Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
New York Nurses Deploy for the Philippines
Sunday, November 17, 2013
The devastation in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan has been met with an outpouring of donations. But now around 150 registered nurses from New York are set to travel to the worst-hit areas to help provide care for the wounded.
The contingent has been organized by the New York State Nurses Association (via the RN Relief Network). Filipinos are the largest ethnic group in the union -- they make up around 30 percent of its 37,000 members, and at some hospitals as much as 90 percent of the nursing staff, according to a union official -- so this disaster is being profoundly felt here.
But organizers and nurses with prior experience in disaster zones warn of the challenges of providing care in the Philippines, to people who are starving or dying, in areas of complete devastation.
"You're gonna see women pregnant," said Linda Benoit, a Registered Nurse at Mt. Sinai who served in Haiti, after the earthquake. "Babies need to be delivered. And then you have to catch the baby, and there is nothing to catch [it] -- there's mud, there's rock, there's water, there's wood, and the rubble. So those kinds of situations, expect that you are in the jungle and you need to save lives."