Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as “Yolanda,” slammed into the Philippines on November 8, 2013, leaving Ormoc City in Leyte Province severely destroyed. Along with the millions of injured people, approximately 96% of the buildings sustained damage or had completely lost their roofs.
While storm-related deaths in Ormoc remained below 100, the community health centers that served the poor and underprivileged were extensively impaired by the storm. Many of the local healthcare workers in the city clinics had been directly affected and were unable to work. Those able to work in the clinics found the facilities were ill-equipped without even basic medical tools. Many of these clinics had been damaged or destroyed and were no longer useable.
In late November, a team from Pureworks Foundation was sent to provide medical supplies and relief in Ormoc City and the surrounding areas. Through the AIRLINK Network, transportation was secured on Philippine Airlines from Los Angeles, CA, for relief workers in Pureworks’ Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team to rapidly deploy and deliver aid as quickly as possible.
Upon arriving in Ormoc City, Pureworks teamed up with Isra-Aid a relief organization from Israel, as well as a German team and local Filipino doctors and nurses. The team spent much of the time staffing local health clinics, supplementing an already ailing health system that had been devastated by a disaster.
- Over 1,000 individuals were treated and provided with basic medical aid supplies and much needed personnel.
- Damage assessments and construction planning were provided for local and international organizations to begin in the rebuilding process.
- Personnel was provided to assist the WHO and local municipality in damage assessments for health centers and hospitals.