Project HOPE Deploys Team of Medical Volunteers to Hurricane-Ravaged Haiti
Project HOPE deployed medical volunteers to Haiti today as fears escalate over the spread of cholera and other diseases in areas ravaged by Hurricane Matthew.
The Virginia-based global health and humanitarian assistance organization said the medical team includes nurse practitioners and a physician’s assistant who have experience in treating survivors of disasters like Matthew.
“We will focus our medical relief work in the southern region of Nippes to support the Haitian government’s efforts to address crucial health needs,” said Andrea Dunne-Sosa, Director, Global Volunteer Programs and the Americas Region at Project HOPE. “We have a team of disaster relief experts coordinating our work on the ground and our medical volunteers will bring valuable experience in cholera infection, prevention and general medicine.”
Additional teams of volunteers will be deployed in the coming weeks as health needs evolve. Haiti’s health facilities suffered a serious blow from massive flooding and fierce winds. The storm has killed about 1,000 people and the UN says 1.4 million Haitians need help, out of 2.1 million affected by the hurricane.
Project HOPE will also send a shipment of medical supplies, including water hydration tablets, gloves, saline solution, sponges, gauze, water purification units, generators and more. HOPE is coordinating its operations based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Health which is closely monitoring all regions affected by the storm.
The NGO’s experts met with Haiti’s Interim President, Jocelerme Privert, last Friday to discuss disaster relief operations. The President stressed the immediate need for food, water, shelter and medicines and also expressed a need to focus on rehabilitating systems that were damaged or destroyed by the storm including the health, agricultural and education sectors.
“The Haitian people are traumatized by this disaster, just six years after the devastating earthquake of 2010. Haiti had worked very hard to rebuild its key sectors, including health, and we are keen to work with the government and other partners to address health needs,” said Ms. Dunne-Sosa.
Repeated cholera outbreaks present an on-going challenge in Haiti. Since the 2010 earthquake, Project HOPE has sent medical volunteers to train and assist local health care professionals in areas affected by cholera. The NGO provided health care to more than 1,000 Haitians in the aftermath of the disaster and distributed more than $60 million of donated medicines and supplies.
About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solution to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, and conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 30 countries. Visit our website projecthope.org and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg.