Some disasters may not make international headlines, but the impact on vulnerable communities and their health system can be overwhelming.
In August of last year, the Marshall Islands declared a health emergency due to a dengue outbreak. As of January 19, there had been more than 2,300 cases of dengue like illness reported, including more than 900 that were lab confirmed. In response to the outbreak, Americares has delivered mosquito nets to support prevention and has sent a shipment of IV Solutions and mosquito repellent to support treatment and prevention.
As the crisis continued, the Ministry of Health and WHO asked Americares to provide local medical staff with much needed support. On January 23, Americares deployed a Surge Medical Team (Team Lead, 1 Doctor, 2 Nurses) to work in the Majuro Hospital Dengue Isolation and Treatment Ward and in other departments of the hospital. The team began working in the Majuro Hospital Emergency Room on January 27 to alleviate burnout among local staff. They have provided more than 400 patient consultations for dengue and for a range of other medical issues. The team is concluding its work by the end of February.
The island nations of the South Pacific and elsewhere in the world have reached out to Americares in the past. In places such as Vanuatu, Fiji, Saipan (Mariana Islands) and Papua New Guinea where natural disasters have overwhelmed local health systems, our emergency teams have responded with relief supplies and/or emergency staff. The committed support of our community of donors and our Emergency Response Partners make it possible to respond wherever there are people in crisis. And in some communities such as the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, we remained for a long term recovery process of building back a health system decimated by Hurricane Maria.