Bahamas: Project HOPE Provides Urgently Needed Medical Care to Hurricane Dorian Survivors
Global health organization plans waves of medical teams through November
Editor’s note: Project HOPE is no longer seeking volunteers for our ongoing response in the Bahamas. To see current volunteer opportunities, please visit projecthope.org/volunteer.
Millwood, Virginia (September 25, 2019) – The global health and humanitarian relief organization Project HOPE has deployed a medical team of volunteer doctors, nurses and pharmacists to help meet the urgent health needs of Hurricane Dorian survivors, who are still reeling from the brutal damage the Category 5 hurricane left in its wake. At the request of the Bahamian Ministry of Health, Project HOPE is planning rotations of clinical volunteers through November 20.
Currently, two doctors and two nurses are caring for patients at three shelters in Nassau in addition to conducting necessary health screenings for hundreds of children so that they can go to school. Over a 10-day period, the team saw more than 600 patients, including 399 schoolchildren. The most common health concerns were respiratory infections, skin diseases, hypertension and minor injuries.
The organization has also distributed thousands of hygiene kits to shelter residents and delivered essential hospital supplies including bandages, gauze, insulin needles and cleaning products. Three interagency emergency health kits, which contain enough medicines and supplies to meet the needs of 30,000 people over three months, are due to arrive next week. More shipments of medicines and medical supplies worth hundreds of thousands of dollars are planned over the next month.
“We are doing everything we can to make sure people are receiving treatment for immediate concerns, as well as for chronic conditions,” says Tom Cotter, director of emergency response at Project HOPE. “Everyone needs and deserves to have good care and access to their medicine so that they can stay healthy and focus on recovering from this catastrophe.”
In addition, Project HOPE has assigned a volunteer water engineer and pharmacist to assess needs at Marsh Harbour Clinic, the main hospital on Abaco, which suffered the most intense damage. The clinic reported water-pressure issues, which the water engineer concluded are due to clogs from high turbidity in the water. Project HOPE has proposed the installation of a water filtration system to solve this problem. Meanwhile, Project HOPE’s volunteer pharmacist is cataloging new inventory at the clinic and organizing its supply chain.
“We’re not only meeting immediate health needs, we’re also working hard to restore the health care infrastructure in affected areas,” says Cotter. “Considering the scale of the disaster, it’s going to take months to rebuild.”
Project HOPE’s response in the Bahamas is supported by individual, private sector and foundation partners such as Airbnb, Jet Blue, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, Medtronic, Merck & Co., Inc., and the Rachael Ray Foundation. To support our emergency relief efforts and all of our lifesaving work around the world, please visit projecthope.org/respond.
About Project HOPE
Project HOPE operates around the world wherever the need is greatest, working side-by-side with health care workers and their communities, addressing the greatest public health challenges to enable people to live their best lives. We respond to disasters and health crises and stay on in communities long after disaster strikes to help find solutions to epidemics and any other neglected health needs.
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