A group of RNs from across the country started the new year by preparing for their deployment to the Philippines, where they are providing medical support for those who continue to be affected by the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
The fifth team of RN volunteers, part of the National Nurses Uniteds Registered Nurse Response Network, departed Jan. 15 to Roxas City on the northern end of the island of Panay, which was in the direct path of the storm.
The team includes RNs from New York, Minnesota, Texas and California. They are among the 3,000 RNs from all 50 states and 19 nations who volunteered in the days after the deadly storm to assist with relief efforts.
The typhoon, which struck in early November, killed more than 6,000 people and left almost 2,000 missing and 4 million either homeless or with damaged homes.
Now that the world is no longer focused on the devastation in the Philippines, it is even more important that we continue to lend our support, Bonnie Castillo, RN, director of the RN Response Network, said in a news release. We are working closely with our sister organization in the Philippines, the Alliance of Health Workers, to determine the most effective ways that we can be of assistance.
The Alliance of Health Workers and National Nurses United are members of Global Nurses United, an international network of nurses organizations established last summer.
Probably like most RNs who apply to go, I feel compelled in my heart and gut to take care of people in a disaster area as soon as possible, David Abeles, an RN at Arise Austin (Texas) Medical Center, said in the news release. Its part of our DNA.
Ireneo Jore, an RN at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, is a native of Roxas City, where he practiced as a family physician. Five of his 10 siblings live in Roxas City and lost their homes in the disaster. I am glad to be part of this opportunity to help the victims of this horrific calamity in my own hometown, Jore said in the news release.
I expect that many of the problems we will encounter will be related to the lack of preventive medical care prior to the disaster, Diane McClure, an RN at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento (Calif.) Medical Center who also was an RN Response Network volunteer in Haiti after the earthquake that struck in January 2010, said in the news release. I am very happy to volunteer through RNRN because its well-organized and understands the needs of the people.
This group of RNs followed in the footsteps of the RN Response Network volunteers who have been providing basic medical care at rotating mobile clinics, in a ruined chapel, school, gym and other temporary settings and at city health clinic in and around Roxas, along with other sites in the Philippines.
The RN Response Network volunteers have worked in conjunction with local public health officials, physicians, a church and other community supporters, providing wound care, giving tetanus and other shots, and offering critical stress debriefings and other basic care.
Volunteer or donate to the effort: www.nationalnursesunited.org/pages/rnrn-disaster-relief-fund