Canadian Red Cross opens hospital for Philippines typhoon victims

OTTAWA – A Canadian Red Cross emergency field hospital in the Philippines is open for business.

The facility is located in front of a damaged local hospital in the city of Ormoc, on the west coast of the island of Leyte.

The hospital was flooded by the typhoon and its roof was destroyed.

The Canadian facility is helping with surgery, medicine, maternal and child care and outpatient services.

Canadian Red Cross CEO Conrad Sauve says the hospital expects to handle 10 to 15 natural births and five or six caesareans every day, as well as up to 300 outpatients.

“Our teams on the ground have been working around the clock to get the hospital going,” said Sauve. “Now that this hospital is in place, we will be able to cover the health needs of a population of more than 100,000 people.”

The facility opened as Canadian military aid efforts continue on the island of Panay, farther to the west.

Canadian Griffon helicopters have made their first forays to bring aid to isolated communities and outlying islands.

Two water purification units, each of which can produce up to 50,000 litres of drinking water every day, are in operation.

Three more of the units are expected to be in place in a few days.

About 300 Canadian personnel are operating from a base in the city of Roxas.

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