News Release

LDS Charities Rejuvenates Five Yolanda Damaged Hospitals

Dr. Aileen Espina  was experiencing the devastation of Supertyphoon Yolanda firsthand and tells how the sea came inland and totally engulfed the parking lot of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) making it look like it was the sea.  Despite the damage, EVRMC continued to provide service.

Walking through the newly refurbished areas of the EVRMC one year later, she gratefully acknowledged how her prayer was answered when she hoped for things to become better after the storm. 

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Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, saw the need to improve hospital services and upgrade equipment.  After doing emergency response, the building of shelters and the provision of skills training, LDSC renovated 5 government hospital areas heavily used by patients particularly emergency and operating rooms. These hospital donees provide services mainly for indigent patients, including pregnant women ready to deliver their new babies.

Jairus Perez, LDSC Project Manager, said these five hospitals were chosen because they were among the most destroyed in the area.  They needed help in order to continue to offer quality medical services.

The hospital renovation projects covered the following facilities:

Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center

  • Emergency Trauma Operating Center
  • Outpatient Department Operating Room

Leyte Provincial Hospital

  • Laboratory Room
  • Operating Complex

Abuyog General Hospital

  • Operating and Delivery complex

Carigara District Hospital

  • Emergency Complex

Ormoc District Hospital

  • Operating and Delivery complex

In EVRMC,  donations came in the form of a new emergency outpatient center complete with equipment and supplies, and an emergency operating room with new gurneys, beds, dividers, oxygen concentrators, autoclaves, sinks, four dialysis units, basic monitors, an ultrasound machine, a Ritter chair, an operating microscope and even the corkboard with the hospital’s name on it.  Dr. Bill Jackson together with his wife, Ellen, serving as Church Service Missionaries assigned to Tacloban recommended the government hospital rehabilitation projects as a viable way to help survivors of Yolanda.   

Dr. Lourdes de Lara-Banquesio, Chief of Ormoc District Hospital, highlighted the help extended by LDSC and Dr. Jackson.  She said, "Dr. Jackson, representing LDSC, was one of the first to offer help when others had pulled out.  He was an angel.  He followed up and followed through on the project to see it completed as promised."

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Benson Misalucha, LDSC Country Director said, "LDS Charities helps people regardless of race, nationality, religion or even political affiliation. We do this because we want to follow the teaching and example of our Savior, Jesus Christ, to help others. The intention of this help is to relieve suffering and promote self-reliance."

Dr. Ofelia Absin speaking on behalf of the provincial health office and referring to the other four hospitals, including Leyte Provincial Hospital where she works, expressed her gratitude on the renovation as well as the donation of equipment. Leyte Provincial Hospital received repairs and improvement in the laboratory section as well as the operating room with necessary equipment such as gurneys, lights, a MAC 5000 EKG machine, an anesthetic machine with monitors, an electro cautery, panel screen dividers, surgery linen cart with linens, I.V. poles, instrument tables, labor room furniture, 12 bassinets, and oxygen concentrators to make it functional. 

She expressed her sentiments saying, “With the makeover the hospital will never be the same again.  We hope for a continuing partnership.  We will maximize the donations.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated a total of $4.5 million in the past year to Yolanda efforts in the form of relief goods, shelters, computers and textbooks to public schools, hospital projects and many more.  Funding comes from the Church’s fast offerings which are gathered monthly from faithful Church members world-wide who fast for two meals and donate the money from those meals.  Portions of the funds are used to bless the poor and needy worldwide in any of the initiatives under the humanitarian department, namely emergency response, clean water, wheelchairs, neonatal resuscitation training, vision care, immunizations, and food production.



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