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Operational Update: Direct Relief Responding to Flooding, Extreme Weather in U.S., Brazil

Medicines departed for flooded areas of Harris County, Texas, this week, along with support to 12 countries over the past seven days.

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Health

Swollen riverbanks as seen from the air in Harris County, Texas, on May 3, 2024. Heavy rains inundated many areas in East Texas last weekend, requiring hundreds of water rescues and displacing thousands. (Photo courtesy of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo's Office)

Over the past seven days, Direct Relief has delivered 441 shipments of requested medical aid to 44 U.S. states and territories and 12 countries worldwide.

The shipments contained 21 million defined daily doses of medication and supplies, including insulin, prenatal vitamins, oral rehydration tablets, and more.

Medications Shipped to Flooded Communities in Texas

Direct Relief has been responding to communities impacted by extreme weather over the past week, including in Texas, where heavy rainfall inundated communities in the eastern part of the state, displacing thousands and requiring water rescues for hundreds of people. Multiple counties received large amounts of rainfall, including Harris County, which contains Houston.

Direct Relief shipped requested medical aid this week to health organizations serving flooded communities, including San Jose Clinic, a nonprofit free clinic that serves uninsured or underinsured people in Houston. “During the flood, we had some patients unable to make it to appointments as they were unable to leave their home and the same for some of our team,” San Jose staff reported. Water purification tablets, antibiotics, personal protective gear, disinfecting products, and other medical essentials were shipped this week to the clinic.

TOMAGWA HealthCare Ministries, a free clinic located in Tomball, Texas, also requested support, and Direct Relief shipped personal care packs, filled with essentials like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and more to support people displaced from their homes due to the floodwaters.

Floods Inundate Brazil with More Rain Expected in Coming Days

In Brazil, devastating flooding has coursed through more than 85 percent of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, where more than 113 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced. More rain is expected this weekend, and Direct Relief is coordinating with the Brazilian Health Regulatory Authority and the Pan American Health Organization, or PAHO, to assess medical needs and requests.

Health impacts from flooding can span from water- and vectorborne illnesses to exacerbation of chronic conditions as people are displaced without access to medications needed to manage their health. Direct Relief maintains an inventory of medications commonly requested after disasters and is ready to respond.

Operational Snapshot

WORLDWIDE

A one-ton shipment of mixed medications departed Direct Relief’s warehouse recently, for an upcoming medical mission in Nigeria conducted by the ZOOM Foundation. The mission aims to complete 20-30 heart surgeries at Dame Irene Okwuosa Memorial Hospital in Nnobi and a health fair for the local community. (Brianna Newport/Direct Relief)

Over the last week, Direct Relief shipped more than 13.9 million defined daily doses of medication outside the U.S.

Countries that received medical aid over the past week included:

  • Morocco
  • India
  • Lebanon
  • Ukraine
  • Haiti
  • Paraguay
  • Ecuador
  • Iraq
  • Uganda
  • Togo

UNITED STATES

Direct Relief delivered 419 shipments containing over five tons of medications during the past seven days to organizations, including the following:

  • Hope Medical Clinic, Florida
  • Good Samaritan Clinic, Arkansas
  • Grace Medical Home, Florida
  • Samaritans Touch Care Center, Inc., Florida
  • Good News Clinics, Georgia
  • Knox County Health Clinic, Maine
  • Medical Associates Plus, Georgia
  • North Jefferson County Clinic Pharmacy, Texas
  • EXCELth Family Health Center, Louisiana
  • LaSante Health Center, New York

YEAR TO DATE

Since January 1, 2024, Direct Relief has delivered 8,374 shipments to 1,607 partner organizations in 54 U.S. states and territories and 69 countries.

These shipments contained 146.9 million defined daily doses of medication totaling 2.5 million lbs.

IN THE NEWS

A Global Relief Organization Keeps the Spigot Open for Community Healthcare Providers Closer to Home – Inside Philanthropy

AWMH Donates $100,000 to Direct Relief’s Flood Relief Efforts in Brazil – Metallica.com

Direct Relief Commits $3 Million to Jamaica for Hurricane Resilience Philanthropy News Digest

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