Doctors, volunteers returning to the Philippines

Published On: Jun 26 2014 06:52:47 AM HST

In the Philippines, thousands are still suffering from the effects of Super Typhoon Haiyan which struck last November.

So doctors and volunteers from Hawaii are heading back to help once again.

Click here to watch Paul Drewes' report.

Super Typhoon Haiyan roared ashore with winds near 200 mph. It left in its wake more than 6,000 people dead and entire communities destroyed.

A group of doctors and volunteers from Hawaii travelled the to the Central Philippines more than a month after the storm hit. They were prepared to assist medically, but found many residents needed much more help.

"The typhoon came into Tacloban in the middle of the night, so many people were afraid to sleep, and afraid of the dark. So we were treating them for stress disorders. Now, we are more prepared to treat those types of situations," said Dr. Russell Kelly, with the Ohana Medical Mission.

Working in communities in the Central Philippines that had been hardest hit by the storm, volunteers and physicians provided non-emergency care, medicine and comfort.

"Many had lost their homes or even a member of their family, but still they had to deal with the everyday life. They had to let life go on as they went through this grief," said Dr. Carolina Davide.

This time, volunteers will again travel with hundreds of pounds of medicine and supplies and visit many of the same communities as before.
During the first week of July, they will provide medical consultations, screenings, treatment and even minor surgical procedures.

"There's no health care in the Philippines, so with us bringing the health care and medicine with us, it will be a great help," stated Dr. Davide.

"We are going to be providing a little humanitarian aid, but mainly it will be surgical, medical and dental. Outreach to help these folks out," added Dr. Kelly.

During the months between visits, the group has been busy hiring physicians in the Philippines, so residents there will get some of the care they desperately need.

"It will be critical to alleviate the aches and pains and psychological well-being. It will help just to uplift the problems that they have," said Dr. Davide.

Seven months after the storm, members of the Ohana medical mission are returning because they have not forgotten the amount of destruction and suffering they saw and know the need for help still remains.
"From what we have seen being there before, it is going to take those communities many years to recover from this," said Dr. Kelly.

As the volunteers make final preparations for this follow-up trip, they are still able to take donations.

If you would like to help the Ohana Medical Mission you can call 387-8297 for more details.

Super Typhoon  Haiyan survivors in Tacloban, Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan devastates the Philippines

Click here to see more photos from the Philippines.


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