CMAT is proud to provide a summary of our deployment to the Philippines. In total, the deployment lasted one month, and the team treated nearly 2000 patients. Our work in the Philippines is far from over, though. CMAT continues to assess the needs for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) as well as Mental Health and Psychological Support Services (MHPSS). We are considering sending teams to address these needs in the coming months. If you have experience working to support mental health and psychosocial needs, and are interested in a potential deployment, please contact us at [email protected].
CMAT’s assessment team was joined in the field by Medical Team 1 in Ormoc District, Leyte province, in response to the typhoon known locally as “Yolanda” which struck the Philippines on Nov 8, 2013. The 14 person medical team consisted of nurses, nurse practitioners, paramedics and physicians from across Canada, and joined the 4-member assessment team already on the ground. Major areas of Leyte were completely devastated by the powerful storm, and the destruction of infrastructure such as roads and hospitals impacted the population significantly.
The Ormoc District Medical Society provided access to their building adjacent to city hall, and after clearing glass and palm fronds from the area and pitching our tents, it became a secure and comfortable place to call home. CMAT extends enormous gratitude to the ODMS for all of their assistance.
Although our field hospital tent and medical equipment was delayed in customs for a number of days, our team was not slowed down. Volunteers collaborated to develop a mobile medical clinic model, bringing health care directly to the affected population. Mobile clinics covered a large geographical area, with many clinics being run an average of 4 hours drive from base camp in Ormoc City. These mobile projects allowed people living in rural and remote areas of Leyte to have access to healthcare, which previously difficult to obtain.
When the field hospital tent and medical equipment arrived, it was inflated and set up immediately in a local tennis court. CMAT medical volunteers continued to assess and treat a variety of patients, alternating their duties in the field hospital, and continuing mobile medical teams.
CMAT established a collaborative relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO), and completed secondary assessments of the health needs in Leyte’s northern regions. Assessments were conducted in the barangays (villages) of Kanaga, Villaba, Tobango, and Calubian.
CMAT also worked with the WHO to assist in the distribution of IEHK (International Emergency Health Kits) and DDK (Diarrheal Disease Kits) both of which consist of emergency medical supplies, water purification kits. Martin Metz PCP, Teresa Berdusco RN and Katie Auger NP assisted to unload and distribute these necessary items.
CMAT wishes to extend its sincerest gratitude to all our generous donors, without whom we would not have been able to provide the assistance we did, and our selfless volunteers, who took time out of their busy lives, and paid their own way to travel to the Philippines to provide medical aid. We would also like to thank the following major sponsors for their monetary and material support: Lotus Light Charity Society, Teva Pharma Canada Inc, Health Sciences Association of Alberta, and the York Region District School Board.