International Medical Corps

International Medical Corps is a global humanitarian nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through healthcare training, disaster relief, and long-term development programs.
Nov 24, 2015

Nepal Earthquake - Seven Months Later

Medical consultation (Omar Havana)
Medical consultation (Omar Havana)

Within the first two months, International Medical Corps’ mobile medical units provided 4,547 health consultations in 27 remote villages, some as far as a two-day walk from the nearest road. Teams also provided 22 metric tons of lifesaving relief supplies, including emergency medicines and medical supplies, benefitting 100,000 people. During the first six months, our programs provided urgently needed health care and supplies to more than 213,000 people.

Working closely with the Government of Nepal and local partners, we have now transitioned into the recovery phase of the earthquake response, providing long-term assistance throughout affected areas. We are rebuilding and rehabilitating 13 health posts, distributing medical supplies and medical equipment to each, and providing rehabilitation and disability services to those who were injured. Our teams are also strengthening the quality of sexual and reproductive health services for women and adolescent girls.

Crucial to our response are sustainable water, sanitation and environmental waste management solutions as we seek to reduce the risk of deadly disease. In addition, we are establishing seven centers to screen for malnutrition and provide treatment for children under five years suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Finally, we have trained 1,240 health workers and community leaders in mental health and psychosocial support services.  Uma’s* story illustrates the critical need to provide services for these invisible wounds.

Uma is a 60 year-old community health volunteer who lives with her husband, son, mother, and father-in-law. She has been working as a volunteer for 26 years and lives in Darbung village in Gorkha, and in recent years, she has suffered from chronic depression. The earthquake that wreaked havoc on April 25, 2015 caused a relapse of Uma’s depression.

Uma attended the two-day mental health and psychosocial support training in her village, where she had an opportunity to share her experience. Uma received individual counseling sessions focused on positive coping behaviors and stress management, and now receives regular follow-ups with a counselor. Today, Uma says that she feels more relaxed and confident. The experience of the earthquake affected her deeply and the psychosocial support helped Uma recognize that and recover. She, in her own words, is now a “happy and encouraged person” who is confident talking about herself and her experiences, and encouraging her peers to get support.

*Name has been changed

With the help of GlobalGiving and other generous donors, we are training and equipping the Nepali people to now be their own best First Responders. Thank you for your continued support.

Celebration of World Mental Health Day
Celebration of World Mental Health Day
Nov 12, 2015

Mobilizing Relief Teams and Supplies in Response to Afghanistan/Pakistan Earthquake

Health consultation in Afghanistan by Abdul Mateen
Health consultation in Afghanistan by Abdul Mateen

The 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck Badakhshan Province in Afghanistan on October 26 has killed more than 400 people and damaged or destroyed nearly 111,000 homes in northeastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. With winter weather conditions already setting in, it is critical to reach those in need as soon as possible.

International Medical Corps teams are mobilized and supporting a response that includes:

  • Eight mobile medical units deployed across Nuristan province, Afghanistan – one for each district in the hard-hit region. Nuristan’s 160 health posts are staffed by community health workers that had been previously trained by International Medical Corps.  Together, these mobile medical units and staffed health posts have provided health care to at least 3,989 people in the aftermath of the quake; with communications down, some health posts have been unable to report in.
  • 7,966 people have benefitted from the distribution of 1,138 relief kits in Afghanistan -- these kits include blankets, plastic sheeting, water containers, hygiene supplies and more.
  • Our teams are now working closely with the leadership of Badakhshan province, Afghanistan, where damage is reportedly the most extensive, to determine how we can best report response efforts. 
  • In Pakistan, International Medical Corps mobile medical units are providing care in the remote Shangla District – at times walking up to four hours in mountainous regions to reach villages.  Since the quake, teams have provided 1,207 health consultations and psychosocial consultations for 360 people.  104 families in Pakistan have received hygiene kits and blankets.

In addition to providing health care services and supplies, we have mobilized some of our 19,000 volunteers in Afghanistan who had previously been trained by International Medical Corps in emergency response.  We continue to receive reports of how these teams have responded in their own communities – in one village, the community response team immediately went to work digging families out of rubble; in another, a community response team cleared a stream that had been blocked by debris, reducing the chance of subsequent flooding that would due further damage to their homes.

Thanks to the support of GlobalGiving and other generous donors, International Medical Corps is able to provide lifesaving services in some of the most hard-to-reach areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Earthquake damage in Afghanistan
Earthquake damage in Afghanistan
Health consultation in Pakistan
Health consultation in Pakistan
Mobilizing relief supplies in Pakistan
Mobilizing relief supplies in Pakistan
Nov 10, 2015

Celebrating Adama's Ebola-Free Status

Adama and her nephew, Alhaji
Adama and her nephew, Alhaji

In late July, a young man returned to his home village of Massesebe in northern Sierra Leone to celebrate the Eid festival with his family. Within days the man was dead from Ebola. His death brought to an end a period of 150 days during which Tonkolili district had been Ebola free. As so often throughout this crisis, it was his closest family who had cared for him through his illness that were now at the greatest risk.

On July 31, the International Medical Corps Ebola Treatment Center near Makeni, received two new patients, Alhaji, the 36-year-old cousin of the man from Massesebe and 24 hours later, Adama, 35 the dead man’s mother. Both patients responded well to treatment and soon Alhaji received his second negative Ebola test result which meant he could go home. His aunt still tested positive and so had to join in the celebrations of her nephew's release watching across the fence from the Red Zone.

This story was in many ways unremarkable. It has been repeated hundreds of times at the ETU in Makeni and across Sierra Leone. Yet Adama’s story was momentous at that time. With her discharge on August 24, Sierra Leone reached the milestone of having zero confirmed Ebola cases at that time anywhere in the country for the first time since the crisis began in May 2014.

"This is not the end of the fight against Ebola. We have seen many setbacks before, and nobody should be complacent about the challenge that lies ahead for the people of Sierra Leone. But today is without doubt a day for celebration and reflection on the thousands of lives lost during this devastating crisis," said Sean Casey, International Medical Corps Regional Director for West Africa Ebola Response, "Across West Africa, in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, International Medical Corps is working with communities and governments to ensure that we can, in the near future, genuinely declare this Ebola outbreak over and help people to rebuild. Just as important are our efforts to build the resilience of communities against future outbreaks so the whole region, including in Mali and Guinea-Bissau are better prepared for outbreaks in the future."

Adama celebrates her nephew
Adama celebrates her nephew's release
Ebola worker celebrates Adama
Ebola worker celebrates Adama's release
Adama as she leaves the treatment center
Adama as she leaves the treatment center
Adama with the President of Sierra Leone
Adama with the President of Sierra Leone
 

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