Puerto Rico: Hurricane Maria Relief
11 Outreaches Provide Relief to the Community: Q3 2018
October 09, 2018
Summary of Activities
From July to September 2018, RMF Puerto Rico continued to distribute supplies received in previous shipments from Direct Relief, which included basic medical equipment, OTC and wound care supplies, Vaseline, insulin, surgical tape, shampoo, body wash, and soap. We received the tenth Direct Relief shipment on July 2, 2018 and the eleventh and twelfth shipments on July 6, 2018 and began distributing these supplies. Together, the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth shipments from Direct Relief were valued at $17,683.30 and contained medicines, medical supplies, and 5 emergency medical backpacks.
Now fully mobilized, RMF Puerto Rico has been continually providing health outreaches throughout rural and urban areas most impacted by Hurricane Maria, focusing our efforts on inland towns where health services and support are most needed. Thanks in part to the donations received from Direct Relief, we were able to provide 1,226 free hygiene products, 219 OTC medicines, 90 OTC pediatric medicines, 113 multivitamins, and 54 pediatric supplements from July to September through outreach events, also supported by Direct Relief’s donation. Many children, adults, and elderly people benefited from these outreaches.
11 Outreaches were conducted this quarter.
4 SUCCESSFUL OUTREACHES
The 1st, outreach was carried out by volunteer Registered Nurse Jeannette Crespo of the Angelorum Clinic and RMF team members Dr. Luis, Dr. Emilio, and Marisol. The 2nd was made possible by Dr. Emilio and Nurse Jeannette. The 3rd outreach was facilitated by Dr. Emilio, Dr. Luis, and Marisol, and the 4th hygiene products outreach was carried out by Nurse Jeannette, employees from Angelorum Health Clinic, Dr. Emilio, and Marisol.
During the month of July 2018, RMF Puerto Rico provided 268 hygiene products and 2 medical solutions:
- 48 hygiene products and 2 medical solutions at Angelorum in Dorado, July 10, 2018
- 60 hygiene products at Angelorum in Dorado, July 12, 2018
- 40 hygiene products at Angelorum in Dorado, July 20, 2018
- 120 hygiene products at Angelorum in Dorado, July 24, 2018
6 SUCCESSFUL OUTREACHES
The 1st outreach was delivered by Dr. Emilio, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th outreaches were made possible by Dr. Luis and Dr. Emilio, the 5th outreach was carried out by Dr. Emilio and volunteer health worker Bibiana Rivera from the Angelorum Clinic, and the 6th outreach was executed by two volunteers from the Angelorum Clinic.
During the month of August 2018, RMF Puerto Rico provided 500 hygiene products, 219 OTC medicines, 54 OTC pediatric medicines, 65 multivitamins, and 54 pediatric supplements:
- 219 OTC medicines at the Medical Institute in Ciales, August 17, 2018
- 33 hygiene products, and 11 multivitamins at Angelorum in Dorado, August 7, 2018
- 40 hygiene products at Angelorum in Dorado, August 16, 2018
- 52 hygiene products at Angelorum in Dorado, August 21, 2018
- 195 hygiene products at the Convention Center in Vega Alta, August 24, 2018
- 54 OTC pediatric medicines, 54 pediatric multivitamins, 54 pediatric supplements, and 180 hygiene products at the Health Fair in Dorado, August 25, 2018
Health Town Fair
Jayuya is a town located in the mountainous central region of Puerto Rico, where most residents live in poverty, some still lack electricity, and many houses are still missing a roof. On September 21, RMF Puerto Rico team members decided to join the town health clinic in providing hygiene products, multivitamins, and children’s OTC medicine. This outreach was delivered by RMF team members Dr. Emilio and Marisol.
During the month of September 2018, RMF Puerto Rico provided 458 hygiene products, 36 OTC pediatric medicines, and 48 multivitamins:
- 458 hygiene products, 48 multivitamins, and 36 OTC pediatric medicines at Health Town Fair in Jayuya, September 21, 2018
On July 2, 2018, we received the tenth shipment from Direct Relief, containing 30 vials of insulin for diabetic patients. These were delivered in temperature controlled Cryopak packaging. The shipment was valued at $7,455.30. Although the shipment has not yet been distributed, we continued to coordinate with different support organizations, such as churches and local leaders, and strategies were coordinated with the mayors of the municipalities for future events. We will continue to receive medications to help patients in different communities.
On July 6, 2018, we received the eleventh shipment from Direct Relief, containing surgical tape and hygiene products including shampoo and conditioner, body wash, and soap. The shipment was valued at $9,088.20. Hygiene kits were distributed to men, women, and the elderly in coordination with local churches and municipality leaders, and the content of the shipment has been partially distributed. Remaining supplies are being stored safely in our warehouse to be distributed in other communities.
On July 6, 2018, we received the twelfth shipment from Direct Relief, containing 5 emergency medical backpacks filled with basic medical equipment, OTC and wound care supplies, and Vaseline. The shipment was valued at $1,139.80. The contents of this shipment have not yet been distributed and are being stored safely in our warehouse. They are to be distributed in several municipalities once additional packs arrive.
On September 20, 2017, Category 4 Hurricane Maria hit the US territory of Puerto Rico. The winds, 155 miles per hour at landfall, completely wiped out the island’s power grid and phone towers. A flash flood emergency was declared in central Puerto Rico, and the island experienced record flooding.
Prior to the hurricane, Puerto Rico’s infrastructure was weak, and the storm left the small island crippled. Across the island, cities reported collapsed bridges and severe damage to roadways. On October 2, almost two weeks after the storm, 55% of people were still without access to drinking water, only 1 of 69 hospitals was fully operational, and 80% of the island’s crops had been destroyed. The full extent of the damage is still unclear, as most telephone and internet lines are still down. The damage has left many rural areas isolated, without access to communication or desperately needed supplies: food, water, shelter, and medical supplies.
- To provide primary health care and essential supplies to unreached, hurricane-affected communities
- To form local partnerships and empower local health professionals, ensuring effective service provision to communities most in need