Building Resilience & Improving Health in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria
When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September 2017, Project HOPE was one of the first to respond. Our Emergency Response Team arrived shortly after the storm and immediately began assessing health needs and coordinating with local partners to provide assistance. Over the course of three months, HOPE staff and 77 expert medical and engineering volunteers provided critically needed relief to some of the hardest hit communities in 47 municipalities.
Project HOPE continues to support the people of Puerto Rico as they work to rebuild from the devastation caused by the hurricane. Based on needs identified during the emergency response period, we are currently working to improve health outcomes for people with diabetes through implementing our evidence-based, diabetes self-management education program, “5 Steps to Self-Care.” Project HOPE is implementing the program in partnership with the Ministry of Health and six health clinics across the island to help patients control their diabetes and live healthy lives.
In 2018, we collaborated with Planet Water Foundation to install two AquaTowers in the municipalities of Loíza and Aguadilla, providing water for up to 2,000 people per day. In addition, we are also coordinating with local partners to provide emergency preparedness training in effort to build resiliency among communities and community leaders.
HOPE’s Impact in Response to Hurricane Maria (September-December 2017):
- Provided mobile medical services to 4,152 patients
- Educated 1,603 people on health and hygiene topics
- Reached 608 school children with mental health support
- Procured and distributed nearly $2.6 million in medicines and supplies including 1,500 vials of insulin to people with Type I and Type II diabetes who were currently without access to their medication.