Doctors, Officials In Philippines Brace For Potential Health Threats In Wake Of Typhoon

“The aftermath of the Philippines typhoon is now threatening the country with outbreaks of debilitating and potentially fatal diseases, including some thought to have been nearly eradicated, because of a collapse in sanitation, shortages of fresh water and the inability of emergency health teams to respond quickly in the week since the storm struck, doctors and medical officials said Thursday,” the New York Times reports. “Nearly 4,000 people are known to have been injured in the storm, the Philippines government said Thursday on its typhoon disaster website, which puts them at immediate risk of infections and contagion,” the newspaper writes (Gladstone, 11/14). “President Benigno Aquino has faced mounting pressure to speed up the distribution of supplies and stoked debate over the extent of casualties from Typhoon Haiyan,” according to Reuters (Grudgings, 11/14).

The Guardian examines relief efforts, noting, “The painfully slow pace of relief efforts after the typhoon in the Philippines has let people down, the United Nations aid chief has said, admitting that teams have yet to reach areas with people in desperate need” (Branigan/Hodal, 11/14). In a video report from PBS Newshour, John Sparks and Mark Austin of Independent Television News report on supply shortages from Tacloban (11/14). Audie Cornish of NPR’s “All Things Considered” interviews Angelito Umali, maternal health officer for UNFPA Philippines, about addressing maternal health concerns in the wake of the typhoon (11/14). Wired examines myths and realities in disaster situations (Sterling, 11/15).