The SEMPER team is in the midst of their first full day of providing clinical care. Yesterday they arrived at 5 AM at an airbase to be transported to their current locations, and waited more than 5 hours until they were able to board an aircraft and depart.
Colin Bucks, MD, Associate Director for SEMPER and Clinical Assistant Professor for Emergency Medicine, and three others have arrived in Guinan. We are waiting for an update on their specific assignment and activities. Brandon Bond, Logistics Specialist, EMT, is with the rest of the team members. The initial plan of this group of SEMPER providers was to work at a hospital in Tacloban. However, after observing that the hospital had sufficient staff, the team was re-deployed to a location approximately 45 minutes south of Tacloban, from where they will run outreach clinics each day. To run the clinics, they have joined forces with GlobalMedic of Canada, as well as other physicians, with the logistics still being managed by IMC (International Medical Corp). The team plans to travel approximately an hour from their base location to reach areas in need of their services. The medical practice so far is primary care, with some wound care, to support the activities of the Department of Health of the Republic of the Philippines. Additional team members each day will include local providers – both MDs and nurses. Today they are operating under outdoor tents, where initially hundreds of persons awaited medical evaluation and treatment.
Brandon attended a “cluster” meeting that included agencies such as the World Health Organization and UN, and observed that the organization was quite good, and that the Department of Health appears well organized. The roads are clear, but the devastation wrought by the hurricane is enormous, with palm trees stripped and topped, and buildings toppled or blown away. Clean water is available and food is arriving. The team has plans for Thanksgiving, and sends its best wishes and thanks for all the support it has received.