Hurricane Harvey may no longer be in the headlines but the serious health needs left after the huge storm blasted Texas remain acute as communities grapple for a sense of normalcy, says Project HOPE, a global health development and humanitarian organization.
Project HOPE’s volunteers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and mental health professionals have now treated hundreds of people in clinics in Houston, Katy, Tomball, and Rosenberg, Texas. First responders, teachers, residents and children returning to school have received crucial tetanus immunizations, treatment for both acute and chronic illnesses, and mental health services.
“We’ve seen a range of unique medical conditions and needs related to the hurricane and we’re helping people manage diabetes, hypertension and other chronic illnesses that have flared up because their medicines were lost during the storm,” said Dr. Carolyn Apple, an emergency and internal medicine specialist.
Psychosocial support will continue to be needed as people try to cope with the trauma of the living through such a frightening national disaster and finding their homes and schools destroyed.
“Each patient has an emotional story to share and we listen and will refer them, if necessary, to a mental health professional who can help,” said Annie Borden, a registered nurse.
Project HOPE distributed hundreds of hygiene kits to help protect people against the poor sanitation conditions resulting from widespread flooding as people sift through debris at homes destroyed by the hurricane, which struck three weeks ago.
In Florida, Project HOPE’s disaster response team, which includes a geriatric specialist, is addressing the health needs of some of Hurricane Irma’s most vulnerable victims – the elderly community in Lee County, some of whom are still in shelters.
The HOPE team has addressed health needs ranging from behavioral disorders to medical conditions, including dementia and skin infections which can be common following massive flooding. The team is also helping people manage chronic diseases exacerbated by the loss of medications due to the monster storm.
About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE is a leader in global health development and emergency relief programs. An international nonprofit organization, we save lives and improve health, especially among women and children. We accomplish our mission by improving the knowledge, abilities and tools of the health workforce to deliver high quality health services to communities in need. With programs in over 30 countries, we work at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges including infectious and chronic diseases, disasters and health crises, maternal, neonatal and child health and the policies that impact how health care is delivered. Learn more at www.projecthope.org and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg
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