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DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Japan medics bring high-tech fixes to Philippines typhoon
by Staff Writers
Tacloban, Philippines (AFP) Nov 16, 2013


Cameron pledges further $48 million aid to Philippines
Colombo (AFP) Nov 16, 2013 - Prime Minister David Cameron announced Saturday that Britain was providing a further $48 million to help the relief effort after the devastating typhoon in the Philippines.

"Today I can announce that we are providing a further 30 million pounds ($48 million) to support the United Nations and Red Cross emergency appeal" to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, he told reporters.

"We are also deploying an RAF C-130 aircraft to help ensure that aid workers move between worst affected areas and get the aid to those who need it most," Cameron added while attending a Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka.

Cameron said Britain had already pledged 23 million pounds to help the relief effort but said it was clear more aid was needed after "watching appalling scenes of mass destruction".

"The huge scale of the disaster is now becoming clearer every day," he said.

"They are going to need sustained help from the international community."

Britain has also sent the helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious to help the relief effort after the November 8 typhoon.

Authorities in the Philippines have put the official death toll at 3,633, with 1,179 people missing and nearly 12,500 injured.

The UN has put the number of dead at 4,460 and said Saturday that 2.5 million people still "urgently" required food assistance.

Japanese medics working to help victims of the Philippines typhoon have deployed wireless mobile X-ray kits using tablet computers, a world first in a disaster zone, a team spokesman said Saturday.

The technology, which was developed after the huge tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, allows doctors to take a look inside patients instantly, and even lets them enlarge the image with familiar iPad gestures.

Joji Tomioka, coordinator of the Japan Medical Team for Disaster Relief, said the system had been created in response to what doctors needed in the aftermath of the Japanese disaster.

"This is the first time that we are deploying it in a disaster situation," Tomioka told AFP at a modern tent medical clinic put up by the Japanese government to help victims of typhoon Haiyan, which crashed through the central Philippines more than a week ago.

At the partly air-conditioned clinic in the ruined city of Tacloban, a radiologist placed a camera on the chest of 72-year-old Carlos Llosa as he sat in his wheelchair.

The X-ray image was instantaneously transmitted through a wireless router to an iPad and to a nearby laptop.

With a thumb and a finger, the doctor was able to zoom in for a more detailed view of the problem area.

"It looks like he has tuberculosis," Tomioka said after looking at the image as the patient was wheeled out. Japan's 26-strong medical team includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists, cardiologists and medical technicians. The outfit is able to provide medicine and carry out minor surgery.

Tomioka said Japanese medical experts are seeing about 200 patients a day as part of a large international aid effort to reach the estimated 13 million people affected by one of the most powerful storms ever recorded.

The United Nations says 4,460 people are now known to have died when the ferocious storm hit. It said Saturday that 2.5 million people still "urgently" need food.

"The Philippines helped us during our hour of need in the tsunami," Tomioka said, referring to the global outpouring of sympathy in the aftermath of a catastrophe that cost 18,000 lives.

"Now it's our turn to give back."

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DISASTER MANAGEMENT
US carrier spearheads Philippine relief effort
Aboard Uss George Washington, Philippines (AFP) Nov 15, 2013
US Navy helicopters and planes Friday launched non-stop aid flights to desperate survivors of a super typhoon in the Philippines that killed thousands, igniting a global relief effort criticised for being too slow. On the USS George Washington a continuous stream of helicopters landed and took off from the huge carrier as they shuttled supplies to the devastated city of Tacloban and remote v ... read more


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