Manila (Agenzia Fides) - The consequences of the typhoon that hit the population of Mindanao (see Fides 6/12/2012) are severely having an impact on the structure of the local health system, in particular on neonatal assistance. Many health facilities have been destroyed or damaged. According to the Ministry of Health (DOH), 146 of the 369 villages in the region have suffered damage of various kinds, including four government hospitals. The United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) estimates that 8,356 pregnant women are in need of care. Of these, 2,785 are in their last trimester of pregnancy and some have never received any medical attention. Local government officials and aid agencies have been around in various villages to record pregnant and lactating women. In the eastern Province of Davao there are 1,496, of which 951 are assisted by medical missions.
These women also are in urgent need of psychosocial support. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has set up a health care unit based in Davao to increase rapidly necessary medical services. Typhoon Bopha has affected more than 6 million people. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 22/01/2013)