WHO pleads for calamity victims: Have a heart

The World Health Organization has made an appeal  for the public to show their concern for victims of Typhoon Yolanda and other calamities by posting their own “heartie” photos on social media throughout the month.

Dr. Julie Hall, WHO country
The “heart” gesture is a means of expressing solidarity with global efforts to help residents in the Yolanda corridor get their lives back together by beginning with their health concerns, said Dr. Julie Hall, WHO representative to the Philippines.

“Let us place Health in the Heart of Healing” Hall said in a statement. “It is going to take a healthy population to fuel the recovery and healing in the Yolanda affected areas as well as in Bohol and Zamboanga and other places impacted by events in 2013.” 

Television celebrity Jodi Santa Maria, who has been a strong advocate of health and healthy lifestyles, led the efforts to set an example to the public in her continued support to restore the health of thousands of people in the Visayas region.

Santa Maria also joined Hall in urging people all over the world to show how much they care about the families who have been severely affected by the killer typhoon and are still finding ways of getting their lives back on track.

“We should all be mindful of the need to place something as basic and fundamental as a person’s health above all other necessities,” the actress, who is also a pre-med student said as she   did a “heartie” sign.

“After all, being free from debilitating diseases is a valuable asset for anyone who is striving to restore his home, livelihood, and way of life after such a calamity,” Santa Maria said.

The WHO official urged social media users to take selfies of themselves doing the “heartie” hand gesture, and post these photos on their online pages or on short messages.

On Friday, as the public celebrated Valentine’s day with their loved ones, it also marked the 100th day since Typhoon Yolanda devastated some areas in t Eastern Philippines seaboard.

Since the devastation that killed at least 6,000 people, the WHO has supported the Department of Health in coordinating the massive national and international medical relief operations that greatly assisted the efforts of the Philippine government in addressing this crisis.

Last Friday, commuters of Metro Manila’s Light Rail Transit enjoyed the opportunity to participate more directly in the “Health at the Heart of Healing” advocacy effort by having their “heartie photos taken at the railway’s Roosevelt station by WHO personnel. All these heartie photographs will be included in printed tarpaulins that will be displayed in the affected areas to allow storm survivors to see the faces of the people who carry the message, “We are all still here, and still care,” WHO said.

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