News

Health

Global Update: Airlift to Nepal, Hurricane Season Begins

A look at Direct Relief's activities around the world.

Medical aid departs Direct Relief's warehouse for Nepal on May 21, 2021, in response to a Covid-19 surge in the country. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)
Medical aid departs Direct Relief's warehouse for Nepal on May 21, 2021, in response to a Covid-19 surge in the country. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

In Summary

    • As Covid-19 continues to devastate Nepal, Direct Relief has sent 25 tons of medical aid, including 860 oxygen concentrators, to Kathmandu. The aid follows on the heels of two airlifts to India.
    • Hurricane season started June 1. The organization is staging caches of emergency medical supplies in the U.S., Caribbean, and Central America.
    • To help free clinics vaccinate their patients, Direct Relief has made $2.25 million in grants.
    • In the Navajo Nation, vaccination and prevention efforts are paying off.

Top Stories

Amid Nepal’s Covid-19 Crisis, Medical Aid Arrives in Kathmandu

Direct Relief-chartered airlift carrying hundreds of oxygen concentrators lands in Nepal. Photo: Pranjal Sharma/Direct Relief
Direct Relief-chartered airlift carrying hundreds of oxygen concentrators lands in Nepal. Photo: Pranjal Sharma/Direct Relief

The situation: A deadly wave of Covid-19 has overwhelmed hospital beds and depleted oxygen in Nepal. The country’s number of cases per capita is currently higher than India’s.

The response: Direct Relief filled a plane with 25 tons of medical aid, including 860 oxygen concentrators. It landed on May 25 in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital. The organization is also supporting the building of a new Nepali oxygen plant designed to meet shortages.

The impact: Providers and aid groups working on the ground are distributing the supplies to government hospitals and other frontline health facilities.

 

Direct Relief Stages Emergency Supplies in Advance of Hurricane Season

Emergency medical modules staged in Direct Relief's warehouse (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief).
Emergency medical modules staged in Direct Relief’s warehouse (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief).

The situation: Hurricane season began on June 1, threatening the United States’ Gulf and Atlantic coasts, the Caribbean, and Central America.

The response: Direct Relief is staging modules of disaster-specific emergency response supplies throughout these vulnerable areas, as well as installing solar power and battery backup systems at health facilities.

The impact: The power systems and medical supplies will help health care providers continue to provide much-needed care during and after a tropical storm.

 

As Donations to Free Clinics Plummet, Direct Relief Bolsters Vaccination, Operations with $2.25 Million in Grants

Staff at Ubi Caritas Free Clinic in Beaumont, Texas, with Direct Relief donated protective gear. Safety-net health providers across the United States are working overtime during the Covid-19 pandemic to provide patient care to the most vulnerable, and new stream of funding will support their essential work. (Courtesy photo)
Staff at Ubi Caritas Free Clinic in Beaumont, Texas, with Direct Relief donated protective gear. Safety-net health providers across the United States are working overtime during the Covid-19 pandemic to provide patient care to the most vulnerable, and new stream of funding will support their essential work. (Courtesy photo)

The situation: While health care needs grew among the country’s most vulnerable, United States free clinics saw a 40% drop in donations. These clinics receive little to no government funding.

The response: To fill the gap, Direct Relief granted a total of $2.25 million to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics.

The impact: The grants will fund vaccination efforts and other essential health services.

 

In the Navajo Nation, a Full-Scale Effort to Combat Covid-19 Sees Extraordinary Results

A roadside sign in the Navajo Nation in April of 2020. (Photo by Jonathan Schell for Direct Relief)
A roadside sign in the Navajo Nation in April of 2020. (Photo by Jonathan Schell for Direct Relief)

The situation: Covid-19 had a devastating effect on the Navajo Nation, killing many revered elders and rattling the Nation’s close-knit community. But highly successful vaccination and prevention measures have turned the tide.

The response: To support the Navajo Nation in its fight against the pandemic, Direct Relief provided more than $1 million in financial assistance and more than seven tons of medicines and supplies.

The impact: Thanks to the heroic efforts of doctors and tribal leadership, new cases have slowed to eight per day as of June 1. More than 93% of the eligible population has received at least one vaccine shot.

In Brief

The United States

  • Over the past two weeks, Direct Relief has made 837 shipments to 554 partners in 47 states and territories, totaling 5.8 million in value and more than 48,000 pounds.
  • During that time, more than $195,000 in grants has been distributed.
  • Seven hundred thirty units of Repatha, a drug that treats inherited high cholesterol, have been sent to 20 partners in 10 states.
  • A CrisisReady webinar put researchers, public health officials, and health care providers together to discuss using data to prepare for the 2021 California wildfire season.
  • The Vaseline Healing Project is holding a new series of trainings to help health care workers treat skin conditions in people of color.

Around the World

  • In the past two weeks, Direct Relief has made 39 shipments to 36 partners in 24 countries, totaling $166.1 million in value and more than 211,000 pounds.
  • More than $2.1 million in grants was distributed over the same two weeks.
  • Direct Relief has begun its 2021 shipments of midwife kits. Thus far, the kits have been sent to six African countries, and many more will follow in the coming months.
  • Nearly 15,000 refugees in Greece are producing PPE and receiving Covid-19 education through a new program.
  • Direct Relief is working to donate five ultra-low temperature portable freezers to Mexico, to house and transport Covid-19 vaccines to harder-to-reach areas.

Related Stories

The Latest