The Philippines: MSF assists Luzon populations affected by typhoons and floods

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is providing medical assistance in six areas hit by back-to-back typhoons and floods in Bulacan province in Luzon.

MSF team composed of medical doctors, nurses and logisticians, conducted medical assessment starting in early October, after typhoons Nesat and Nalgae hit the northern part of the Philippines. Although to date most of the government operated evacuation centres in the affected areas are closing, MSF finds that there are still six areas in the Bulacan province (Bulusan, San Jose, Panducot, Sapang Bayan, St Lucia, and Meyto) inundated, with limited accessibility and healthcare provision.

In Bulacan, two MSF mobile teams jointly run by MSF and the Ministry of Health (including two MSF medical doctors, two MSF nurses and two midwives from the Ministry of Health) run primary healthcare and antenatal care consultations for the affected populations. For patients who require life-saving treatments and hospitalisation, they are referred to the provincial hospital at 20 minutes ride by the ambulances operated by the Ministry of Health.

In collaboration with the authority, MSF also conducts epidemiological survey in relocation centres, and evaluates the proper functioning of the remaining health centres, and will fill the gap of the drugs and equipments if necessary.

MSF will continue to assess medical needs in other areas including Hagonoy and Tarlac, and will visit the district hospitals of Malolo and Calumpit, where healthcare provision is limited.

Other than providing healthcare assistance, MSF is also assessing the need for provision of relief supplies to the affected populations.

With the expectation that another tropical depression Twentythree may strike the Philippines as a tropical storm, an MSF team is on the ground to be on standby for further assessments.