When Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines in November 2013 over 1 million people lost access to healthcare. Among this 1 million were tens of thousands of expectant mothers, over 750 births were expected every day in the affected areas. Potentially life threatening complications can be experienced by up to 100 of these moms on the day their child arrives.
It took four months to re-open half of the health care centres that were in operation before the Yolonda struck. This means tens of thousands of moms faced the real possibility of losing their, or their babies, life during childbirth. This is unacceptable to Save the Children.
In order to address this gap, and plan for the future emergencies, we are launching a program to deliver thousands of storm proof baby boxes. Our BEACON (Birthing Essentials And Care Of Newborns) boxes.
The boxes will be distributed throughout Barangays in Yolanda affected areas in order to prepare for future emergencies and disasters. We are committed to invest ₱10m to fill the gap that is left when health clinics are destroyed and communities are displaced when disaster strikes.
These BEACON boxes offer a beacon of hope. They contain everything required to enable a pregnant woman to give birth in a clean environment if she cannot get to a health clinic. All items are encased in a stormproof box, the contents include plastic sheets, a tarpaulin, soap, sterile cord ties, sterile blades, clean towels, a birth certificate and a lamp.
We are doing all we can to save the lives of moms and babies, but the government must also do more to help communities prepare. We cannot abandon these communities to suffer the same fate year after year. As a nation we need to be prepared for when the worst happens.
To learn how you can be prepared for emergencies in your own home sign our Be Prepared pledge. Once you sign on we will send you instructions on how to make lifesaving plans for you and your family.