Nightly News   |  November 18, 2013

Remoteness poses problems for Philippine relief efforts

The remote location of some of Typhoon Haiyan’s victims is making it difficult to get them aid or relief. NBC’s Nancy Snyderman reports.

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>>> now to the other disaster we've been covering as we continue to closely follow developments in the philippines where the struggle continues there to get the aid to those that need it. that means across hundreds of islands over a vast expanse, remote villages, cut off sense the storm hit, including one of the philippines ' easter most islands that took a direct hit . our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman has made her way there.

>> reporter: the damage from this typhoon was so wide and so extensive geographically and because there are so many islands that make up the philippines , the concern is that some islands may be missed, which means that some people may have gone now for a week without having any relief. i see a small community at 1:00. we've identified the area. it looks like a school yard. it looks very safe. around us, sheer devastation. people are starting to come out of their houses now to greet us. it looks like a safe mrashgs and if you look over to the right, oh, my god, written in the grass is the word "help." help has arrived for this remote devastated community thanks to u.s. navy choppers. they brought in supplies and a doctor. the first one this village has seen in a year.

>> hi, sweetie.

>> reporter: he is dr. shetti, and he is seeing dozens of patients using the newly stocked pharmacy.

>> you have been here for one hour. what have you been seeing?

>> a lot of complications of wounds.

>> reporter: he is in a race against time . people on other distant islands are waiting for him.

>> are you going to be the drop-in doctor for every village every day? you're going to provide emergency care ?

>> this is the only strategy available at this time to provide emergency service .

>> reporter: it's an enormous challenge in this vast island nation .

>> so in order to see a doctor, they have to take a boat across?

>> correct. it's about, i believe, a four-hour boat journey across.

>> could you do this without the u.s. military ?

>> absolutely not. they've been more than helpful and very critical in our operations.

>> reporter: relief is coming late to many of these remote communities, but the people here remain strong and resilient. they have to be. dr. nancy snyderman , nbc news, the philippines .