Kansas City Relief Workers Travel To The Philippines To Provide Medical Care

Nov 22, 2013

Olathe based Heart to Heart International workers are collaborating with local doctors to provide medical relief in the Philippines.
Credit Heart to Heart International

A group of doctors from Olathe-based relief agency Heart to Heart International is in the hardest hit areas of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines this week. 

Founder Dr. Gary Morsch, Kansas City family practice physician Dr. Rick Randolph, and nurse Susan Mangicaro began on the island of Ormoc, administering tetanus shots and antibiotics due to secondary infections. 

"There is so much debris, (like) rusted tin, that infection secondary to cuts and wound punctures can be septic and deadly within a few weeks," Mangicaro said.

She said another problem was the lack of food and water, although supplies are now coming in. She reported seeing "about a thousand" people standing in line for rice earlier this week. 

She described a "surreal" experience walking streets where homes made of cardboard and aluminum or tin had been flattened, or were being rebuilt into similar shantytowns. 

Heart to Heart will be collaborating with other relief agencies in Tacloban to administer medical support. 

Mangicaro says she's unclear how long the group will be in the country.

NBC news reported Friday morning that officials told their team that the death toll so far has exceeded 5,200 people.