Direct Relief today committed an initial $200,000 in cash and made available its current inventory of more than $100 million in medications and other medical products in response to the unfolding emergency on the U.S. East Coast caused by Hurricane Florence, which has prompted mass evacuations and released unprecedented rainfall.
Five modules of emergency medicine are staged in strategic locations along Hurricane Florence’s path and can be opened by local health facilities should they be needed. One pack, located in Ahoskie, North Carolina, was expected to be opened this weekend.
Direct Relief pre-positioned the medical essentials in the region several weeks ago and delivered additional medications and supplies earlier this week in advance of the storm.
Mass evacuations to remove people from harm’s way create their own challenges and health risks for people who already are vulnerable, including those with chronic medical conditions that if unmanaged can rapidly become acute crises.
On an ongoing basis, Direct Relief provides large-scale donations of insulin from Eli Lilly and other medications from dozens of healthcare companies for patients in both North and South Carolina who lack health insurance, have limited financial means, and rely on health services from nonprofit community health centers.
“Because of the obvious risks to access that exist in this situation, we’re doing everything we can to ensure that insulin and any other needed medications are available to our community health center partners in the affected areas,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief president and CEO.
Direct Relief emergency personnel are in North Carolina, coordinating response efforts with the North Carolina Community Health Center Association and the North Carolina Association of Free Clinics, whose members operate more than 108 clinics and health centers throughout the state, providing primary care services to more than 620,000 residents annually.
Direct Relief has worked closely with state health associations and their members for the past nine years and has furnished more than $72.1 million in medical material aid and financial assistance to over 240 health centers and free clinics in North Carolina.