Local News
5:22 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Medical Staff, Vaccines Needed In The Philippines

The death toll continues to rise in the Philippines, where a massive typhoon has devastated regions of the country. Flooded airports have made it difficult for relief workers to get to the Philippines.

As of Monday, the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders only had 15 people in the devastated city of Tocloban.

Deane Marchbein, an anesthesiologist at Cambridge Health Alliance and the president of the U.S. section of Doctors Without Borders, said more doctors, nurses, logisticians and surgeons are on their way, along with three cargo plains filled with tons of supplies, including medical kids, water, sanitation equipment, and vaccines.    
 
"Tetanus vaccines are going to be really important, because what we tend to see in emergencies like this is that people get lacerations and broken bones and while the initial injuries may be relatively small, houses have collapsed and since they have lost everything they try to go back into their houses and that is when they get seriously hurt," she said.
 
While there may still be a hospital structure in Tocloban, most of the medical supplies have been washed away and much of the medical staff is unaccounted for, according to Marchbein.

In the coming days, Doctors Without Borders will deploy hundreds of people and will set up an inflatable hospital amongst the ruins of the city to care for those affected by the storm.
 
"We're talking about literally millions of people without shelter without water without sanitation without access to medicine so you're talking about people who have been perhaps acutely injured, traumatized, but also people with chronic illnesses unable to access there normal medical care."
 
Marchbein said Doctors Without Borders expects to spend millions of dollars on their effort in the Philippines.

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