DOH, DSWD, other agencies intensify assistance to evacuees arriving from Tacloban

November 22, 2013 10:31 am 

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, Nov. 21 (PNA) — The Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) intensified on Thursday the extension of government assistance to typhoon "Yolanda" survivors arriving at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City from Tacloban City, Leyte.

The two departments, in coordination with other government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and volunteers, have moved the processing or holding area for thousands of evacuees leaving Tacloban via C-130 planes to Quezon City.

According to DOH-National Capital Region Director Eduardo C. Janairo, the new processing area for evacuees is now located inside Camp Aguinaldo along Epifanio Delos Santos Ave. (EDSA).

He said the transfer is intended to provide the evacuees with a more convenient facility before they are fetched by their relatives or transferred to centers where they can seek temporary shelters if they have no relatives in Metro Manila that can accommodate them.

Janairo said that in cooperation with DSWD and other agencies, the DOH will be providing all necessary assistance to the victims of typhoon "Yolanda" that caused great damage to lives and property in Eastern and Western Visayas.

The new holding area is a more protective and safe place where the evacuees will be less exposed to certain elements like noise, dust and other risky factors.

“Since this place (Camp Aguinaldo) has plenty of trees, they can breath fresh air and seek protection in many buildings in case rain pour in," he explained.

The DOH has also established there a field clinic where arriving evacuees needing immediate medical assessment and treatment can be accommodated, Janairo said.

“There will also be ambulances that will be deployed with the task to transport the evacuees to bigger hospitals for proper management and medication, if necessary," he added.

In the same clinic, there are trained volunteers consisting of doctors and nurses, together with DOH personnel, that will provide pneumococcal vaccine for 45 years old and above, anti-measles vaccine for children, oral polio vaccine (OPV), tetanus toxoid vaccine, vitamin A capsules, iron supplement for pregnant women, and breast milk for infants.

On the part of DSWD, Jane Casimiro, DSWD-NCR Information Officer, said that there are women and child friendly spaces provided for pregnant and lactating mothers.

There are also play areas where the children of the evacuees can have a play therapy to bring back their smiles and help them recover from the sadness they experienced from "Yolanda" at a young age.

“As part of the continuous assistance for them, they are provided with relief assistance in the form of food packs and non-food items like slippers and new clothing,” Casimiro said.

As of Thursday, there were about 400 families, equivalent to 2,000 individuals, in the holding area.

As they arrived Thursday afternoon, they were assisted by social workers and volunteer doctors and nurses in the holding area by giving them food to eat and beverage to drink.

San Miguel Foods Corporation, Maynilad and non-governmental organization gave them foods before they were brought to the assessment areas.

Smart, Globe and Talk and Text provide free SIM cards to the evacuees so they can make calls to their relatives through the phone lines installed in the area.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is also set to provide the evacuees with skills training to help them become productive. (PNA)

SCS/LSJ

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