Humanitarian Health Action

Philippines - Health Cluster Situation Report No. 7 - 6 October 2009


  • 805 799 families (3 929 030 individuals) affected in 1 786 barangays, 70 739 families (335 740individuals) in 559 evacuation centres.
  • DSWD reports that as 15 775 families in 40 barangays in 7 cities are still flooded.
  • Casualties: 295 Dead, 5 injured, 39 missing.
  • More than Php 835.6M (USD 17.4M) in damage to health facilities reported.
  • The top 5 morbidity cases in the evacuation centers are: upper respiratory tract infection, fever, skin disease, infected wounds and diarrhea.
  • DOH dispatched 119 Medical, 11 Psychosocial, and 6 WASH Teams, 12 Assessment/Surveillance, 3 Public Health, and 5 Nutrition teams to 99 site.s
  • Logistical support provided for Health and WASH clusters by DOH has amounted to Php 19,742,610.37 (USD 411 304).
  • Majority of Hospital Operations have resumed with free services to victims.
  • CERF proposal for USD 830 000 has been approved, FLASH appeal posted on ReliefWeb.

Health situation assessment

  • NDCC reported that the number of evacuees increased to 70 739 families (335 740 individuals). Number of evacuation centers has increased to 559. Total number of affected increased to 805 799 families (3 929 030 individuals) in 1 786 barangays.
  • Access to essential health services: DSWD reports that as 15 775 families in 40 barangays in 7 cities are still flooded and are not reached by aid (as of 2 October 2009). DOH estimates at least Php 635.6M (USD 17.4M) in damage was sustained by health facilities (16 hospitals, 2 rural health units, 74 municipal health centers, one lying-in clinic, one provincial health office), ranging from submerged ground floors to damage and destruction of medical supplies and equipment, records, and office equipment. Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina reports the most extensive damage amounting to Php 380M (USD 8M). DOH reports the majority of hospital operations have resumed and hospitals have been instructed to provide free service to victims. Reports from damaged health facilities in two regions and from one severely affected Metro Manila hospital are yet to be received.
  • Communicable diseases: Based on DOH assessment as of 4 October 2009, the top 5 morbidity cases in the evacuation centers are: upper respiratory tract infection, fever, skin disease, infected wounds and diarrhea. Marikina City Health office reports their top morbidities as: traumatic injuries, skin infections, upper respiratory tract infections, influenza-like illnesses, and fever (as of 2 October 2009)
  • Disease Surveillance: Case reporting, recording, monitoring, and surveillance in evacuation centers are by the mobile medical teams. Intense efforts by the health cluster are underway to have a comprehensive assessment.
  • Water and Sanitation: Demand for water has risen three-fold due to the ongoing cleaning operations.
  • Psychosocial Care: Psychosocial or mental health support for the victims in NCR is being provided by 8 mobile psychosocial assessment teams deployed by the DOH. Mobile teams have reported cases of depression in one evacuation center.
  • Coordination: Twice weekly cluster meetings further coordinate the continued overall response. While the evacuation centers have been identified, the cluster notes the continued priority need to determine the extent to which essential health and humanitarian services are reaching the evacuees and affected communities.
  • Human Resources: DOH has requested for technical support staff for logistics management, coordination of medical teams, and for documentation and reporting of experiences
  • Infant Feeding in Emergencies: DOH assessment found formula donated in multiple evacuation sites.
  • Reproductive Health: UNFPA has done Reproductive Health Assessment in Marikina, Pasig, Cainta, Quezon City, San Mateo, Montalban, Malabon, Navotas, and Taguig which showed that there are currently no services available for pregnant women in the areas visited. In Taguig, there are at least 163 pregnant women in the major evacuation centers. Three have already given birth in the shelters

Health Cluster response

  • As of 5 October 2009, DOH deployed 119 Medical, 11 Psychosocial, and 6 WASH Teams to 99 sites. DOH has deployed an additional 12 Assessment/Surveillance, 3 Public Health, and 1 Nutrition team
  • Total human resources deployed by DOH as of 5 October 2009 include 210 Medical doctors, 243 registered nurses, 5 psychiatrists, 16 psychologists, 16 engineers, 1 pharmacist, 5 nutritionists, 6 Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, 106 aides, and one medical technologist
  • The amount of logistical support (drugs, medicines and medical supplies) provided for Health and WASH clusters by DOH as of 5 October 2009 is Php 19,742,610.37 (USD 411 304)
  • Measles vaccination and vitamin A supplementation campaign for children 9 - 59 months of age in evacuation centers based on a DOH Policy Memorandum is ongoing. Measles immunization has already been given to 50 children in Cainta. Vitamin A has been distributed to four (4) LGUs (Malabon, Valenzuela, Quezon City and Taguig City)
  • The cluster has reiterated the need to coordinate all activities with DOH to prevent duplication efforts and ineffective resource mobilization and utilization. A possible coordination strategy identified is for agencies to "adopt" an evacuation center/barangay/locality. Regular cluster meetings continue; the next cluster meeting is scheduled for Tuesday October 6, 4pm at DOH
  • CERF proposal for USD 830 000 has been approved. FLASH appeal released on ReliefWeb.
  • 139 Portalets have been distributed for 53 evacuation centers in National Capital Region and Region IVA. Another 400 units to be deployed
  • DOH is distributing Hyposol (water disinfectant) to all evacuation centers. IEC material on water sanitation, and health promotion have been distributed to all evacuation centers
  • DOH mobile medical teams administered tetanus toxoid to all wound cases seen
  • DOH Conducted debriefing of 2 060 individuals from Marikina (1,673), Quezon City (180), and Cainta (207) All psychosocial services for evacuation centers, communities, and responders are being coordinated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine National Red Cross, and DOH, respectively. Community and Family Services International has deployed an Emergency Response Team to conduct a Rapid Psychosocial Assessment in 3 barangays in Marikina and 1 barangay in Quezon City
  • DOH issued a statement reiterating the ban on donations of infant formula to evacuation centers. They emphasized the particular dangers formula imposes and the lifesaving benefits of breastfeeding in these circumstances. DOH, UNICEF and WHO are mobilizing breastfeeding support groups, peer counselors and breastmilk banking. WHO have issued a press release in support of DOH.
  • DOH conducted health assessments in Laguna Province (Biñan, San Pedro, Cabuyao, Los Baños and Sta Cruz municipalities and Sta Rosa and Calamba cities). Provincial Health personnel will assess remaining areas of Laguna
  • The DOH provided a generator set for Amang Rodriguez Medical Center
  • First aid kits are being provided to all evacuation centers
  • WHO procured 10 000 Jerry cans to the DOH for NCR and Region IV. Will procure additional first aid kits
  • WHO recruited support staff to assist the DOH in information management and in logistics. More support staff are to be recruited and technical support to DOH is continuous
  • UNFPA has done reproductive health missions RH medical mission providing prenatal, delivery and post-partum services. Information sessions and hygiene kits were distributed to 4 evacuation centers in Taguig in cooperation with Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines (IMAP) and the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP). Distribution of hygiene kits done in Malabon and Navotas today.
  • MSF has done evaluation and assessment in Bulacan, Montalban, and San Mateo and is continuing coordination with international MSF to consolidate efforts
  • PNRC has distributed 20 portalets and and 3 water bladders (10,000L each) to 3 evacuation centers in Marikina as well as health (hygiene and sanitation) promotion and hygiene kit distribution in Marikina, Laguna, and Zambales
  • UNICEF health kits, hygiene kits and WASH supplies to be distributed; are supporting DOH in health promotion advocacy
  • IOM coordinating with WHO and DOH for provision of medicines and supplies; and assisting in establishing an information management and surveillance system
  • Plan International will provide of hygiene kits, NFI, ORS
  • Save the Children has distributed food and non-food items to 6,000 families in Pateros, Taguig, Paranaque, and Cainta
  • USAID has coordinated with DOH, the Philippine Army, and the US Armed Forces in distributing assorted relief goods, medicines, and medical supplies as well as health information materials and health education services to selected evacuation centers

Critical Constraints

  • Logistics: Several areas remain inaccessible due to continuing floods (see above)

Urgent needs

  • Scaling up access of essential health services to all affected populations, including emergency transportation of cases, especially in areas with almost no access to essential health services and aid
  • Improve case-based disease surveillance for communicable diseases and health and humanitarian service coverage in evacuation centers.
  • Augment water supply for health facilities, with continuing water quality testing.
  • 1. Department of Health – Health Emergency Management Staff (DOH-HEMS) - Health Emergency Alert Reporting System (HEARS)
  • 2. National Disaster Coordinating Council Update – Situation Report No.22 (5 October 2009, 1600 hrs)
  • 3. Daily updates from health cluster agencies and health cluster meetings
For more information, please contact:

WHO Country Office
Dr Gerardo Medina
Tel: (632) 338 7479
Fax:(632) 731 3914

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