Project HOPE has deployed an expert team to respond to the health needs that are increasing by the hour in Texas as the state’s flood-damaged health system tries to cope with the impact of massive flooding that has inundated vast residential areas.
Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force helicopters are scouring residential areas to rescue people who have been cut off by rising floodwaters which have destroyed over 30,000 homes. The Texas Department of State Health Services says that many hospitals around Houston and on the middle Texas coast are closed because of flooding. Surgeries have been cancelled and outpatient services and pharmacies have been shut down in some areas. Nearly 1,000 people, including some elderly patients trapped in flooded nursing homes, have been moved from medical facilities on 140 emergency missions. The knock-on impacts to local and state health services from the flooding are expected to endure for months to come.
“Health is a critical issue at this stage and people have been and are going to be further affected in multiple ways from the storm. Some have serious injuries, while others no longer have their medications for chronic conditions, and psychological trauma is and will continue to be highly prevalent. The risk of waterborne diseases is also a major concern. As rescue efforts continue, our HOPE team of experts is in Texas now to help address the health needs of people in Houston and surrounding areas. ” said Dr. Tom Kenyon, CEO of Project HOPE.
The HOPE team includes a physician with expertise in emergency response and two logistics experts to coordinate with authorities and partners on the ground to ensure that additional HOPE medical volunteers can be deployed where they are needed.
HOPE is also supporting Team Rubicon, a disaster response organization that pairs the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders and medical professionals. Team Rubicon’s experts are involved in rescue and recovery efforts.
Project HOPE deployed medical volunteers in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in collaboration with the U.S. Navy effort following the historic disaster that struck the Gulf Coast. HOPE specializes in building long-term capacity after the initial shock of manmade or natural disasters has passed and has left a rich legacy of health infrastructure around the world, helping to establish hospitals and clinics, train health care professionals and assess needs in places as diverse as Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean.
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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