Moms in the Aftermath of Typhoon Hagupit

An update from the Philippines following Typhoon Hagupit.
Just over a year ago, in November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) decimated the Philippines, killing more than 6300 people. Last weekend, the island, which is home to 100 million people, was hit again when Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) made landfall four times, leaving 18 inches of rain to once again flood citizens out of their homes. Fortunately, there were fewer casualties with this year’s typhoon, but as our friend and grant recipient, Robin Lim writes, Typhoon Ruby left plenty of damage.

Robin sent email updates describing work being done to provide healthcare for expecting mothers and babies living in the Typhoon’s path:

Bumi Wadah Philippines [a birth center operated by a Jakarta-based foundation working to bring hope, care, and change to their communities to achieve millennium development goals] is deploying a team of five medical people, a large tent and supplies to Borongan, Samar, the hardest hit area in the path of Typhoon Hagupit/Ruby. One of our nurses is already there, looking for her family. The San Juanico Bridge from Leyte Island is passable, according to the Military, so our team will reach the area by tomorrow morning. We of course will be focused on feeding and caring for the pregnant and breastfeeding mother-babies.

There are very few human casualties in Leyte, where our Bumi Wadah clinic is, but there are damages. Fortunately the roof on the small, borrowed clinic is intact. The team is re-erecting the big medical tent, so patient care can continue ASAP. Clearly we need to build something of our own that’s stronger, safer and sustainable. With climate change, these storms will not stop. The ocean is so warm now and the Typhoons just get bigger, more frequent, and more fierce.

Our team continued, even in evacuation, to see and treat patients. They are so devoted. And…the pregnant moms held their babies in, so this week will be lively indeed, as the babies will come tumbling out!

The rain in Manila last night was gentle. The morning brings less rain It must be the pure intentions and prayers of millions of people, that seems to have averted the worse of the danger.

Love, and Gratitude to ALL…

-Robin Lim

During this season when so many of us are focused on finding holiday gifts, we look to women like Robin who remain focused on giving the gift of life to mothers and babies with limited resources. We offer our thoughts and prayers for the mothers whose babies will “tumble out” this week and we’re grateful they’ll have midwives like Robin to care for them.

Topics: Maternal Health