No large outbreaks of diseases in typhoon-hit Philippines: WHO

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Residents of Tacloban (Photo: WFP/Saripa Alangadi)

Disease surveillance teams are on the ground in the Philippines to monitor the situation and prevent any possible outbreaks of diseases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The agency says national health authorities are doing all they can to ensure that basic health services are available and the people injured during the typhoon receive the care they need.

WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic says a number of foreign medical teams are in the Philippines to assist the authorities, with 12 already on the ground providing services and 19 others being deployed to the affected areas.

"So far there were no outbreaks being reported and we have to really remember that in these kinds of disasters large outbreaks do not happen. However, we need to monitor and this is why the World Health Organization is supporting national health authorities and establishing disease surveillance system by which we will be able to gather data from different affected sites and respond if there is need."

Tarik Jasarevic says humanitarian activities are gearing up with more aid delivered and more people being reached.

He points out that access to clean water is one of the key elements to prevent any possible outbreaks of disease in the Philippines.

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration:  1’13″

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