Health and Education Officials' Perspectives on the Impact of Typhoon Haiyan on Mass Drug Administration for Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections in the Philippines.Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2020 Apr 13 [Online ahead of print]DM
In the Philippines, morbidity control of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections is done through mass drug administration (MDA) of anthelmintics to school-age children (SAC). In 2013, the Philippines was devastated by the deadliest cyclone ever recorded, Typhoon Haiyan. The study aimed to understand the impact of Typhoon Haiyan on the MDA of anthelmintics to SAC in the provinces of Capiz and Iloilo in the Philippines from the perspectives of local health and education officials.
The study was conducted in the municipalities of Panay and Pilar in Capiz and the municipalities of Estancia and Sara in Iloilo, areas that were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. Qualitative, semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted with 16 total participants, which included officials of the Department of Health, Department of Education, and concerned local government units. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded in an open, iterative manner. Codes were reviewed to identify patterns and themes.
Participants described the following themes: (1) their perception that the typhoon had no effect on the MDA program or on resources necessary to complete the program; (2) the program's simple design allowed for 1-time administration to a pre-assembled population; (3) the program allowed a sense of community cohesiveness; (4) the program served as a vehicle for altruism, particularly regarding helping needy children, in this time of calamity.
Our informants perceived that the MDA program in Region VI was not affected by Typhoon Haiyan. They attributed the resilience to the program's simple procedure, attitudes of altruism, program importance, and community cohesiveness. Despite Typhoon Haiyan's mass destruction of infrastructure and livelihood leading to incredible challenges, mobilization of the community allowed for the continuation and successful implementation of the MDA program. The experience of Region VI may serve as a model for other low- and middle-income countries prone to natural disasters.