Thousands remain displaced from their homes after a deadly volcano erupted in Guatemala earlier this month, and medical supplies shipped this week will equip medical workers providing care in local shelters.
The Fuego Volcano erupted on June 3, sending a river of lava and debris plunging towards the town of San Miguel Los Lotes and other communities in southern Guatemala. More than 150 people perished, and nearly 200 are still listed as missing. Many who were displaced by the volcano are living in shelters, waiting to see whether they’ll be able to return to their homes or whether they’ll be forced to relocate.
Providing care in these evacuee centers is a critical need, and Direct Relief shipped 35 Emergency Medical Backpacks to the Pan American Health Organization this week to help do just that.
PAHO, the World Health Organization’s regional office of the Americas, is working in coordination with the Guatemala Ministry of Health, as well as with local health officials, to distribute the backpacks.
The packs are filled with essential first aid supplies that will equip community health workers. Five rugged tents, provided by Barebones, were also shipped, and will be used to set up temporary medical outposts near shelters so people can easily get the health care they need.
In the days following the volcano’s eruption, Direct Relief also issued emergency grants to local medical groups responding to the crisis, enabling medical outreach efforts as well as the purchase of equipment and supplies to local first responders.
Thick-soled boots, heat-resistant gloves, safety goggles and N-95 masks were all purchased to protect these workers as they responded. Emergency funds were also used to purchase personal hygiene products and other requested items needed by those living in evacuee shelters.