May 23, 2011

Improving Emergency Response in Haiti

International Medical Corps' Staff, Haiti 2011
International Medical Corps' Staff, Haiti 2011

Dear supporter,

As you know, while it’s impossible to prevent natural disasters, careful planning and preparation can greatly reduce their impact.  It’s the same reason that we practice fire drills in school: when there is an emergency, we know we’re ready. 

With hurricane season approaching, we’ve been partnering with the government, local doctors and nurses, and communities to ensure that they too will be ready.

Here are just a few ways in which we’re improving emergency response:

  • At the University Hospital in Port-au-Prince, we’re training 100 nurses and 50 doctors on Emergency Medicine.  The month-long course will prepare them to work in a hospital emergency department. 
  • Additionally, International Medical Corps has held disaster drills at the three district hospitals of Jacmel, Mirogoane, and Petit Goave.
  • Using a “train-the-trainer” curriculum, we’ve taught hundreds of first-responders on disaster response. These individuals have provided this training to others, helping to educate schools, churches, and communities on emergency response.
  • Cholera prevention is a crucial aspect of disaster preparedness in Haiti.  Our 7 cholera treatment centers have treated thousands of patients since the initial outbreak in 2010.  In addition, our trained community health volunteers are promoting key health education messages, including cholera prevention, within their own communities. 
  • In addition, we’ve carried out an Essential Trauma Care course in Jacmel to provide training for physicians and nurses. 

Our commitment to Haiti is long-term; we plan to help build a sustainable health system that can withstand myriad emergencies.  Your generosity has made our work possible – thank you.

All the best,

International Medical Corps

May 2, 2011

One Million Medical Consultations to Flood Victims

Hyderabad, Pakistan
Hyderabad, Pakistan

In the aftermath of a major disaster, figures often paint a bleak picture of widespread devastation and lives lost. Occasionally, numbers can also show a community on the road to recovery. Since responding to the widespread flooding, our 100 Pakistani medical teams have provided more than 1 million medical consultations to flood victims, ranging from check-ups to lifesaving emergency surgeries.

In addition we have expanded our programs in the hardest hit areas to prioritize long-term recovery. Over the past 8 months we have:

  • Provided 35,000 psychosocial support sessions to adults and children under 12.
  • Conducted more than 1 million health and hygiene education classes.
  • Begun economic recovery training programs to give women the ability to achieve financial independence.

Our commitment is clear: International Medical Corps has been working in Pakistan since 1984 and our long history there has fostered a team of local doctors and experts ready to answer their community's needs. Our response to this tragedy was executed and led by our Pakistani staff and local medical professionals.

Links:

Apr 12, 2011

Important Update from the Field

Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo
Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

Right now, there is a serious medical crisis happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo.   One of the worst maternal mortality rates in Africa, 1,100 out of 100,000 mothers will die due to pregnancy related causes.[i]  Compare this figure with the United States, where 11 mothers will die for the same number of pregnancies. 

In DRC, International Medical Corps’ goal is to provide comprehensive health care to mothers and their children that would otherwise be completely unavailable.  This includes making sure that mothers can see a doctor or skilled health professional during and after their pregnancy.  Since January, our staff in DRC arranged 2,270 checkups with expectant mothers, with an additional 920 visits post-pregnancy.   

In North and South Kivu, we also continue to support 62 health centers and 6 hospitals, providing medical supplies, personnel training, and referral and transfer of patients in need of special care.

One of the most horrific and widely reported aspects of the civil war in DRC is the use of Gender Based Violence (GBV) as a weapon of war.  In addition to caring for survivors, International Medical Corps believes a holistic approach, one which engages the entire community, is the best way to prevent this type of violence.  That’s why we prioritize education, training, and advocacy in the fight to end GBV. 

This December, International Medical Corps recognized 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence with activities to raise awareness in the Democratic Republic of Congo.   In addition to walking in a march organized by La Commission Territoriale de Lutte Contre les Violences Sexuelles in Uvira, our staff conducted trainings and education sessions on GBV awareness and prevention. 

Our staff trained 79 members of eight community-based organizations in Baraka, Nundu, and Ruzizi on supporting survivors of GBV. Topics ranged from processing referrals to providing emotional support for survivors.   In Chambucha, we organized activities that encouraged girls and boys to work together equally, such as mobile cinema in schools and a football tournament. 

“Positive engagement of youth is an important strategy for GBV prevention and response,” says Micah Williams, Gender-Based Violence Specialist for International Medical Corps. “Many young people have been affected, both directly and indirectly, by violence in DRC, and special efforts must be taken to provide appropriate support for affected children and youth. Young people are also still developing ideas of gender and patterns of behavior that are more engrained in adults. Early exposure to concepts of gender equality, human rights, and nonviolence will allow youth to form positive ideas and behaviors that will shape the future of DRC.”

Our work in DRC is possible because of your generosity.  Thank you so much for supporting International Medical Corps!

 



[i] WHO 2010 Country Statistic

 
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