Americares Hurricane Maria Update

Hurricane Maria Disaster Response and Recovery Fund
September 29, 2017


Response Update – Puerto Rico

·Our emergency team operating out of San Juan is partnering with the Department of Health and the Puerto Rico Primary Care Association, which oversees the territory’s Federally Qualified Health Centers, to conduct needs and damage assessments throughout the region.

·They visited numerous sites yesterday and noted that many of the clinics are operating on back-up generators. However, due to the fuel crisis, they can only run these generators during the day. As a result, they do not have the capacity to store critical cold-chain medicines like insulin.

·Through generous partnerships, Americares now has a warehouse space with the capacity to store medicines and will be using this space to store and distribute these critical medicines to local clinics.

·Our team in Ponce, in connection with the Mayor and Health Department, visited 4 hospitals yesterday. They noted that the need is tremendous down south.

·In addition to medicine, they are specifically requesting insecticide treated bed nets, water purification treatments, IV fluids to treat dehydration and Benedryl in response to swarms of bees causing allergic reactions.

·In response to these needs, Americares is currently preparing future shipments, in addition to the one arriving in Puerto Rico this weekend, which are expected to be distributed throughout the southern region.

·An additional request we received from health centers is for disaster-focused mental health and psychosocial support training for health workers so they can better screen patients for post-disaster mental health needs and also better manage their own care. This is an area of expertise for Americares so we are developing a strategy to provide these support services.

Response Update – Dominica

·Our team in Dominica reports that cell coverage is returning but supplies remain low.

·They report that 40% of the country remains inaccessible, particularly the southern portion of the country.

·They traveled out of Roseau, the capital of Dominica, into the north side of the country yesterday where they saw significant damage and destruction to health facilities.

·There are about 50 health centers across the island, including one hospital in Roseau and one in Portsmouth.

·The storage unit at the hospital in Roseau was destroyed so this is affecting their ability to receive and distribute medicines and supplies.

·In response to needs on the ground, our plan is to continue focusing on providing critical medicines and supplies and conducting rapid repairs to health facilities to restore services.

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