BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
Note: The last fact sheet was dated November 12, 2009.
- On November 13, a team from the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO)-coordinated Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN)-a pool of experts on permanent standby to identify, respond, and assist with disease outbreaks around the world-presented results from a three-week technical assessment of leptospirosis.
The four-person GOARN team arrived in Manila on October 27, at the request of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), following an increasing incidence of leptospirosis-a bacterial infection typically caused by exposure to water contaminated with urine of infected animals-in the weeks following Tropical Storm Ketsana (Ondoy) and Typhoon Parma (Pepeng).
Results from the GOARN assessment confirm WHO reports that the number of reported leptospirosis cases has significantly decreased in recent weeks. However, the results indicate that the recent outbreak significantly strained local hospitals and medical staff.
On November 18, the U.N. issued a revised flash appeal requesting more than $143.7 million to provide relief and recovery assistance to 4.2 million affected individuals in the Philippines. The revised appeal marks a $69.7 million increase from the October appeal due to the effects of typhoons Parma and Mirinae (Santi).
USAID/OFDA has committed $100,000 to WHO through the revised flash appeal to strengthen the disease surveillance system, which is designed to improve response capacity to outbreak-prone diseases in the Philippines.
USAID/OFDA has also provided $500,000 in additional funding to support health activities in flood-affected areas through Save the Children/U.S. (SC/US). With the funding, SC/US plans to establish four mobile health clinics in Santa Rosa and Calamba municipalities in Laguna Province, Region IV-A, targeting nearly 120,500 beneficiaries.
In addition to providing emergency health services, the clinic staff plan to conduct health education programs, as well as track and record suspected cases of acute watery diarrhea, dengue, leptospirosis, and other epidemic-prone diseases.
The new USAID/OFDA funding increases the total amount of U.S. Government (USG) assistance in the Philippines to nearly $16.4 million, including nearly $6 million through USAID/OFDA to support health; water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); economic recovery; humanitarian coordination and information management, as well as logistics support and the provision and distribution of emergency relief supplies.