As of today, Direct Relief has shipped more than 15,000 pounds of relief supplies, such as antibiotics, nutritionals, personal care products, vaccines and chronic care medicines, to 17 providers affected by Sandy in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania who focus on treating the most vulnerable people in their communities. In total, nearly two dozen shipments valued at close to $500,000 are now on the East Coast being used to provide health care to those affected by Sandy.
A shipment of 200 small vaccine refrigerators from Sonofi arrived at the warehouse today, ready to be offered to clinics in need so they can continue to provide a full range of care.
Our team on the ground continues to make contacts with health centers in the hardest-hit areas and will visit at least half a dozen community health centers and mobile medical vehicles tomorrow to continue assessing needs and facilitating orders.
Two of those visits are in the Rockaways, a priority area for Direct Relief response as only two community health centers serve the community there and both suffered severe flooding and have been without power since Sandy. The team in New York reported that the area has been underserved in respect to health care for decades, a problem further exacerbated by the storm. They also reported that more than 30 nursing homes in the Rockaways have been evacuated, with some residents relocated as far north as Niagara.
The on-the-ground team said each neighborhood in New York is experiencing losses differently, but the storm’s affect on health care access is widespread.
Those who have had their electricity restored have suffered lost revenue from loss of operating hours and many lost their vaccine stock because they could not be refrigerated during the power outage. Clinics who have mobilized outreach have struggled to continue care because of fuel shortages. Those hit hardest suffer flooding damages to their buildings and equipment as well as lost medical inventory.
Direct Relief is actively providing shipments of medicines and supplies to health centers needing additional stock and continues network to assess needs and develop new partnerships on the East Coast.