On October 15th, a 7.2 earthquake devastated the islands of Bohol and Cebu in the Philippines, and surrounding communities were reduced to rubble.
Then on November 8, 2013 Typhoon Haiyan, aka Yolanda, the deadliest storm to ever make landfall in human history, destroyed the Central Philippines. Yolanda’s winds of 235 km/hour, gusts reaching 275 km/hour, 15.75 inches of rain, waves surging as high as 15 meters (45 ft.), has claimed the lives of at least 10,000 people. More fatalities have still not been counted.
Ubud’s not-for-profit medical organisation Bumi Sehat, with a team from the Wadah Foundation (see http://www.wadahfoundation.or.id/) is getting organized on the ground right now to bring relief to the hardest-hit areas. Nutritious, protein-rich food is needed urgently, as the survivors are starving. Essential medicines are also needed, right away.
When pregnant women cease to have food, water and shelter, their blood pressure rises, and babies come prematurely or are stillborn. Risks of eclampsia, claiming the lives of mothers, increases. The only way to prevent this is to feed and care for them.
Statement from Robin Lim, midwife and founder of Bumi Sehat:
YES, sending money for the Philippines via Bumi Sehat: www.bumisehatfoundation.org is indeed the right place! Please let people know.
Bumi Sehat’s mission is to look after the birthing and breastfeeding mothers (feed the Moms so they can feed the babes.) We see it as long term, much like our clinic in Aceh. Rushing in without proper support would be ineffective.
I am getting ready to go. But before I can pack, I must work to get food organized for the people there. This means something like ‘power bars’, or ‘protein bars’, ready to eat, that don’t need cooking, individually wrapped because hygiene is a big problem. It’s not our first rodeo, so we know to expect hardship, to put it lightly.
I am looking to Australian- and Manila-based sources, as they are nearest. However, if you have contact with USA makers of such foods, who are willing to ship to Cebu, please put them in contact with me as soon as possible.
Getting food and tents out to the people we work with, who live there and are organizing efforts, is an obsession for me. I sense the people’s hunger and desperation.
Once our supply- and receiving-end services are flowing, I will feel more confident about going into the fray. Team Bumi/Wadah is also working with: IDEP, Direct Relief International, One Health Org, COHI, and Loving the Mother, to get medicines, birthing supplies, wound supplies and shelters out to Cebu and Bohol.
Tacloban is more in the news, because that is where the typhoon first made landfall, and where the news reporters landed. Team Bumi Sehat is focused on Cebu/Bohol, for they were the epicenter of the Oct. 15th earthquake, plus they suffered the storm as well. Cebu is central to the Visayas; logistically it will be easier for us to locate and serve the people most in need from this vantage point.
Wadah Foundation/Bumi family is from that region, and has already been feeding many hundreds of people daily since the earthquake.
Humanitarian efforts must be balanced and executed with wisdom, in order to be effective in the relief of suffering. It is the vision of Bumi/Wadah to sustain the healing and recovery of the Philippines, while keeping all of its projects going strong here in Indonesia.
For those of you wishing to volunteer, please be patient. It is not quite time for people to go. There is too much danger, and the people trying to make order out of chaos do not need one more mouth to feed. Your usefulness will be much more needed when the dust settles, and there is a Bumi Sehat Bali-Philippines structure in place.
All my LOVE… Ibu Robin & Team Bumi/Wadah
List of essential medicines needed by Bumi Sehat /WADHA for the Central Philippines: (NB the focus is maternal and child health, including childbirth.)
Anti hemorrhage medicines:
Misoprostol in 200 mg pill form
(this is the most effective and need not be injected, perfect for TBAs in the field)
Amoxicilliin 250mg and 500 pills
Amoxicillin liquid suspension for children
Ciprofloxin 500 (especially needed for typhoid)
Fluloxacillin 500 mg
Augmentin 1.2 g IV
Cefoxitin 1 g IV
Muprirocin (Bactroban ointment – SUPER IMPORTANT)
Wound Supplies, ie anything available to clean and dress wounds.
Gloves, both sterile and non sterile (majority of Filipino medics use size 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5 (but any size will due in a pinch)
Suture ~ all sizes, Chromic, Vicril, etc. prefer dissolvable, as patients coming in don’t always come back for removal.
2% injectable 1% is also ok
Lidocaine or Xylocaine pump spray
Syringes and Needles (disposable) sizes 3cc, 5cc, 10cc
Pre-injection (alcohol) swabs
Delee Infant Suction Devices
Infant bag & mask for resuscitation.
If you can help by making a donation, please go to www.bumisehatfoundation.org/donate-to-philippines/
Or if you’re in Ubud and would like to make a cash donation, you can do this and get an immediate receipt at Bumi Sehat Clinic office in Nyuh Kuning Village.