Haiyan, the strongest storm on record, destroyed many healthcare centres. Our correspondent visited the typhoon-affected areas almost three months later to see how aid agencies like ICRC have been filling the gap.


For many children in the Philippines who don’t have access to a playground, the roadside is a good alternative. Inevitably, this leads to accidents.

This boy was hit by a motorcycle one Sunday morning while playing in his village. Luckily he was found by an ICRC staffer on his way to work and brought to Basey field hospital in Samar Province, a 30-minute drive, crying loudly and bleeding profusely. The ICRC set up the field hospital in the grounds of a damaged sports hall after Haiyan ravaged the local hospital.

An X-ray showed the boy had suffered a bad leg fracture, and he was transferred to Tacloban Hospital, an hour’s drive from Basey and the nearest hospital that could operate on him. I never found out his name, but hope he was operated on quickly and made a full recovery.

Thirteen-year-old Mario Raños was also hit by a motorcycle. Eight months ago, he was walking along the road in Basey on a work errand when a motorcycle hit him from behind, throwing him into the air and injuring his leg. When Mario regained consciousness, he trudged back to the small home he shares with his mother, older brother and stepfather and fell onto the bed.