The Helping Hands Philippines provides services to the transitional and permanent typhoon survivor communities of Tacloban City. When many seaside areas were deemed "no-build" zones, thousands of survivor families still living by the waterfront were forcibly moved to transitional and permanent communities in the northern part of the city. Unfortunately, the local Suhi rural health centre of this region is only able to service ~5,000 people, and the survivor communities have now expanded this population to ~20,000 people, far outstripping the resources of the rural health centre. The government does not currently have a plan to expand the healthcare resources in this region to meet this new demand.
With the help of the Suhi rural health centre, we have determined the best way to alleviate some of the pressures on the public health care system is to train local community health workers. These health workers are able to provide additional free health care resources to their communities, and coordinate immunization/nutritional support efforts by the Suhi health centre. Furthermore, our Canadian physicians and volunteers spend around 4 weeks a year in the communities, providing a free medical clinic with free medications, counselling, and health education sessions based on the needs/desires of the communities.
Our outreach clinics/education sessions occurred in April 2014, May 2015, February 2016, April/Mary 2017, and we are set to return to Tacloban City in May 2018. Please click here to read about our recent projects, and click here if you would like to read about our future projects. Please click here if you would like to support us with a donation.
History of The Helping Hands Philippines
Super typhoon Haiyan (locally known as super typhoon Yolanda) devastated Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines in November 2013. Thousands of people died and families were torn apart or decimated, survivors left with gut-wrenchingly horrible stories of children and other loved ones who were killed or lost in the storm. Even more people were injured, left without homes and livelihoods. Those affected most were the poor who lived closest to the waterfront, in areas deemed "no build" zones due to vulnerability during typhoons. After visiting in December 2013 and witnessing first-hand the gaps in medical aid being provided, Dr. Michael Bartucci decided to start The Helping Hands Philippines, a charity dedicated to improving the health situation of impoverished and displaced typhoon survivors in Tacloban City.
The Helping Hands Philippines
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