Mercy teams land in the Philippines

PETALING JAYA (Nov 14, 2013): Two disaster relief teams deployed by Mercy Malaysia arrived today in Tacloban city and Cebu city, the Philippines.

The disaster relief team comprise medical personnel and logisticians who will be assisting the Philippines Health Department in setting up emergency hospitals upon arrival in Ormoc, Leyte Island, that was badly affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

The two teams that brought 200kg water purification tablets, medical supplies and personal supplies, will check the area to ensure suitability for more supplies to be brought in.

"The team that landed in Cebu city last night will be meeting up in Ormoc with the existing team from Bohol. They are travelling by ferry to Ormoc from Cebu city – a trip of about five hours.

"The emergency hospital will attend to victims suffering from injuries and will be providing other medical support," Mercy Malaysia executive director Ahmad Faezal Mohamed said.

"The teams there will also be helping to set up static hospitals to reach out to people not able to come to us."

Ahmad Faezal also said that the team there is planning for more supplies to be brought in including equipment for the static hospitals.

"At the moment, the bigger items are in Tacloban city and it is 40km on road to Ormoc. These are some of the logistics that we need to deal with to transport equipment."

Meanwhile, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor said a study will be carried out on the setting up of a humanitarian fund to help disaster victims, especially women and children.

The prime minister's wife said the study would also look into ways to expand the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) at the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Subang to ensure unfettered and efficient delivery of aid to victims in disaster-hit areas.

She was speaking to Malaysian journalists after visiting the Dubai International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai on Wednesday.

Kuala Lumpur is one of the six hubs housing the UNHRD network.

The others are in Dubai (UAE), Brindisi (Italy), Accra (Ghana), Panama City (Panama), and most recently, Las Palmas (Spain).