugs are limited.

A little girl is being treated by humedica doctor Rashid al Badi. Photo: humedica/Margret Müller

"When the World says: Give up! Hope whispers: One more time!“, thinks Rashid every time when realising this Principle seems particularly hard.

The local radio station of Aboleg kept spreading the news of our mission among the listeners in the village all day long. There is no electricity, but the inhabitants were resourceful and they set up a generator-driven stereo system in the village centre, that an be heard by the entire village through loudspeakers.

In front of the loudspeakers, the inhabitants were spreading and drying the rice that had got wet during the typhoons, hoping that they would still be able to use some of it.

While the doctors treated the patients, coordinator David Hoffmann and I once more had the opportunity of doing an assessment of the situation of the village together with the Mayor of our treatment location. Again and again we were told of similar scenarios: houses had been destroyed, roofs uncovered, many families have found shelter with relatives or neighbours.

Fields, and hence the harvest, have also been destroyed and therefore the people lack income to pay for food and new seeds to plant new crops.

Rice is the staple food on the Philippines and therefore it is part of almost every meal. Photo: humedica/Margret Müller.

Despite the desperate situation, all the patients waited for medical treatment or the doctor patiently and in an orderly queue, they smiled, kept surprising us with jokes, warm smiles and their interest in us and our mission.

Many of the 177 patients we treated today urgently needed medication against the diseases that were caused by the extreme humidity or against chronic diseases. Apart from our mission they simply have no access to medical treatment.

There is only one doctor working in the entire district, who could distribute drugs, if she had any. But unfortunately, this has not even been granted before the disaster. Half of the costs for a trip to the doctor need to be borne by the families and as we have experienced ourselves today, even the trip itself can turn out to become a mission.

When we departed for our night accommodation, it started raining. Here, the same amount of rain that we would refer to as "it is raining cats and dogs all day long" in Germany, poured down within 15 intensive minutes, as though someone was emptying buckets of water over our heads.

On our trip back we experienced the consequences first-hand: entire regions turned into raging currents, and the ground that seemed like a lunar landscape could no longer be seen. Hence, the trip that usually takes only 30 minutes turned into a journey of three hours.

The way is often difficult: an elderly Filipino is crossing a rocky road on bare feet. Photo: humedica/Margret Müller

As far as there is something positive to report in a situation like this one, we have experienced this: during a long time of waiting and wading, we could once more admire the willingness to help and unity of the Filipinos and could hardly believe it.

They had formed human chains and filled in stretches of road that were particularly deeply submerged in the water using heavy stones, so that cars could cross them. A man carried his bike through all the raging currents in order to pick up his wife and take her home on dry feet. There were jeeps and potent trucks everywhere, prepared to tow cars that had got stuck.

And young men carried objects from one side to the other as long as it was too dangerous for the cars to cross. We were speechless and touched in face of this unity."

The German Federal Foreign Office enabled us to send out the first medical humedica teams to the Philippines. You can enable us to offer additional sustainable aid to the people by means of your donation. Please support our work. Thank you very much!

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

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