Jul 19, 2021

One Year After the Blast

Sarkis could not believe the destruction
Sarkis could not believe the destruction

It has been nearly a year since large amounts of ammonium nitrate stored in the port city of Beirut exploded on August 4, 2020. According to Sarkis, who was driving to his house when the explosion occurred, “It was horrific, nothing I have ever seen in my life before. We only see such devastation in the movies – however, we just experienced it in Lebanon.”

After the blast, which displaced more than 300,000 people, injured 6,500 and left at least 220 people dead, International Medical Corps immediately launched an emergency response to meet the needs of those affected, reaching more than 54,300 men, women and children in the first two weeks.

The explosion greatly impacted Beirut’s health infrastructure, destroying three major hospitals, and damaging numerous primary healthcare centers (PHCCs), dispensaries, private clinics, pharmacies and standalone laboratories. Altogether, the blast resulted in the loss of 500 hospital beds and impacted approximately 36% of health facilities. The need for care rapidly increased with the injuries, displacement and COVID-19 pandemic, overwhelming healthcare facilities. For example, COVID-19 cases rose from 5,000 prior to the explosion to more than 115,000 within three months.

In response, International Medical Corps’ team in Lebanon has provided more than 525,000 health consultations and distributed more than 4.6 million pieces of personal protective equipment and infection prevention and control supplies, such as masks, gloves, bandages and sanitizer. We also rehabilitated three PHCCs: Karaguezian PHCC, Voix de la Femme and Al Zahraa PHCC. These health facilities are now fully functional and offering much-needed healthcare services to members of the most vulnerable communities in Lebanon.

Additionally, the blast significantly affected the livelihoods of many people with disabilities; many lost their jobs and reliable access to healthcare as a result of the explosion. Our team provided more than 16,000 assistive devices such as hearing aids, visual aids, eyeglasses, mobility devices and more. We have also provided over 7,000 rehabilitation services in the form of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to help those disabled.

Thanks to the support of the GlobalGiving community and other donors, we have been able to reach more than 276,000 people affected by the Beirut blast. Our team continues to serve vulnerable communities in Beirut and across Lebanon. 

Our team rehabilitated Karaguezian PHCC
Our team rehabilitated Karaguezian PHCC
Jul 8, 2021

Final Report on Ebola Outbreak in the DRC

We celebrate all cured Ebola patients (2019)
We celebrate all cured Ebola patients (2019)

This will be our final update as International Medical Corps’ emergency response to the Ebola outbreak in the DRC draws to a close.

To continue supporting International Medical Corps, please visit our “Emergency Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)” project to learn about our global response to the pandemic.

Learn more about our Coronavirus response here: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/emergency-response-to-the-coronavirus-2019-ncov/

Between May 2018 and February 2021, International Medical Corps responded to a near continuous series of Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Helping to bring an end the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th outbreaks, our team focused on hotspots and the most vulnerable communities throughout each of these outbreaks.

This final update focuses on International Medical Corps’ response to the 10th outbreak, the second largest Ebola outbreak in global history, claiming the lives of 2,287 of the 3,324 patients infected. It was made more complex by ongoing conflict and large-scale distrust of humanitarian organizations and government officials.

Throughout the two-year outbreak, International Medical Corps managed multiple Ebola Treatment Centers and Transit Centers where our team treated 3,859 patients, including 422 confirmed Ebola patients, and set up a network of 95 Screening-and-Referral Units (SRUs). SRUs provide screening for all who enter or depart the health facilities and have become a formidable tool in identifying Ebola cases early. Our team conducted 2 million screenings and detected more than 23,000 suspected Ebola cases.

One community impacted by the 10th outbreak was Makeke. Residents of Makeke, a remote farming community of about 5,000 people, had to travel about six miles to reach the next town and the nearest health facility. International Medical Corps converted the temporary Makeke Ebola Treatment Center to a permanent 66-bed hospital with a maternity ward, an outpatient department, a general ward for caring for patients with chronic conditions, a triage unit, a two-bed emergency unit, a pediatric ward and a pharmacy.

On February 1, 2021, International Medical Corps officially handed the new hospital over to the Provincial Minister of Public Health. Beyond the community now having a local hospital where they can access essential health services, the conversion of the hospital and its warm reception by the community represented a critical step forward in building trust and acceptance – promising developments for better prevention and treatment in the future.

Kahambu, the mother of seven children, a community development worker in Makeke, and local chief said, “The Ebola Treatment Center was initially set up due to the outbreak. When the outbreak was declared over, we requested a hospital to be built in Makeke because we used to travel a long distance to Mangina to access treatment. I thank International Medical Corps who have helped us by bringing development here with this hospital. I ask them not to get tired and that they continue to support us because here at home there is still too much to do.”

Thanks to the support of the GlobalGiving community and other donors, International Medical Corps not only responded to the numerous Ebola outbreaks in the DRC, but also helped provide long-term healthcare access to a community that has not had it before.

Our team treats an Ebola patient in the DRC
Our team treats an Ebola patient in the DRC
The 66-bed Makeke Hospital
The 66-bed Makeke Hospital
Jun 28, 2021

Final Report on Emergency Response to Typhoon Goni

Distributing hygiene kits to impacted communities
Distributing hygiene kits to impacted communities

This will be our final update as International Medical Corps’ emergency response to Typhoon Goni draws to a close.

To continue supporting International Medical Corps, please visit our “Emergency Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)” project to learn about our global response to the pandemic.

Learn more about our Coronavirus response here: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/emergency-response-to-the-coronavirus-2019-ncov/

On November 1, 2020, Super Typhoon Goni made landfall over the Philippines, with winds up to 195 miles per hour. For two days, violent winds, landslides and flooding ravaged the island of Luzon, causing extensive damage to health facilities, schools and essential services. In impacted regions, the storm displaced nearly 400,000 individuals.

To make matters worse, less than two weeks after Typhoon Goni, Typhoon Vamco struck the northern island of Luzon, greatly affecting the capital city of Manila. Floodwaters, mud and strong winds destroyed more than 39,000 homes and displaced more than 223,000 people. Noela, a mother of two, recalls, “On the night Typhoon Vamco struck, I noticed that the water was already knee-deep, so I placed my youngest child on top of the table as I went to collect some of our items. However, the water was rising very fast and my child was almost carried away by floodwaters. I decided to just leave the house.” She continued, “When I visited this morning, the whole roof was no longer there, and the house is full of mud.”

Following Typhoons Goni and Vamco, stories like Noela’s were common. International Medical Corps’ team in the Philippines acted quickly to support critical relief and recovery activities for those impacted.

Addressing the most urgent needs, we distributed 500 jerry cans and more than 300 household hygiene kits each containing a month’s worth of soap, cloth face masks, toothbrushes, towels and more for a family of four. To complement the distributed supplies, our team provided health and hygiene education.

The large-scale displacement and overwhelmed evacuation centers raised concerns for the rapid spread of COVID-19. Our team distributed COVID-19 kits with face masks and hand sanitizer to more than 900 families and shared messaging related to COVID-19 prevention. In anticipation of an increase in confirmed cases, International Medical Corps also provided two health facilities in the impacted area with infection prevention and control supplies such as disinfectant and other cleaning materials. These essential supplies help keep health workers and patients safe.

Across all of our response activities, International Medical Corps reached more than 9,600 men, women and children impacted by the typhoons. According to one local official, “We thank International Medical Corps, for coming to assist us in that moment when we need support for our constituents. The hygiene kits are actually needed by the people in their daily lives, so giving them that is definitely helpful and will help keep them healthy as well. International Medical Corps came and supported us without asking for anything, but just the permission to work in our community.”

International Medical Corps is grateful to GlobalGiving and its community of donors for raising awareness of our response efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Goni.

 
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