Americares relief workers assist Hurricane Dorian evacuees arriving in Nassau on Sept. 7, 2019. Photo by Alex Ostasiewicz/Americares.
Stamford, Conn. – Sept. 11, 2019 – Americares has deployed an emergency medical team to the Bahamas to meet the immediate health needs of families left homeless by Hurricane Dorian. Starting today, the team will be providing essential primary care services and lifesaving medicines, in a Nassau evacuation shelter housing more than 400 children and adults. The evacuees include families from the most devastated areas, including the Abaco and Grand Bahama islands.
“With health centers damaged or destroyed there is an urgent need to treat survivors with injuries and serious health conditions,” Americares Emergency Response Team Leader Sambhavi Cheemalapati said from Nassau. “We are seeing the biggest demand in evacuation shelters filled with the most vulnerable survivors. Many have lost everything, including homes and loved ones, and have suffered enormous trauma.”
Dorian slammed into Grand Bahama Island as a Category 5 hurricane, flattening entire communities, destroying roads and leaving portions of the island nation under water. Hundreds of residents are still missing, and Bahamian officials say the death toll, which stands at 50, is likely to rise as search teams reach some of the hardest-hit areas.
The Americares medical team includes a physician and a mental health expert, as well as nurses, emergency medical technicians and clinical coordinators experienced in providing care in disaster situations. The health-focused relief and development organization is also delivering emergency shipments of medicine and relief supplies for survivors. The organization is coordinating its response with the Pan American Health Organization, the local government and local and international organizations responding to the crisis.
Americares has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice and stocks emergency medicine and supplies in warehouses in the U.S., Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis. The organization responds to approximately 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities. Since its founding 40 years ago, Americares has provided more than $17 billion in aid to 164 countries, including the United States.
Donations to Americares Hurricane Dorian Relief Fund will support its response to the crisis. To donate, go to americares.org/dorianfund