Mar 2, 2021

Typhoon Goni Recovery in the midst of COVID-19

Super Typhoon Goni caused severe flooding
Super Typhoon Goni caused severe flooding

On November 1, 2020, Super Typhoon Goni struck the Philippines with winds up to 175 mph—the strongest since Typhoon Haiyan in 2013—leaving 125 cities and towns without electricity and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. The super typhoon left significant damage in the Bicol region and Quezon Province in Calabarzon, with approximately 2 million people affected by the storm, and more than 20 deaths. The Bicol region bore the brunt of the typhoon’s violent winds and torrential rains, blowing away roofs, toppling structures and causing severe flooding and landslides. More than 400,000 people were initially displaced from their homes, with an initial 361,000 people residing in just 2,287 crowded evacuation centers—exponentially increasing the potential for the further spread of COVID-19.

International Medical Corps continues to provide infection prevention and control materials to prevent the spread of disease, and also to provide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support in community and health centers for people affected by this devastating super typhoon.

Since the start of the response, our teams have reached displaced populations in the hard-hit Bicol region. We have provided hygiene kits, including soap, toothpaste, cloth face masks, face shields, and more, to impacted families. Our teams have also reached two rural health facilities with WASH supplies, including aprons, goggles, soap, and detergent, to help keep their doors open as they face the impacts of the typhoon. These supplies also helped health facilities provide training to health workers on the proper use of disinfectants.

The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated response efforts. The risk of transmission remains high, especially in typically crowded evacuation centers. The Department of Health has reminded local governments to deploy safety officers to check sanitation and monitor COVID-19 symptoms among those displaced. The main COVID-19 laboratory in the Bicol region was also damaged, prompting the suspension of testing.

To address concerns over the spread of the virus, International Medical Corps is working with community volunteers to help keep families healthy despite the impacts of the typhoon, providing them with COVID-19 prevention supplies as they provide families with support. Together our community volunteers help identify those most in need, such as populations displaced from their homes due to the typhoon, as well as help ensure individuals wear masks, practice social distancing, and properly use soap or sanitizer.

As International Medical Corps’ typhoon recovery efforts continue in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we thank the GlobalGiving community of donors for their support.

Hygiene kit distribution for impacted communities
Hygiene kit distribution for impacted communities
Mar 2, 2021

Final Report on Response to Turkey Earthquake

Volunteer distributes stoves at temporary shelters
Volunteer distributes stoves at temporary shelters

As International Medical Corps’ emergency response to the October 2020 earthquake in Turkey draws to a close, this will be our final update.

To continue to support International Medical Corps and our GlobalGiving Projects, please visit our “Emergency Response to Explosion in Lebanon” project, where International Medical Corps is providing healthcare, mental health and psychosocial support services and more to Beirut’s vulnerable population following the devastating blast in August 2020.

Learn more about our Lebanon response here: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/emergency-response-to-explosion-in-lebanon/

On October 30, 2020, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake shook Izmir province in Turkey, where 117 people lost their lives and 1,032 people were injured. The quake left severe damage to infrastructure in different areas of the province. At least 17 buildings collapsed, and 58,138 houses were reported to be either damaged or destroyed. Survivors faced obstacles to accessing food, shelter, hygiene materials, clothing and lavatories in the days and weeks following the quake.

The earthquake struck as Turkey also struggles with an increasing number of COVID-19 cases – at more than 384,000 cases days after the earthquake, and more than 2.7 million cases as of March 2. With thousands initially displaced in tents or other temporary shelters, there were increasing concerns about the further spread of COVID-19 due to overcrowding and limited sanitation and hygiene measures.

Working with our local partner, International Medical Corps deployed volunteers, and we assisted in the set-up of tents and distribution of emergency relief items, including food baskets for the earthquake-impacted communities in Izmir. Based on the most urgent needs, International Medical Corps focused its water, sanitation and hygiene activities to provide relief and recovery supplies, such as hygiene kits, stoves and washing machines, to families who lost their homes and are now residing in temporary accommodations as a result of the quake. Our team reached nearly 1,000 families with these supplies helping them recover, maintain proper hygiene and reduce their exposure to COVID-19.

Additionally, our teams provided the Izmir Provincial Directorate of Health with facemasks and medical supplies needed to perform COVID-19 tests to further support earthquake survivors and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We thank the GlobalGiving community of donors for bringing awareness to International Medical Corps’ response efforts to the Turkey earthquake.

Volunteer preparing supplies for beneficiaries
Volunteer preparing supplies for beneficiaries
Jan 28, 2021

Final Report on Response to Hurricane Irma & Maria

The destruction left by Hurricanes Irma and Maria
The destruction left by Hurricanes Irma and Maria

As International Medical Corps’ emergency response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria draws to a close, this will be our final update.

To continue support International Medical Corps and our GlobalGiving Projects, please visit our “Emergency Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) project, where International Medical Corps is providing a global response to the pandemic, including reaching Puerto Rico.

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

After Hurricanes Irma and Maria, International Medical Corps deployed its emergency response teams to Puerto Rico to meet the urgent needs of survivors, including healthcare; access to clean water; mental health; and more – providing health consultations for 290,000 people in the first year alone. Since then, we have focused on providing mental health services to help families recover: in 2019, we provided 1,108 people with mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services; and some 2 million people heard radio messages to help them better understand and access mental healthcare.

Our teams found that even before Hurricane Maria, individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions had difficulties accessing care. After the devastating impacts of Irma and Maria, barriers to health and mental health care were exacerbated by unmet basic needs, poor access to medical services and lack of a safe place to live, among other socioeconomic issues. Key vulnerable groups, such as older persons, disabled populations and mental health patients, were found to be particularly negatively impacted. Moreover, there was a major gap in addressing suicide prevention needs.

To address these needs, International Medical Corps has reached mental health patients, community members and health personnel with strategies for positive coping and emotional regulation as well as suicide prevention awareness. Art-based therapy is one component of our activities. Across the island, International Medical Corps has been supporting patients receiving psychiatric care with art-based therapy and training for community leaders on the signs of suicide. Our team has increased the capacity of community leaders to provide direct services and strengthened island-wide resources to combat the increasing rates of suicide, so that more individuals have the resources to address this challenge now and in the future.

Our suicide prevention program has reached more than 68 patients with mental health support, trained more than 440 health personnel and community leaders on suicide prevention and mental health, and reached more than 65,000 individuals through media campaigns on suicide prevention and emotional regulation. When a friend or family is contemplating suicide, one program participant stated, “It is so relieving to know that I will now be able to actually do something in this kind of situation.”

We thank GlobalGiving and the GlobalGiving community of donors for supporting International Medical Corps’ relief and recovery efforts following the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Together, our impact has built greater resiliency to address the needs of future disaster survivors in Puerto Rico.

Our staff providing MHPSS services in Puerto Rico
Our staff providing MHPSS services in Puerto Rico
 
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