Groundbreaking ceremony of the humedica health center in Balangiga. Photo: humedica
44,000 people obtain access to medical care
When a catastrophe like a tsunami or an earthquake hits a country, we often think about the immediate consequences: How many victims and injured persons are there? How important are the destructions? What do the concerned people need most urgently? Questions which the help organization humedica tries to answer by immediate measures, such as sending teams of doctors or distributing aid supplies.
But of course, the impact of catastrophes goes further than the immediate distress and often there are middle or even long-term consequences. The destruction of elementary facilities of public utility, such as schools or hospitals, affects the daily people’s life circumstances, for example by blocking the access to medical care or education. Even if the type of necessary help changes, the basic need of support remains also weeks and months after a catastrophe.
For this reason, humedica not only provides direct help after big natural catastrophes by treating injured persons and distributing aid supplies, but also cares for a sustainable support of the concerned persons by reconstruction and supply projects.
As it has been done after the devastating typhoon “Haiyan” on the Philippines. After the humedica doctors, as the first international team, had treated injured and ill persons in the destroyed city Tacloban and its surroundings for weeks, another need became evident: many health centers in the catastrophe region had been destroyed; outside the cities the people hardly had any possibility to reach medical help.
In cooperation with the local partner organization PHILRADS, humedica made the construction of two new health centers possible, which have now been opened, after an intense construction phase.
In the context of a solemn opening ceremony, the humedica staff members transferred the buildings to the local authorities of the municipalities Balangiga and Dagami on the islands Leyte and Samar. In both municipalities there are a total of 44,000 people, who still suffer a lot from the consequences of the typhoon and who now profit directly from the newly opened health centers:
“Before the typhoon “Haiyan” already, the medical care in these areas had been difficult and insufficient, after it it has become catastrophic. The new health centers enable thousands of people to get an access to a performing medical care”, explains humedica staff member, Christiane Bähr, who has coordinated the construction on site.
The new health centers comprise a surgery, a physician’s office, a maternity and relaxation room, a waiting room and a medicine storage. In order to provide the patients comprehensive care, there are several nurses as well as a doctor and a midwife working in Balangiga and Dagami. Thus, all patients receive the respective treatment. This way, up to thousand patients of each municipality can be cared for every month.
In the context of their long-term help measures, however, humedica not only cares for the Philippians’ health: With a comprehensive sponsorship program families are being supported, who have lost their income or a bread-earner by the typhoon. Children are granted access to a comprehensive school education and their parents can build up a new job alternative and a safe income thanks to professional training.
At the same time, families who have lost their houses through “Haiyan” receive new construction material for reconstruction. “The distributed building material helps the people to build up a new home and to restore their destroyed or damaged house in a way to feel comfortable and safe there again.”, explains Christiane Bähr.
In a quarter of Tacloban which is still completely destroyed, humedica is building 20 other houses and also the construction of two maternity clinics, another health center and an evacuation center, which is so important on the Philippines, is already being planned.
“Because of their geographical situation, the Philippines repeatedly suffer from big natural catastrophes. With our help measures we want to strengthen even more the safety and health of these people who have innocently got into distress”, humedica managing director, Wolfgang Groß illustrates the background of the help. “That is the reason, why our help in big disasters always goes further than the acute emergency and catastrophe help.”
During the last months, the humedica help could already achieve much. However, the massive consequences of the typhoon still influence the lives of the concerned people. Please support the people on the Philippines also in the next months with a precious donation and offer the urgently needed safety and health. Thank you very much!