Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Rescue SA - The Philippines.

Rescue South Africa personnel unload their supplies at the Abuyog Community College in Abuyog in the Province of Leyte. This was their base for their stay in the Philippines. Although not the worst hit area, Abuyog's only hospital was rendered useless due to the roof being blown off.
As an outside observer, I noticed there was a bit of frustration by some members of the group. Some wondered why they had come half way across the world to simply fix a roof, they were so busy working on that hot tin roof in hellish conditions, that they never got to see the real damage done by Typhoon Yolanda.
But I did, and the areas up north were devastated to such a large scale, that the small team would not have been able to do much, it was better left to the larger aid agencies.
Two young Filipino girls search a devastated area in Tacloban.
A board looking for survivors at the Tacloban Disaster centre.
The field clinic hardly seen any direct victims of the typhoon. This area was not battered as harshly by the storm as other areas. But as life continued, so did everyday needs.
This community had no hospital anymore, but sick and injured people still needed help. The roof had been blown off during the typhoon and the doctors had left. The team toiled in unbearable heat to get that roof sorted and the small field clinic took up the slack treating hundreds of people. Had Rescue SA not been there, many people would have still been sick, injured, medicine-less and dying.
Prof Efraim Kramer takes a minute to come to terms with the loss of a young drowning victim at the Abuyog Hospital near the end of the mission.

The young drowning victim that was lost on the final day of the mission, could not be saved. Rescue SA's doctors refused to give up, until there was no other option. This proved their success to me, for that child would have died regardless, but their efforts gave him some dignity in death, that he otherwise would not have had.