| Dec 15, 2014
We would like to share this story from Tyler Graf, MTI's Content Coordinator. Tyler is currently in the Philippines with MTI's assessment team.
Lit by a single candle following a power outage in the wake of Typhoon Hagupit, the small municipal hospital in Dolores, Philippines, lacked even the simplest of medical necessities.
For more than a week following the storm’s passage, the hospital remained in the dark, with scant supplies at the disposal of its small staff. Dolores, located in the Eastern Samar province, was among the areas most affected by Typhoon Hagupit. In the wake of the typhoon, generators were the sole source of power in Dolores — and the hospital’s was broken.
The staff made do with what they had. The hospital was staffed by three woman, who worked in shifts. Seemingly always there, day and night, was Dr. Quennie Guilleno. Typhoon Hagupit, while not nearly as devastating as last year’s Super Typhoon Haiyan, imposed hardships on medical providers in Eastern Samar. With the power out, it was difficult for the staff to provide medical treatment, and many patients were sent to other hospitals miles away.
“Even people coming with puncture wounds, we don’t have the supplies (for them),” Dr. Guilleno told Medical Teams International staff and volunteers when they visited the town. “There are so many people coming.”
The hospital staff said needs as simple as having enough clean water were difficult to meet. “Sometimes, if we don’t have light, we have problems giving medicine to patients,” Dr. Guilleno said.
Despite the challenges, the small, understaffed hospital prepared for Typhoon Hagupit as best it could, stocking up on medicines and other provisions. When MTI visited, staff and volunteers provided the hospital with intravenous materials, stitches, medicine and wound-care kits.
The hospital’s three staffer members — Dr. Guilleno, a nurse and a nurse’s assistant — voiced their appreciation for the materials, saying they would be put to good use.
MTI staff and volunteers also gave much-needed medical supplies to Dolores’ fire station, located down the street from the hospital. There, the four men on duty said they’d cleared the town of all of its injured residents, but medicine and other supplies were essential for the future.
Medical Teams International has provided medical training to local first responders throughout areas of The Philippines pounded by typhoons Haiyan and Hagupit. Staff and volunteers returned to The Philippines in December following Typhoon Hagupit to assess medical needs and evaluate how MTI’s training improved preparedness among local first responders.
Dr. Quennie Guilleno watches as MTI team leader Debbie Bailey and volunteer Dan Livengood dispense medical supplies at her hospital in Dolores, Philippines.
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