Workers in Americares distribution center in Stamford, Conn., prepare a shipment of medicine and supplies for Puerto Rico. Photo by Marc Birnbach/Americares.
Stamford, Conn. – Sept. 29, 2017 – Americares is airlifting more than $3 million in essential medicines for hospitals and health centers in Puerto Rico and Dominica running critically low on supplies after Hurricane Maria. The health-focused relief and development organization is supplying 7 tons of medicine, including antibiotics, wound-care supplies, intravenous fluids, mental health medications and chronic disease treatments in response to urgent requests from health officials in Puerto Rico and Dominica.
Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm, killing at least 16 people, flooding communities and causing major power outages. In Dominica, the storm killed at least 27 people, flattened homes and damaged hospitals and clinics.
“Hurricane Maria caused catastrophic damage, and we are very concerned about the health and safety of survivors,” said Americares Director of Emergency Response Kate Dischino. “Every day our team is seeing hospitals and clinics with critical shortages of essential medicines. We are working to ensure doctors and nurses have the supplies they need to continue caring for survivors.”
Americares has response teams in Puerto Rico and Dominica coordinating with local partners and government officials to restore health services. In Puerto Rico, the organization’s relief workers have been hand-delivering medicines and medical supplies the team carried from its headquarters in Connecticut. Sunday’s airlift—a chartered flight from Florida to San Juan—contains more than 3 tons of urgently needed medical aid. Over the next two weeks, Americares expects to deliver additional shipments, bringing a total of 10 tons of medicine and supplies to the devastated island.
The Dominica shipment, a chartered flight scheduled to arrive Monday, contains nearly 4 tons of medicine and supplies to meet critical health needs on the island. Americares team has also been delivering medicine by helicopter from neighboring islands.
At the same time, Americares continues to support health services in hurricane-damaged communities in Florida, Texas and other parts of the Caribbean. Americares has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice and stocks emergency medicine and supplies in its warehouses in the U.S., Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis. The organization responds to an average of 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities.