Hawaii doctors to help Philippines typhoon relief

Hawaii doctors to help Philippines typhoon relief

WAIPAHU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Super typhoon Haiyan killed more than 5,700 people. It also injured more than 26,000 and affected 14 million people in the Central and Southern Philippines. That's where Ohana Medical Missions is headed.

"I think that we're ready for the worst. We're bringing with us obstetricians, gynecologists, general surgeons and many other specialties. We will treat what we think we need to treat," Dr. Charles Sonido said.

The organization's team of about 50 doctors, nurses and other medical personnel leave next Wednesday for about two weeks of intense work, treating illnesses and injuries.

"Lacerations, wounds, infections from flying glass, where people were cut during the typhoon and the high winds," Dr. Russell Kelly said.

Through community support, the group collected about $700,000 worth of medications, and more than $150,000 in donations for goods and supplies.

"Rice, tooth brushes, bars of soap, things that people will need on the ground. Flashlights are severely needed there," Kelly said.

Arrangements have been made to move the mission's teams of doctors and nurses to where they are most needed. They hope to help up to 30,000 people.

"We could work under tents, under the sun if we have to. But we will do it," Sonido said.

The organization had planned a trip to the Philippines for non-emergency work. The typhoon accelerated the timetable.

"We pay for all our own meals, all our own lodging, and all our own transportation," Kelly said. "All of the donations go to those who are in need."

Ohana Medical Missions is the missionary arm of the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii. To learn more about the organization and its Philippines' trip go to www.ohanamedicalmissions.org.

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