Bumi Wadah Birth Camp in Dulag, Phillippines
In 2013, following Super Typhoon Haiyan that struck down the Central Philippines, leaving 4.1 million people displaced, over 2 million pregnant women were profoundly affected. A birth camp was immediately built and staffed by volunteers to meet the needs of the affected women.
These mothers-to-be were left homeless, without food or potable water. In the hardest hit area, Tacloban, on the island of Leyte, one hospital was completely destroyed, the other was flooded, with no running water and no electricity. The public health centers, which Filipinos in the rural areas depend upon for reproductive health services, were for the most part razed to the ground by winds that gusted over 300 km per hour.
Bumi ~ Wadah with the help of Direct Relief International managed to receive 770 babies in the critical first 13 months following the disaster, in a 2 by 2.5 meter tent. Even in this extraordinary low-resource, high-risk setting, with 100% of our patients homeless following the disaster, our midwives and relief team were able to show an infant mortality rate that was less than ½ the national average in the Philippines.
The Bumi ~ Wadah childbirth clinic in San Jose, Dulag, Leyte island, eventually became self-sufficient, under the Executive Director, Maria Teresa Maniego. In January 2018, the Bumi ~ Wadah Childbirth Clinic in San Jose, was turned over to be run independently by our local midwives. This empowerment process has been rewarding for the midwives, and life supporting for the residents, especially the mothers and babies.
GHCG is currently working with the local midwives to expand services and open the Childbirth Health Center in Aborlan, Palawan, in the Western Visayas an undeserved area. Bare-subsistence fishing and agricultural communities in this area suffer extreme poverty. It is also home to several indigenous ethnolinguistic groups, who are sadly among the poorest and most marginalized on the island with some of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the country.