Tacloban hospital faces medicine shortage

Rupert Ambil

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Nurses and doctors in Bethany Hospital in Tacloban City are in need of anti-tetanus medicine

MEDICINE NEEDED. Bethany Hospital in Tacloban City is in need of supplies, particularly anti-tetanus medicine. Photo by Rupert Ambil/Rappler

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – With power and communication lines still cut off, and water running low, doctors and nurses in the Leyte capitol have another brewing problem – the lack of medicine to treat patients.

The city was heavily battered by Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) early morning Friday, November 8. In Tacloban City alone, at least 100 are believed to be dead, although unofficial reports say there could be over a thousand.  

Eulogia Barcelones, nurse supervisor at Bethany Hospital in Tacloban City, told Rappler they are running low on medicine. Their pharmacy, she said, was either swept away by storm surges from Yolanda or ransacked by looters in the city.

Hospital staff are also in need of anti-tetanus medicine.

Lahat inakyat namin,” Barcelones said. (We brought everything to the 2nd floor.)

Chest-deep waters reached the first floor of the hospital, forcing them to move patients to the 2nd floor. Patients now stay inside private rooms or along the hospital corridors. Some patients have chosen to go home, said Barcelones.

In the 1st floor of the hospital, the injured are treated in makeshift stations. The hospital’s Intensive Care Unit was also “washed out,” Barcelones said.

Bethany Hospital also serves as temporary shelter for a family from Magallanes.

On Saturday, November 9, President Benigno Aquino III admitted that in areas without power and communication lines, it’s difficult for the health department to make proper assessments. But the national government is preparing needed supplies.

Efforts will be made to collect data from affected localities. –

Help the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan). Visit Rappler’s list of ongoing relief operations in your area. Tell us about your relief and recovery initiatives, email or tweet us @moveph. 

Visit for the latest updates on Typhoon Yolanda.

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