Outbreaks and emergencies

WHO responds to health needs of communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan Update

as of 24 December 2013

  • As of 23 December 2013, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported more than 16 million people affected by the disaster, with more than 6000 persons dead, and 4 million displaced. These numbers are expected to continue to fluctuate over time.
  • Typhoon Haiyan damaged over 2,000 health facilities in the Visayas island group of the Philippines (Regions VI, VII and VIII). In collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), WHO has coordinated the deployment of foreign medical teams. As of 18 Dec 2013, 277 medical teams (124 foreign and 153 local) have been deployed to affected areas in the six weeks after the typhoon. Health services are increasingly caring for both acute and chronic conditions. With many foreign medical teams completing their missions, the Health Cluster is assisting the DoH in coordinating the handover to local health teams and functioning health facilities.
  • A national health cluster in Manila and sub national health clusters have been established in Tacloban, Ormoc, Borongan, Roxas and Cebu. Currently, there are 35 WHO staff members deployed to these sites to assist in cluster coordination, information management, logistics, and technical assistance to DOH and partners. The Global Health Cluster and the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) are continuing to mobilize support.
  • WHO continues to co-lead the Health Cluster with the Department of Health and facilitate daily coordination meetings with about 30 health cluster partners. Health Cluster Bulletins are regularly issued and its website updated. A briefing of the diplomatic corps is done twice a week.
  • As of 18 December, the Health Cluster has vaccinated more than 35,500 children against measles and over 36,000 against polio in Regions VI, VII and VIII.

WHO/F. Guerrero

Super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) hit the Philippines on 8 November 2013. Storm surges caused widespread flooding in coastal areas and brought damages to 41 provinces in many Regions in Central Philippines. The severely affected areas are Tacloban City, Leyte, and Northern Iloilo.

Many people living in these affected areas were injured and the devastating effects of this typhoon left already vulnerable health facilities damaged or completely destroyed. As a result, health services in the worst affected areas no longer exist or are severely stretched, with medical supplies in very short supply.

The Government of the Philippines has declared a State of National Calamity (through Presidential Proclamation dated 11 November) in Samar provinces of Leyte, Cebu, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan and Palawan. A state of calamity was also declared in Dumangas, Iloilo, Janiuay, Mina, Palawan, Bacolod, and Zarraga.

In support of the Government of the Philippines, WHO is coordinating all health-related aspects of the emergency response to ensure the supplies are moved quickly to where health facilities and supplies are most damaged.

WHO has activated an organization-wide mobilization to work closely with the Department of Health, Philippines (DoH) to organize relief efforts for the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.