Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

WHO Coordinates Health Relief after Typhoon Haiyan

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

WHO Coordinates Health Relief after Typhoon Haiyan

Article excerpt

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been supporting the Government of the Philippines in coordinating the incoming relief supplies from more than 30 international humanitarian health organizations following Typhoon Haiyan on 8 November.

WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan declared the humanitarian situation in the Philippines a Grade-3 Emergency under WHO's Emergency Response Framework, thus placing Organization-wide resources at the disposal of the WHO head of office and the emergency support team that the Western Pacific Regional Office is establishing to assist with relief efforts.

An estimated 25% of the population of the Philippines, about 25 million people, have been affected and hundreds of thousands of people are displaced. Many are now struggling to survive without food, shelter or clean drinking water.

Health facilities were damaged or completely destroyed across large swathes of the affected regions, and, as a result of the breadth and severity of the storm, health services in the worst affected areas have ceased to exist or have been severely stretched, with medical supplies in very short supply.

WHO is working with the government to rapidly assess of the life-saving needs of the population in these areas.

"WHO is coordinating the health-related aspects of the response, for example, to avoid duplication of materials and medicines arriving at any one location and to get mobile field hospitals, health workers and medical supplies, which have been donated, to the places where they are needed most," said Dr Julie Hall, WHO Representative to the Philippines. …

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