PHILIPPINES—Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in The Philippines on November 8, 2013, resulting in extensive damage to infrastructure. Heavy rains caused widespread flooding and landslides, particularly in East Samar and Leyte provinces. Storm surges reached 13 feet, and winds sustained at 175 mph were recorded. More than 6,300 deaths and 27,000 injuries occurred as a direct result of Typhoon Haiyan; 16 million people were affected and 4.1 million people were displaced.  

NYC Medics was on the ground within 72 hours of the event, working with The Philippines’ government and international coordinating bodies. Soon after, a team of 14 NYC Medics’ emergency medical professionals arrived and began providing care through mobile medical clinics, with particular emphasis on remote communities in Eastern Samar province. The NYC Medics Mobile Medical Team treated between 100 and 525 patients per day, reaching communities in Guiuan, Homonhon Island, Hernani and Llorente.

Medical treatments administered by the team ranged from infected wounds to infectious diseases resulting from crowding and loss of shelter, such as pneumonia and diarrhea. Other patients presented exacerbations of chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes resulting from a loss of access to regular primary medical care. In a few extreme cases, patients with life-threatening conditions—such as renal failure and pulmonary edema, and wounds requiring amputation—were identified by the medical team and these patients were quickly evacuated to referral hospitals run by partner NGOs. 

At the end of the two-week deployment, the NYC Medics team treated more than 2,500 patients and performed approximately 100 minor surgeries. The NYC Medics team also collaborated with the Department of Health in Guiuan to provided tetanus vaccination to difficult-to-reach island communities surrounding Guiuan, and formed a partnership with AmeriCares, which donated a shipment of drugs and medical supplies.