Several villages in the municipality of Basey, located about 20 kilometers from the City of Tacloban were hit by Typhoon Yolanda’s landfall on Nov 8, 2013, with devastating blows on the agriculture and fishing industries. As the families were deprived of income since the disaster transpired, their access to health care was also hampered. In March 2014, the Sathya Sai International Organization (SSIO) organized the visit of three physicians from USA and a registered nurse from Australia, along with three physicians and six dentists from Manila, who set up camps in Rawit. Several local Sathya Sai volunteers from Manila helped the medical team. Local health care workers and teachers served as interpreters for the overseas doctors.
The Philippines military local command in Basey was extremely helpful to the SSIO team. They organised trucks to transport patients as well as deliver large quantity of medicines and medical supplements. Direct Relief International (DRI) Inc., which is a non-government relief organisation, also provided a large quantity of medicines and supplements for the Basey camp, including 12 wheel chairs.
Over the 5-day period from 3-7 March, doctors and dentists rendered high-quality medical and dental care to about 3,500 and 800 patients, respectively. All children were given hygiene packs, comprising of essential items to maintain personal hygiene. Wheel Chairs were donated to nine villages for the elderly or the handicapped.
Travelling was very challenging at times, due to the rough terrain. Transporting medicines & supplies to Talcoban posed a problem, which was overcome with help and support from the local people and the military. One Sathya Sai volunteer travelled 25 hours by bus to bring 900 kg of medicines to Talcoban.