Stamford, Conn. – May 2, 2016 – Three tons of medicine and medical supplies from AmeriCares have arrived in Ecuador to resupply hospitals and clinics damaged by the country’s worst earthquake in decades. The shipment, valued at nearly $1.8 million, arrived this weekend in Guayaquil. AmeriCares immediately deployed an emergency response team from the United States to assist relief efforts and assess health needs in the aftermath of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake. To date, 660 people have died and more than 30,000 survivors have sought medical attention since the April 16 disaster and aftershocks. Thirty five health care facilities have been reported damaged or destroyed, 14 of which are inoperable, according to the Pan American Health Organization.
The shipment from AmeriCares includes critically needed medicine and medical supplies, such as antibiotics, cardiovascular medications, crutches, wound care supplies and pain relievers. All of the products included in the shipment were donated to AmeriCares by pharmaceutical companies and distributors and will support health facilities treating survivors. AmeriCares is partnering with Junta de Beneficencia de Guayaquil, the country’s largest NGO, to distribute the aid to medical facilities in affected areas.
“One of the hospitals we saw is completely inoperable; the staff is treating survivors out of tents in the parking lot,” said AmeriCares Director of Emergency Response Kate Dischino, who is leading the team on the ground in Ecuador. “Our emergency shipment will help ensure medical professionals have the tools they need to continue providing care even in the most challenging circumstances.”
The AmeriCares emergency response team has also procured supplies to treat dehydration and prevent mosquito-borne illness and assisted Junta de Beneficencia de Guayaquil with a distribution of food and water for survivors. AmeriCares is also supplying medicine to U.S.-based medical teams responding to the crisis, including a team of surgeons performing facial reconstruction surgeries.
In the weeks ahead, AmeriCares relief workers will continue to provide medical resources to treat survivors injured or displaced by earthquake, restore health services in affected areas and prevent infectious disease.
AmeriCares has been aiding survivors of natural disasters, political conflict and extreme poverty around the world for more than 30 years, saving lives and building healthier futures for people in crisis. On average, AmeriCares responds to 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year. AmeriCares also establishes long-term recovery projects in communities affected by disaster and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities.