Sending help to the Philippines
DR JO Ho of Grafton needs cash donations of any size so she can take food and medicine to survivors in remote villages devastated by the Philippines typhoon.
Dr Ho will head off on a five-day mission on November 28 to conduct clinics in what is left of remote coastal villages in the low-lying northern parts of Cebu island, levelled as the centre of the category 5 typhoon ploughed over them almost two weeks ago.
The GP, who practises at the Duke St Medical Centre and a skin clinic in Prince St, has set up collection boxes in both reception areas.
"It's hard for us to understand how far just a dollar can go there," she said yesterday.
"A kilo of rice to feed a family of four for a whole day costs a single dollar.
"These people have lost everything and some are even sleeping beside fallen trees for shelter because their homes have been blown or washed away."
Dr Ho has led medical teams to poor and isolated communities in her homeland a number of times previously without seeking public funding.
But this time things are on another level of magnitude and there are so many people who need help, she said.
"The international community is concentrating on taking aid to Tacloban, on nearby Leyte Island, but I am heading to remote fishing villages around Tindog, in northern Cebu, where aid agencies don't go.
"I already have friends in Cebu who have organised much of the food, tents and medical relief so when I get there, I can just get on the trucks and get going."
Dr Ho said she would accept cash donations 'right up until I go' but could take nothing in kind because of freight expenses.
"I'll buy the medicines when I get there; it's difficult to know what is required until I see what they need," she said.
"My friends in Cebu City tell me what we see on TV is just a scratch of what's happening up around Tindog.
"Their flimsy fishing boats are all destroyed and so are their houses.
"There are kids getting around with large wounds covered with only leaves, so infection is a big threat.
"People are getting fevers and don't have even paracetamol.
"It will be very hard to recover."
Cash donations of any amount in collection boxes at:
Duke St Medical Centre, 9 Duke St;
Grafton Skin Cancer Clinic, 129 Prince St;
before midday on Thursday, November 28.