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Project HOPE Deploys First Volunteers to Plan Logistics and Assess Medical Needs For Humanitarian Mission with US Navy in the Philippines

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MILLWOOD, Va., Nov. 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The global NGO, Project HOPE, says it will deploy a first contingent of volunteers to the Philippines to work on logistics in preparation for its mission with the U.S. Navy to provide medical care for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, the country's worst disaster on record.

"The collective expertise of the first deployment of HOPE volunteers is astounding. From logistics to trauma care and social work, this group is experienced in each phase of a disaster response and some of them have prior experience with the US Navy. They will lay the groundwork for a well-organized process of volunteer rotations in the weeks ahead to ensure that future deployments reflect the most pressing medical needs of survivors of this tragedy," said John P. Howe III M.D., President and CEO, Project HOPE.

Health officials in the Philippines have expressed concern over maternal and child health following the disaster. They estimate that 25,000 births per month will occur in the Philippines, and 3,500 of them are expected to be with complications.

An additional team of experts from Project HOPE, a global health and humanitarian assistance organization, has been traveling to the northern province of Cebu to meet officials from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization advising NGOs. The HOPE experts visited local hospitals and health facilities in the remote area of Daan Batayan, north of Bogo City to assess immediate and long-term health needs as HOPE prepares for the distribution of $1 million dollars of donated medicines and supplies including antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, generators, surgical masks and gloves.

The Philippines' government says 13 million people are affected by the mega typhoon and over four million displaced. Access and logistics conditions continue to improve, allowing rescuers to get food aid to 2.5 million people, but experts say addressing the medical needs of survivors continues to be a major challenge as much of the health infrastructure was destroyed by Haiyan.

Project HOPE has been working in the region for over 50 years, first aboard the SS HOPE, the first peacetime hospital ship. Project HOPE has played a crucial role in saving lives in regions hit by natural disasters over much of the last decade, in Haiti, Indonesia, Japan, China and other parts of southeast Asia.

Since 2005, HOPE has partnered with the U.S. Navy and Air Force on annual medical humanitarian missions. Last year, HOPE medical volunteers joined the Pacific Partnership 2012 mission aboard the massive USNS Mercy hospital ship for a four-month mission, providing health care and education to underserved communities in the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia.

About Project HOPE

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, as well as conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries. www.projecthope.org



Photos accompanying this release are available at:
http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=22366

CONTACT: Geraldine Carroll Project HOPE Tel. +1.540.257.3746 gcarroll@projecthope.org

Source: Project HOPE