First Hawaii disaster aid shipment ready for Philippine typhoon victims

Dr. Ramon Sy
Dr. Ramon Sy
Geminiano Arre Jr.
Geminiano Arre Jr.

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The wheels will soon be in motion for the very first plane in Hawaii to deliver aid to typhoon-stricken areas of the Philippines. That's word from the Aloha Medical Mission (AMM).

The flight is set for Monday courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines. At least $10,000 worth of medical supplies will be on board. AMM says it wants to deliver them before disease infects and spreads throughout disaster areas.

Boxes filled with items from anti-biotics to pain killers - with this shipment, time is critical.

As with any natural disaster, there's a race against disease after Mother Nature's fury is over. Typhoon Fengshen left towns in Central Philippines underwater, creating a breeding ground for a potentially deadly outbreak.

"Any disaster like this, they need help because they will get infection, get sick with bronchitis, diarrhea, all this so we have to help them," said Dr. Ramon Sy, the past President of AMM.

AMM will send the medical supplies via Hawaiian Airlines, under the care of the Filipino Community Center's President, who will make sure the boxes reach typhoon victims.

"It would be good to visit those places, to have an ocular inspection but if time does not permit, I'm going to rely on the reports prepared by government agencies," said FilCom President Geminiano Arre Jr.

Off Sibuyan Island, divers struggle to retrieve bodies from the ferry that capsized during the typhoon. More than 800 people were on board the seven-story boat. Only 56 of them survived.

AMM says, based on the need, it may also send psychologists and counselors to help with pain medicine can't heal.

The latest death toll is at more than 300, with 200 people still missing.

Various Filipino organizations will hold a fundraiser for typhoon victims on Saturday at the FilCom Center in Waipahu.