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Kansas City Relief Workers Travel To The Philippines To Provide Medical Care

Heart to Heart International

A group of doctors from Olathe-based relief agency Heart to Heart International is in the hardest hit areas of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines this week. 

Founder Dr. Gary Morsch, Kansas City family practice physician Dr. Rick Randolph, and nurse Susan Mangicaro began on the island of Ormoc, administering tetanus shots and antibiotics due to secondary infections. 

"There is so much debris, (like) rusted tin, that infection secondary to cuts and wound punctures can be septic and deadly within a few weeks," Mangicaro said.

She said another problem was the lack of food and water, although supplies are now coming in. She reported seeing "about a thousand" people standing in line for rice earlier this week. 

She described a "surreal" experience walking streets where homes made of cardboard and aluminum or tin had been flattened, or were being rebuilt into similar shantytowns. 

Heart to Heart will be collaborating with other relief agencies in Tacloban to administer medical support. 

Mangicaro says she's unclear how long the group will be in the country.

NBC news reported Friday morning that officials told their team that the death toll so far has exceeded 5,200 people.

I partner with communities to uncover the ignored or misrepresented stories by listening and letting communities help identify and shape a narrative. My work brings new voices, sounds, and an authentic sense of place to our coverage of the Kansas City region. My goal is to tell stories on the radio, online, on social media and through face to face conversations that enhance civic dialogue and provide solutions. Email me at lauraz@kcur.org and follow me on Twitter @laurazig.
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