The heart breaking news of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines hit us last week. Of everything we heard and saw through our television sets, one of the most saddening and compelling stories is the plight of pregnant women who are due to give birth at ground zero.
According to the WHO at least 25,000 babies are due to be born in disaster affected areas of the Philippines over the next month. Unicef, estimates 1.5 million children are at risk of acute malnutrition and about 800,000 pregnant and lactating women are in need of nutritional support after Haiyan.
OHO is therefore working around the clock with our Indonesian partners at the Yayasan Bumi Sehat Foundation birth outreach program, to get much needed nutritional supplies and birth support to the 220,000 pregnant women in the affected areas, as soon as possible.
We have been liaising with our major partner Metagenics to get a donation of 9000 units of protein bars weighing over 600kgs to those in the worst affected areas. Although our focus is the welfare of the pregnant women, the donation will be distributed to everyone in need.
The doctors and midwives are working against some serious challenges to deliver the babies in these dire circumstances. Makeshift clinics are being set up wherever possible. Tarps are being used to keep mums and babies dry in the clinics, in the absence of ceilings. With no electricity, doctors are performing caesareans wearing mountaineering headlamps.
Ibu Robin Lim, CNN Hero of the Year and founder of the Bumi Sehat Foundation, is helping us get the supplies to the right hands. We are also raising funds to help Ibu Robin and a team of four midwives to the Philippines.
We will keep you updated on the progress. The people of the Philippines are in our thoughts and hearts.