November 11, 2013

Press Release/11 November 2013:

The Department of Health continues its coordination with the regional offices in the Visayas to map-out succeeding steps in response to more immediate needs of super typhoon Yolanda victims.

Based on his personal situation assessment over the weekend and as reports from the field come-in, Health Secretary Enrique Ona today met with the Super Typhoon Yolanda Core Response Team to give directives on deploying more self-contained teams in identified areas that suffered worst devastation during the typhoon surge.

The health chief said, “We need to beef-up the Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) team of 56 medical personnel and the prepositioned medical/emergency supplies that were initially deployed in Eastern Visayas.”

Around P15 million worth of assorted drugs and medicines, medical supplies, water and sanitation for health (WASH) kits, cot beds, family tents, and other emergency supplies were immediately made available in Department of Health (DOH) regional offices in areas that were expected to be in the path of super typhoon Yolanda.

These regional offices are Centers for Health Development VI (Western Visayas), VII (Central Visayas), and VIII (Eastern Visayas), including DOH Manila central office.

“Restoration of communication lines should really be prioritized for us to get immediate feedback from the field. In the meantime, DOH is coordinating with Telecoms Without Borders to help in this aspect,” the health chief explained.

Ona has also activated Code Blue in all regions, meaning medical personnel in the regional offices will go on 24-hour duty.  He also instructed hospitals to be on Code White, meaning hospitals should be ready with standby response teams.

For other inquiries on how to donate, volunteer or extend any form of assistance, the DOH Health Emergency Management Service in the Central Office will also go on 24/7 with the following contact numbers:     

Hotline:   711-1001, 711-1002      

Trunkline :   734-83-01 local   2206, 101

Mobile Hotline: (0920) 949- 8419

“We are continuously monitoring and in close coordination with the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Committee and local government units for appropriate and immediate response to our affected kababayans,” the health chief concluded.