The first day at the clinic we were able to help 228 people. The second day we assisted 167 and 750 people received food aid. By day two people had heard that we were open and we saw injuries from the Typhoon that had not been taken care of medically.
Head injuries of small children was particularly difficult. They also had injuries on their bodies that had now turned septic. Tetanus injections were a must and the local hospital sent patients to us as they said they had run out. On average we were doing 40-50 tetanus injections a day.
We had a cases with infected wounds that were not treated and also had abscess. One boy who was one and a half had an head injury and wounds on the head that had not been treated. An abscess has formed on the forehead and the surrounding area was infected. The medical team opened up the abscess and found it so infected that We rushed him to the hospital to receive antibiotics via IV. He could not even open his eyes from the infection. Our medical team cut open the access immediately.
Most of the children's problems from the storm resulted in colds and coughs which developed into pneumonia. Many had wounds from debris that had not been treated and infections. A major issue is the lack of clean water and sanitation.
The community around us were starting to clean up the debris. Here and there it rained so a priority was to get a roof over their heads. Many use corrugated iron. Two men were suddenly rushed through the clinic doors blood spilling everywhere. They had wrapped t-shirts around the wounds. The corrugated iron had slipped when they tried to position it as a roof and both of their arms were deeply slashed. The nerves and the muscles were destroyed and one could not move two of his fingers. The other man had also arterial injuries and had lost a lot of blood. Our medical staff went into action and quickly compressed the wounds so that they could get them to the hospital.
The next day they came back again for a check-up and to receive their tetanus shots.
From the clinic in Ipil we set up a referral system for cases that needed to be hospitalized. A local government official was on call with a car and would drive the patients to the hospital.
Many children had asthma and thanks to the generator we were able give them inhalation with salbutamol.
A big issue is that the clinic is in a local community and far from the city so we were able to assist with cases that could not get into the city. Mostly this is due to poverty and lack of funds for transport and hospital feed.
Many problems were because of lack of drinking due to no clean water. We saw many children with ears totally clogged and closed with dirt.
In the afternoon as part of the relief aid we worked with the social welfare department and the moms with malnourished children. For them we face food aid packs. They lines up outside the clinic some two hours before the distribution to receive the aid.
We are running out of medicine and need to go back to Cebu to restock until local capacity can cope. We will stock the clinic and slowly hand it back over to the local health professionals, who are working with our team.
Executive Director, Shai Fund