Typhoon Yolanda and the Provincial Health Office in Action

Before the super typhoon Yolanda hit the northern tip part of the province of Cebu on Nov. 8, the Provincial Health Office headed by Dr. Cynthia T. Genosolango had lined up its preparations.

On Nov. 7, a day before the storm, a Disaster Team 1 and 2 were already on standby ready for action what-so-ever. Logistics have been prepared while the typhoon movement was monitored on Tv and radio set.

On the same day on Nov. 8, hours after the super cyclone struck, PHO staff attended to 138 families or some 1,017 individuals from sitio Lubi, Ipil, ipil and San Roque of barangay Capitol Site this city who took refuge at the Capitol a day before the typhoon has landed. Gov. Hilario Davide met with the evacuees after which he had a meeting with PHO personnel.

The PHO staff also started monitoring occurrences in 16 District and Provincial hospitals and various reports were then forwarded to PHO head Dr. Genosolango for whatever action might be taken. However, some communications were cut off due to power failure in the towns of Sogod, Daanbantayan, Bantayan island and Bogo city which had hampered the possible action that maybe taken.

Reports such as injuries treated at a hospital in Camotes Island, and Minglanilla District hospital were received and referred to VSMMC for further treatment. In a meeting, Gov. Davide instructed them to prioritize assistance to affected areas as soon as possible.

On the third day, Nov. 9, a Medical Disaster Team 3 and Core Team were readied for any eventuality. On the same day, PHO provided medicine for Bantayan via light plane courtesy of Mr. Vince Ong of the Mactan General Aviation; dispatched a medical team to Bantayan led by Dr. Genosolango together with five doctors; six boxes of medicine supplies were also sent in the afternoon to the same area; an ocular inspection or visits were conducted by the PHO medical team to Daanbantayan District hospital, Medellin and Bogo city; an ambulance was also dispatched to Medellin as requested which patient was rushed to St. Vincent hospital; and hospitals check or visit was conducted by some medical team.

On the following day, Nov. 10, the same team headed by Mrs. Jao again visited hospitals; Vice Gov. Magpale sent medicine to Camotes island; dispatched a medical team to Bogo city, and towns of Medellin and Daanbantayan; with another medical team, the PHO then coordinated with Board Member Calderon, Atty. Tolentino, Engr. Jamora, PIO head Ethel Natera, DOH medical team for a trip to Tacloban city which was also badly hit by the super typhoon. Drugs, chlorine and other medical supplies were distributed in Bogo city, Medellin and Daanbantayan on the same day.

The next day, Nov. 11, PHO dispatched another medical team to Bantayan island and Daanbantayan where the team provided ORS and chlorine; they also provided Tetanus Toxoid vaccines and gasoline for the generator in the area. Ramon Gallardo