Philippines: Mounting health crisis after super typhoon

A Philippine Red Cross volunteer provides welfare support to a mother and child in an area devastated by Super Typhoon Rai in the eastern Philippines

A Philippine Red Cross volunteer provides welfare support to a mother and child in an area devastated by Super Typhoon Rai in the eastern Philippines

Photo: Philippine Red Cross

Kuala Lumpur/Manila, January 6, 2022 - The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warns of a mounting health crisis in the eastern Philippines after Super Typhoon Rai destroyed hospitals and affected more than 7.3 million people.

Philippine Red Cross is scaling up critical healthcare on islands devastated by the typhoon, locally known as Typhoon Odette, to prevent further spread of COVID-19, and deadly waterborne diseases including gastroenteritis and acute watery diarrhoea.

There have been more than 400 cases of diarrhoea and gastroenteritis in typhoon-affected areas, with 141 health facilities damaged by the storm, according to Philippine Government agencies.

Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon said:

“Philippine Red Cross health teams are providing vital care at emergency medical tents on Siargao Island, boosting health services at the hospital, which was severely damaged by the typhoon, losing much of its roof.

“We’re urgently sending more health teams, hygiene kits and resources, including safe water supplies and water filtration systems to Siargao island, Cebu, Palawan and Bohol, to prevent the spread of disease.”

IFRC Head of Philippine Delegation Alberto Bocanegra said:

“It is extremely concerning that people have been getting very sick and even dying in areas smashed by this typhoon, which has left millions without access to clean drinking water, hospitals and health facilities.

“Red Cross is urgently ramping up healthcare and providing clean water to prevent severe illness and death from diseases like gastroenteritis and diarrhoea.”

The IFRC is appealing for 20 million Swiss francs to provide more than 400,000 people with immediate relief, including food supplies, restored access to clean water, and longer-term support to help families rebuild their homes and shattered livelihoods.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Asia Pacific Office: Antony Balmain, +60 12 230 8451, [email protected]

IFRC Philippine Delegation, Karina Coates, +61 (0) 404 086 006 [email protected]