I have received communication from both of our 2014 mission site hospitals: Ormoc Sugar Planter’s Association Hospital (OSPAH) in Ormoc and the Leyte Provincial Hospital in Palo.
The OSPAH hospital in Ormoc sustained severe damage and is currently closed. The hospital director has confirmed that she believes it will take 6-8 months to rebuild and reopen the OSPAH hospital. Dr. Linda Astorga, hospital director for Leyte Provincial Hospital in Palo also confirmed that this hospital has sustained serious damage and that the community is reeling from the damage and death in the wake of the typhoon.
The Uplift Internationale missions rely heavily on rotary clubs, hospital infrastructure, and community support during our missions. While we are anxious to continue our good work changing children’s lives to attempt to do so for 2014 is simply not feasible. With great regret the Board of Directors voted to cancel the 2014 missions in Ormoc and Palo. Our hearts and prayers are with the communities there and we certainly do not want to create any additional burdens for them during the coming months of assessing damage and rebuilding their communities. We do not know the state of our equipment and supplies which were on the island of Leyte at the time of the typhoon impact, but we have authorized local medical authorities to use them if they yet remain intact. If any life can be saved with our stores we will have helped in an indirect way. UI will have tremendous needs to replace operating room equipment and supplies prior to 2015 but this is of lesser concern than the ongoing tragedy.
We have heard form Dapa, our friends there are OK. Megs has returned to a severely damaged house on Panay. Several of the Filipino nurses including Geo, Marvee, and Scarlet are known to be alive and well. We will provide further updates where possible.
We have received many requests from our community here with requests of how people can help. While UI has many ties in the Philippines our skill set is not in acute disaster relief and should you wish to provide aid that will more directly be used in direct disaster relief we can suggest the following 3 organizations.
1. NAFFAA – National Federation of Filipino American Associations Region V
(Please mail checks to NAFFAA Region V – 10007 King Street Westminster, CO
80031). Contact Edith Pasion at email@example.com; Co-Chair
NAFFAA Region V Typhoon Fundraiser
2. MAP International – http://www.map.org/
3. Americares – http://www.americares.org/
We will begin moving forward and planning our 2015 mission in the spring. In the meantime we will be trying to assist the Filipino communities in any way that we can. We appreciate your support and will continue to keep you updated through this challenging time.
Steve Krebs, MD
President and Head of Mission