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Over the past seven days, Direct Relief has delivered 459 shipments of requested medical aid to 47 U.S. states and territories and 18 countries worldwide.
The shipments contained 7.8 million defined daily doses of medication, including insulin, cardiovascular medications, antibiotics, chronic disease medications, PPE, and more.
Assessing Needs after Nepal Earthquake
A 5.4 magnitude earthquake shook northwestern Nepal on Friday night. At least 69 people have been reported dead, with the number expected to rise this weekend. Direct Relief is reaching out to non-profit partner organization Mountain Heart Nepal to assess medical needs.
Responding to Hurricane Otis in Acapulco
A week after Hurricane Otis, a powerful Category 5 storm, made landfall in Acapulco, Mexico, at least 58 people are still missing, according to the Mexican government. So far, 46 people have been confirmed dead. Hurricane Otis is the strongest hurricane to hit Mexico’s Pacific Coast in recorded history, recording winds of up to 165 mph.
With assistance from FedEx, Direct Relief pre-positioned three emergency health kits in Chilpancingo Guerrero, Mexico, and 53 field medic packs, filled with medical essentials needed for care outside of clinic walls, with health providers on the ground, prior to Hurricane Otis’s landfall.
Since then, additional supplies have been sent to the affected region to aid first responders in their search and rescue efforts and to support the work of other healthcare staff in the wake of the hurricane.
In addition, Medical Impact, an organization that Direct Relief supported last week with a $25,000 emergency operating grant, deployed 12 doctors to Acapulco this week to provide medical care in the area. Field medic packs and an emergency health kit, which contains medical essentials commonly requested after disasters, are outfitting the medical providers during their trip.
Direct Relief will continue to respond to Hurricane Otis throughout the coming days.
Responding to the Highland Fire in California
Fueled by Santa Ana winds, the Highland Fire erupted earlier this week in Southern California and grew to cover nearly 2,500 acres. While the fire is now 50 percent contained, the less than 25 percent containment two days ago prompted evacuation orders and warnings in parts of Aguanga, Riverside County, located around 100 miles southeast of Los Angeles and 75 miles northeast of San Diego.
In response to the wildfire, Direct Relief has dispatched an emergency wildfire health kit shipment, which includes respiratory medications, eye drops, chronic disease medications, first aid supplies, and PPE, including N-95 masks to protect against inhalation of fine particulate matter from ash and smoke. The kit will be delivered to Health Center Partners, the regional primary care association for Riverside County, to begin assisting patients in impacted areas.
Direct Relief will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves and provide updates as they become available.
Keiki Health Fair in Maui Supported by Direct Relief
The Keiki Health Fair for Lahaina residents in Ka’anapali, Maui, took place last week, when over 2,500 people attended to receive physicals, vaccinations (RSV, flu, COVID, and TDAP), and to have lost medical records recreated. The fair was designed to provide services and support to residents, in addition to healthcare, and local groups provided free haircuts, nail salon services, and face painting for children.
Direct Relief staff were present and helped at the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies table. This maternal and child health-focused nonprofit provides social services, clinical care, and behavioral health services across Maui, O’ahu and the Big Island, and they have been providing care to those affected by the fires since the disaster in August.
People received flu shots, and women could receive ultrasounds out of the mobile clinic (ultrasound devices, flu shots, and a vaccine fridge were donated by Direct Relief). Two pregnant women who had not received any prenatal care thus far received their first ultrasounds and were connected with Malama I Ke Ola Health Center to schedule prenatal appointments.
Last Friday, over 2,000 Lahaina residents returned to their homes for the first time after the fire. This zone was one of the most devastated and one of the largest to be opened at one time; almost every home was completely destroyed. About 1,000 kits of protective equipment donated by Direct Relief are being distributed daily.
About 20 of the 84 total zones have now been opened for reentry, and while the reentry schedule is partially determined by how quickly the Environmental Protection Agency can work, the Department of Health anticipates the reentry phase to last at least through the end of December.
Direct Relief Strengthens Disaster Response in the Philippines
The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), the country’s leading private-sector-led non-profit organization, recently held its annual Cluster Connect Conference (CCC). During the event, Direct Relief’s Ledrolen Manriquez, who is based in the Philippines, and PDRF signed an open Letter of Partnership, as a commitment to collaborate towards accountable, transparent, and inclusive strategies in responding to emergencies.
The two organizations are also committed to leveraging each other’s expertise, resources, and networks to enable effective disaster management and to foster resilient communities in the Philippines. Since 2010, Direct Relief has provided over 20.8 million doses of medicines to a network of 58 healthcare providers in the archipelago nation.
According to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which includes the Philippines and the nine other countries that sit on or near the “Ring of Fire,” the zone around the Pacific Ocean that is known for natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, this zone is the most natural disaster-prone region in the world. More than 50 percent of global disaster mortalities occurred in the region during the period of 2004 to 2014.
“We cannot do it alone. We need to ensure not only a whole-of-nation approach, but a whole-of-society approach to address the needs of Filipinos affected by disasters,” the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian shared at the meeting.
This week, Direct Relief shipped 7.1 million defined daily doses of medication outside the U.S.
Countries that received medical aid over the past week included:
Direct Relief delivered 641 shipments containing more than 12.1 tons of medications over the past week to organizations, including the following: