1 year ago, a 7.0 earthquake struck Port-au-Prince. An estimated 230,000 people lost their lives, thousands more were gravely injured, and a million others were displaced. Even before the earthquake, Haiti suffered from crushing poverty and a weak infrastructure. The country had now become a massive humanitarian crisis. For many Haitians, the past year has been a daily struggle to rebuild their lives. The pain of the Haitian people should not be diminished but looking back, we believe we have been able to ease some of their suffering. With the help of our amazing supporters, over the last 12 months we have: • Conducted more than 156,600 patient consultations.• Established 13 clinics and 7 cholera treatment centers.• Distributed $16.2M in medicines, supplies, services and equipment donated by our in-kind partners.• Screened more than 20,000 children for malnutrition. • Trained and employed 1,300 Haitian health care workers and community mobilizers. • Treated more than 7,500 patients in our cholera treatment centers. To read our 1-year accountability report, please click here.Right now, we are looking toward the future in Haiti. Working hand in hand with the people of Haiti, we’ve expanded our health care services to reach those in need, while implementing critical medical training and education programs. These programs will help Haiti meet its own health care needs in the future, as well as help the Haitian people prepare for future disasters. Please take a moment to watch all we've accomplished together in 2010.The 2010 earthquake was an unprecedented disaster that will undoubtedly affect Haiti for years to come. Although the recovery process will be long, we are committed to improving quality of life, fostering self-reliance, and bringing hope to the Haitian people.
In October our staff in the Democratic Republic of Congo marched with 250 International Trade Union Confederation members from more than 160 countries as well as female members of Congolese unions, and civil society groups. The mass rally aimed to denounce sexual and gender-based violence, and demand social justice for women in the DRC, where sexual violence has been employed as a weapon of war spreading fear, exacerbating ethnic tensions, and destabilizing communities. The rally in Bukavu was a sea of color, with women from all over DRC and the world joining in the march. Dressed in bright clothes made especially for the occasion out of fabric covered in slogans, the participants demanded an end to SGBV. Young and old marched together as hundreds of women filled the streets to make their voices heard. Since 1999, International Medical Corps has worked tirelessly to care for the countless women affected by the ongoing violence and unrest in the DRC. In many remote areas of North and South Kivu Provinces, International Medical Corps is the only international NGO that has maintained a permanent presence. Today, International Medical Corps supports 85 health facilities in the DRC, including 41 in North Kivu, 42 in South Kivu, and two in Maniema. Our work providing care for women in DRC is possible because of our wonderful supporters – your generosity means the world to us.
Since widespread flooding began in Pakistan, 1,985 people have died and as many as 1.7 million homes have been damaged or destroyed, with 20 million people affected. Since responding to the floods in August, our teams have conducted more than 260,000 health consultations. In addition to medical services, we have deployed psychologists and hygiene promoters to address mental health and hygiene needs in the worst affected districts, including Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, and Swat. Teams are providing health education on hygiene & sanitation, including the prevention of diarrhea, scabies, and ARI. In addition, we have distributed mini hygiene kits to more than 11,000 people.
“Our priority is getting people desperately needed medical services. We are seeing cases of acute respiratory infection, diarrhea and skin diseases,” said Sonia Walia, International Medical Corps Regional Coordinator for Asia. “With the lack of clean water we are extremely concerned about outbreaks of disease, including cholera. Compounding this tragedy is that many of those affected were already displaced by ongoing conflict in the region, so their mental health needs are also enormous.”
Mental health care is a priority during our emergency relief efforts – we are currently providing psychosocial support including teaching local coping mechanisms to help those whose lives have been devastated by the floods. Psychosocial teams have identified people with depression, anxiety, and significant psychological distress. One of the beneficiaries of our mental health program is Abida, a young Pakistani mother of two. While seeking medical care for her children she described her desperate situation: “our house was flooded and we had nothing to eat for a week, we have not received any support from anyone yet.”
Like many Pakistanis affected by the floods, the emotional impact of this disaster had visibly taken its toll on the 20-year-old. As psychosocial support and Psychological First Aid is an integral part of all of International Medical Corps’ emergency health programs, our psychologist was available to offer Abida psychosocial support sessions to help her deal with her stress.
Like most of her neighbors, Abida’s house was damaged by floods and is still surrounded by floodwater. Since her husband, an agricultural worker, is unemployed with no source of income due to flood-destroyed crops, the family does not have the resources to repair their home. International Medical Corps provided Abida’s family with medical care and family and individual counseling sessions. Our psychologist also taught Abida relaxation techniques to deal with her enormous stress.
“You are the first person I met who has listened to me and taken interest in my problems, I am feeling much more relaxed after talking to you and I am very thankful to you,” said Abida following her session.
To date, our teams have conducted individual and group sessions for approximately 8,378 individuals, many under the age of 12. We have been operating in Pakistan since 1984, providing primary health care services and water/sanitation facilities to displaced Pakistanis as well as to Afghan refugees in the frontier areas. Thank you so much for your continued support – our work in Pakistan is possible because of our incredible supporters.