Category: Disaster Relief



The BBC has published an article detailing new findings on Hurricane Maria’s death toll in Puerto Rico. While the official number is 64, a new Harvard University study estimates that the actual death toll is more than 4,600. Broken roads and extensive power outages interrupted medical care, contributing to a third of deaths after the hurricane. Six months after the storm, thousands of Puerto Ricans are still without electricity, and many are struggling to pay for expensive generators that run vital life support equipment.

Disruption to health care was a "growing…

Read More Return to Top

Yasmin Morales Torres standing in what was left of a relative’s home in Yabucoa. In the storms’ devastation, the island all but slipped from the modern era. (Photo: Todd Heisler)

The New York Times published an article by James Glanz and Frances Robles. The article details how Hurricane Maria, the decisions of federal and local authorities, and the poorly maintained power grid have left many Puerto Ricans still in the dark. The lack of resources and the difficult terrain have also contributed to the delay in restoring electricity to the island as a whole.

Read More Return to Top

Five months after Hurricane Maria led them to flee Puerto Rico for New York, Enrique and Emma López returned recently to their home in Aguadilla, a small beach side town on the northwest corner of the island. (Photo: Christopher Gregory)

The New York Times published an article by Luis Ferré-Sadurní that follows Enrique and Emma López’s journey back to their home in Puerto Rico five months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Their story highlights the difficulties families are facing when loved ones return to their homes while others stay in the mainland US. Adult children…

Read More Return to Top


The UNHCR reports 65,773 new refugee arrivals from the Democratic of the Congo (DRC) since January 1, 2018 which exceeds the 2018 operational planning figure of 60,000. 2,672 unaccompanied and separated children and 247 survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) have been identified since mid-December. The number of arrivals remained significant with a daily influx of 605 refugees during the reporting period. Officials also report an outbreak of cholera among the refugees.

Since the onset of the cholera outbreak, a total of 2,006 cholera cases have been reported in Kyangwali (1,898)…

Read More Return to Top

Photo: ©UNHCR/Vlora Shemsedini

The UNHCR reports that between the 6th and 9th of February 2018, some 11,833 new refugees from the Democratic of the Congo (DRC) entered Uganda. With attacks on civilians, killings, and the destruction of private property, people are fleeing their homes to escape the disturbing rise in violence. Men, women, and children are crowding into boats to make the hazardous border crossing.

Aboard an overloaded canoe, the journey across Lake Albert can take up to 10 hours, while speed boats can make the crossing in four hours. There have been several…

Read More Return to Top

OCHA has released a report detailing the current situation in Somalia and its response to the famine that has taken hold of the nation. More than 411,000 school age children have been displaced since November 2016 due to drought and conflict, and people in crisis are in immediate need of access to food and clean water.

Humanitarian needs remain high. The number of people in IPC 4 (Emergency) has grown tenfold from 83,000 people in January 2017 to 866,000 in January 2018. Overall, more than 6.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, 3.3…

Read More Return to Top

Photo: EPA

BBC News reports that on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 4:18 AM, an earthquake of magnitude 7.1 was recorded near Acari in the Arequipa region of southern Peru. One person is confirmed dead, dozens have been injured, and homes and roads collapsed.

The area between the South America and Nazca plates, where the tremor occurred, is prone to earthquakes, with 13 above magnitude 6.5 occurring over the past century, the US Geological Survey says.

The full report can be read by clicking the image below or on the BBC…

Read More Return to Top

Photo: ©UNHCR/Razak Katabazi

The UNHCR reports that between the 17th and 19th of January 2018, some 1,161 new refugee arrivals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) crossed to Uganda via Kisoro (873), Kanungu (234), and Lake Albert (54), bringing the total number of new arrivals to 10,666 since December 18, 2017.

According to refugees arriving at Nyakabande transit centre, Kisoro district, attacks against civilians by Mai-­‐Mai militia and other armed opposition groups continue unabated in North Kivu, including arbitrary killings, rape, abductions and looting.

The full report can be read…

Read More Return to Top

The New York Times released a *documentary which details an unseen crisis developing in Puerto Rico, a crisis of mental health. Take the time to watch and hear the stories of Puerto Ricans still struggling with daily life after Hurricane Maria.

People kept telling me they couldn’t sleep. They were depressed. They were having panic attacks. And the hospitals were reporting that emergency rooms were filling up with people having suicidal thoughts.

Soon after Hurricane Maria’s devastating passage through Puerto Rico, RMF sent a team to conduct a needs assessment, bring some…

Read More Return to Top

The Washington Post created an *interactive article and documentary which follows the lives of those in Puerto Rico who have been affected by Hurricane Maria. We encourage you to follow the stories to see how much everyday life has changed since Hurricane Maria made landfall on September 20, 2017.

Puerto Rico’s apagón, or “super blackout,” is the longest and largest major power outage in modern U.S. history. Without electricity, there is no reliable source of clean water. School is out, indefinitely. Health care is fraught. Small businesses are faltering. The tasks of daily life…

Read More Return to Top

Photo: Alvin Baez/Reuters

Although the official number of deaths because of Hurricane Maria was reported as 64, the New York Times provides an analysis which says the number might be actually much higher.

A review by The New York Times of daily mortality data from Puerto Rico’s vital statistics bureau indicates a significantly higher death toll after the hurricane than the government there has acknowledged. The Times’s analysis found that in the 42 days after Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 storm, 1,052 more people than usual died across the…

Read More Return to Top

In response to our Hurricane Harvey Psychological Trauma Support Project, CNN Impact Your World featured RMF as a list of active non profits working in Houston.

Donate Now

Real Medicine Foundation is collaborating with Dr. Kevin Becker and his team at Organizational Resilience International, who we worked with during our Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in 2005.

RMF believes that disaster survivors are most drawn to, and best served, by the natural supports in their community. Thus, we will also partner with local community members and relevant local institutions. By enlisting…

Read More Return to Top

""Hundreds dead in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, while millions have been forced from their homes and 18,000 schools shut down across the region."":

AmazonSmile Photograph: Shailesh Andrade

"Heavy monsoon rains have brought Mumbai to a halt for a second day as the worst floods to strike south Asia in years continued to exact a deadly toll.

The devastating floods have also destroyed or damaged 18,000 schools, meaning that about 1.8 million children cannot go to classes, Save the Children warned on Thursday.

The charity said that hundreds of thousands of children could…

Read More Return to Top

Flash floods take dramatic toll in Lima and northern Peru

"Flash floods and landslides hit parts of Lima, leaving some communities cut off from roads Saturday, as others in Peru fled rising rivers, and millions fretted that they won’t have drinking water.

The government announced Saturday that so far this year 72 people have died as a result of heavy rains and flash floods around the country.

Peru’s geographic extremes help fuel the often deadly force of the mudslides known locally as huaycos, the indigenous Quechua word for flash flood-landslide."

Read More Return to Top

During the week of January 23rd, widespread torrential rainfall created flooding across many South American countries, including Perú. The rainfall caused the local rivers of Perú to overflow, and also caused mudslides. Our RMF Perú team quickly analyzed the effects of the flooding within the city center of Pisco, where RMF’s clinic, Policlínico Peruano Americano is located.

Many families in the community were greatly affected by the flooding. RMF’s team began accepting donations of food, water, and clothing at our clinic, and has been distributing these to families in need. RMF Perú has also received donations of furniture…

Read More Return to Top

Listen to the interview on the BBC News Website

BBC World Service interviewed RMF Nepal Program Program Coordinator, Barsha Dharel on April 24, 2016. Please follow the link above to listen to the interview. The Barsha Dharel interview, conducted by David Deng, starts around 46:20 mark. Below is a transcript of the interview.

David Deng: The devastating earthquake that shook Nepal last year has come and gone, but the aftershock is far from over. Twelve months on, the destruction that overtook the nation has left thousands desperate to find the means to…

Read More Return to Top

Nepal’s Landless Earthquake Victimes Deprived Of Funds to Rebuild: Oxfam Report


Victims of the devastating earthquake in Nepal last year are being deprived of funds to rebuild their homes because they either they do not own land or cannot prove they owned the place where they lived, global anti-poverty group Oxfam said in a report Friday.

Nepal’s government has announced grants of 200,000 Nepali rupees ($1,900) to families that can prove they owned land before the earthquake, which struck on April 25, 2015. However, some of the…

Read More Return to Top

Charities, Locals and Bikers Help Repair Nepal After New Quake (via NPR)

Linda Poon

The crows freaked out. The dogs howled. And just as the sun was beginning to set, a second earthquake struck Nepal.

Animals react to earthquakes before they strike. People react after they hit. And in Nepal, Tuesday’s 7.3 magnitude earthquake, coming almost three weeks after the April 25 quake, prompted a primal response.

"You could hear chunks of buildings just falling," says Cindy Stein, director of global programs at the Real Medicine Foundation, speaking from Nepal. "People were saying this…

Read More Return to Top

Another Powerful Earthquake Strikes Nepal (via NPR)

Eyder Peralta

A magnitude-7.3 earthquake struck Nepal on Tuesday, just over two weeks after a massive magnitude-7.8 quake killed more than 8,000 people.

The United States Geological Survey puts today’s quake as close to the capital, Kathmandu, as the one two weeks ago.

From Kathmandu, Cindy Stein, the director of global programs for Real Medicine Foundation, sent this update late Tuesday:

"I’m in a very communal tent in a parking lot right now, The city is in a cryogenic freeze. Nobody is going anywhere and most…

Read More Return to Top

"This report is produced by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 6 to 8 May 2015. The next report will be issued on or around May 11."

Please click here for the full PDF.

Read More Return to Top

How to help victims of the Nepal earthquake

By Christopher Dawson, Jennifer Grubb and Ashley Vaughan, CNN

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal with devastating force Saturday, killing thousands. Many more are unaccounted for as the search for survivors continues. Google has launched a People Finder tool to help victims touch base with friends and loved ones. It allows users to look for victims or post information about people, and it also works by text messaging.

Rescue and recovery efforts are underway. Many charities and NGOs are on the ground providing essential aid and medical…

Read More Return to Top

The country’s health care system is under enormous pressure after a deadly earthquake

Alexandra Sifferlin

Hospitals throughout Nepal are flooded with patients, with thousands in need of care for acute injuries after a massive earthquake that the country’s leader said may have killed up to 10,000.

“Most public and private hospitals sent all of their pertinent staff surgeons to Kathmandu Teaching Hospital, which is the trauma center, and it’s so overrun that they are treating people in the streets,” said Cindy Aliza Stein, director of global programs Real Medicine Foundation (RMF), who helping coordinate the…

Read More Return to Top

See below for the introduction from UNHCR’s report, 2015 Regional Response Plan South Sudan Situation. A PDF of the report can be found at the bottom of the post.

"Since fighting broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict. Despite the signature of a cessation of hostilities under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in January 2014, the situation on the ground remains dire. Violations of the agreement continue to be reported, active hostilities have continued in Upper Nile, Jonglei, and Unity States, and there are ominous…

Read More Return to Top

For information and planning for the South Sudan refugees in Kiryandongo.

South Sudan Regional Refugee Response Plan PDF

Read More Return to Top

Troy D Moon, Tito Jequicene, Meridith Blevins, Eurico José, Julie R Lankford, C William Wester, Martina C Fuchs & Sten H Vermund.

Mobile clinics for increased access to antiretroviral therapy in rural Mozambique: Strategic use to capacitate fixed-site clinics.

Bulletin of the World Health Organization Volume 92, Number 9, September 2014, 621-696

PDF Click Here

Link to Paper on WHO site

Read More Return to Top

Full PDF Report

Excerpt below

Operational Context The South Sudan’s conflict entered its ninth month with opposition and government troops continuing to engage in battles in Bentiu (Unity State) and Ayod Counties (Jonglei States). The security situation in Bentiu deteriorated sharply, with clashes breaking out in areas surrounding the city. Humanitarian flights were suspended but have now resumed. Tensions remained high within the Protection of Civilians (PoCs) site over poor living conditions and fears of attack. Humanitarian organizations were working closely with community leaders to mitigate tension. In Malakal, Upper Nile State, troop movements were…

Read More Return to Top

Please help by donating your clean and serviceable crutches, canes, folding walkers and folding wheelchairs to the Bedford Lions Crutches for Haiti Campaign. These items are urgently needed by the Haitians crippled by the February earthquake.

Check out the Bedford Lions Club website at for more information. To make a donation, send an email to or contact Mike Sills at 603-472-5516.

Read More Return to Top

Real Medicine Provides Disaster Relief

By Pat Lynch, Host of Speak Up!

Speak Up! invites women, and also men, who “speak” to women in terms of their values, their goals and their strong sense of community, to address issues, opportunities and successes that need to be heard by a larger audience of women leaders.

Speak Up! invites women, and also men, who “speak” to women in terms of their values, their goals and their strong sense of community, to address issues, opportunities and successes that need to be heard…

Read More Return to Top

Los Angeles, California

California physician Dr. Martina Fuchs wanted to help in the aftermath of the 2004 Asian earthquake and tsunami. Mike O’Sullivan reports, the decision led her to create a charity called the Real Medicine Foundation, which offers health care and help for the poor in 11 countries.

In Los Angeles, teachers have been trained in psychological trauma counseling for students in gang-ridden parts of the city. Children at a clinic in Lagos, Nigeria, get vaccinations. Women with spinal cord injuries in northwestern Pakistan, devastated by an earthquake in 2005, are…

Read More Return to Top

ABC’s hit Ugly Betty will be back on the air April 24 – but that doesn’t mean star America Ferrera won’t have time to do her part for charity. can reveal exclusively the Emmy Award-winning actress, 23, has been tapped to host the third annual Hot in Hollywood charity event in LA August 16 to benefit the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Real Medicine, a disaster relief organization.

"I bought a table the first year with friends and had so much fun watching the performances," Ferrera tells Us. "Performing in the second…

Read More Return to Top


“Most people think only adults are homeless, but there are 16,000 homeless children in Los Angeles. Many of these children still go to school but have to walk through skid row everyday and witness drug transactions and more. So there is trauma coming from all sides. We need to get emotional and psychological support for these kids.” Martina Fuchs

A little more than a year ago, Studio City Pediatrician Martina Fuchs formed theReal Medicine Foundation to aid the victims of…

Read More Return to Top

Elaine Fortin is putting her Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Information Technology to broad use. By day, she is a software engineer at Harvard’s central administrative offices. In her spare time, she donates her skills to the Real Medicine Foundation, a humanitarian nongovernmental organization (NGO) that provides holistic medical support to communities around the world affected by natural disasters.

Elaine came into contact with the organization through her relief work in Southeast Asia. After the tsunami struck in December 2005, she was compelled to act. “The images on the television were just so…

Read More Return to Top

The intrepid team (from left) Amir, Toegel, Pietramaggiori, and Ouyang are warming up in a tent in Pakistan by the heat of a single burner. (Photo courtesy of Real Medicine Foundation)


Three HSPH students and an HMS fellow greeted the new year by dispensing medicine and care in the mountains of Pakistan

By Bob Brustman

Harvard News Office

In late December and January, while most of us found ways to remain warm and snug in the face of…

Read More Return to Top

From Los Angeles

Dr. Martina Fuchs and the Psycho Trauma Team of The Real Medicine Foundation will be in Memphis, Tenn., on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 to continue their work to meet and support the emotional needs of the approximately 330 children and their families, displaced through Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, who found a new home in the 29 schools of the Memphis Catholic Diocese, serving pre K through 12th grade.

Psycho Trauma Specialists Dr. Kevin Becker and Dr. Annie Farnsworth will be conducting a seminar for the guidance counselors and educators of the schools, discussing the…

Read More Return to Top

By Jennifer Chandler

Director of Development for Catholic Schools

In response to the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, the Diocese of Memphis has opened the doors of its Catholic schools to more than 300 students from families displaced by the devastation. In most cases, the schools have waived tuition, offered uniforms, books, food and even shelter.

"We have met the immediate needs of these families by offering the basics of food, clothing and shelter," said Dr. Mary McDonald, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. "But now we must address the emotional and psychological needs…

Read More Return to Top