RESPONDING TO DISASTER
Guatemala’s Fuego Volcano
Project HOPE has provided medical services to 407 survivors of the Fuego Volcano in Guatemala after the disaster displaced thousands of people. Fuego’s catastrophic eruption started on June 3rd, spreading lava and hot clouds of volcanic ash and toxic gases, killing 112 people and leaving 200 missing, including 60 school children from San Miguel de los Lotes. It is estimated that 3,557 people were living in 20 government-established shelters in Suchitepéquez, Escuintla, and Sacatepéquez. There were an additional 1,200 people living in unofficial shelters as people continued to remain displaced from their homes.
Project HOPE team members identified critical gaps in health services and coverage that existed prior to the disaster and addressed a wide range of health issues including burns injuries, inhalation and respiratory illnesses resulting from Fuego. Communities affected by the eruption face a long and difficult recovery process as thousands remain homeless, entire towns remain buried and the death toll continues to rise as more areas are uncovered from debris and ash.
Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico when it struck the U.S. territory on September 20, 2017. Project HOPE’s emergency response team deployed quickly to assess the impact and health needs of survivors. As one of the first NGOs to arrive on the island, Project HOPE’s medical volunteers provided health services through mobile health clinics in areas where the need was greatest and access to health care was scarce. HOPE treated more than 4,100 patients during its response and distributed 1,500 vials of donated insulin to diabetic patients and partners across the island who were in desperate need of the medication. HOPE’s team also coordinated the delivery of 2,600 water purification kits while providing educational outreach on water, sanitation and hygiene. HOPE distributed over $2.5 million of medicines and supplies, while 77 Project HOPE medical volunteers provided a range of health services. Today, health needs in Puerto Rico continue to be significant and HOPE is still there, working with local partners to provide diabetes care and education.
Aiding Victims of Irma and Harvey
Thanks to your support, Project HOPE also responded to hurricanes Harvey and Irma with medical volunteers in clinics in and around Houston and care for elderly and special needs patients displaced by Irma in Florida. In Texas, medical volunteers supported several clinics, both in areas that were severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey treating more than 3,000 patients, providing clinic services, immunizations and mental health services. Future plans include support of a mobile clinic to provide medical outreach to vulnerable populations still having difficulty accessing health care after Hurricane Harvey.
Project HOPE has been working in communities throughout the Americas since 1962, when the SS HOPE first docked in Peru. HOPE’s long-term programs have ranged from the development of programs on basic health training for mothers to major infrastructure reform and humanitarian assistance in times of natural disaster.
Project HOPE programs are developed in partnership with local counterparts to meet the particular demands of the communities within local constraints and culture.
Improving access to maternal and child health services.
Look past the lush golf courses and gleaming resorts in the travel brochures, and you see the reality of the Dominican Republic — grinding poverty and killer diseases.