Sep 6, 2019

Final Report on Typhoon Mangkhut

Itogon District Hospital water tank repair.
Itogon District Hospital water tank repair.

Final Report on Typhoon Mangkhut

As International Medical Corps’ emergency response to Typhoon Mangkhut in September of 2018 has ended, this update will be the final one. Thanks to the support of the GlobalGiving community and other donors, International Medical Corps supported recovery for 87,170 people affected by Typhoon Mangkhut in the Benguet province with mobile and static healthcare, safe sustainable water, improved hygiene awareness, and continuous power supply for cold-chain management. International Medical Corps held trainings on various aspects of emergency response management for 777 community members and healthcare professionals from all over the Philippines, at the recommendation of UNICEF and the Philippine Red Cross.

To continue supporting International Medical Corps and our GlobalGiving projects, please visit our “Emergency Response to Hurricane Dorian.” As of September 3, 2019, Hurricane Dorian is moving very slowly with life-threatening storm surges, flooding and dangerous winds from the Bahamas, to Florida, and the Southeast Coast. Our teams are ready to assist the Bahamas, Florida, and other areas affected by Hurricane Dorian.

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/emergency-response-to-hurricane-dorian/

Sustainable Water and Good Hygiene

Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in the north Luzon Island of the Philippines as a Category-5 storm and caused widespread flooding, multiple landslides and affected more than three million people. The widespread flooding ruined housing, damaged road infrastructure, increased standing water and destroyed and impaired water sources that led to the use of contaminated water, slower response times, and increased vector- and water-borne diseases. With the help of the GlobalGiving community and other donors, International Medical Corps’ teams facilitated access and knowledge about water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for more than 85,000 beneficiaries.

International Medical Corps’ teams worked closely with the local government agencies and communities to identify the key challenges to accessing safe water in targeted areas. Pinpointing the main problems led International Medical Corps to repair four water supply systems by rehabilitating water pipes, protecting the water source, and supplying communal water tanks. The newly repaired water systems provide access to safe water for more than 80,000 community members, including two rural water systems, one health unit and one district hospital.

International Medical Corps’ hygiene promotion activities reached more than 4,000 typhoon-affected community members. Topics such as safe water storage, proper handwashing, household water disinfection, and oral hygiene, increased their knowledge about the importance of these topics for good health, as well as for both personal and household hygiene. International Medical Corps’ Global WASH Advisor Yasir explains, “improved WASH access plays a vital role in meeting the basic water needs during the emergency response – saving lives. Our teams deliver emergency yet sustainable WASH interventions by rehabilitating the water systems.”

During our programs in the communities, the Benguet Province Health Workers identified a lack of understanding on how to identify a safe water source. Consequently, International Medical Corps led training for 206 health workers from all municipalities of Benguet province on water quality monitoring and how to detect safe water sources. The testing of water sources allows the province and municipalities to take actions that protect access to safe drinking water and identify water sources that are not compliant with the standards set by the Philippines government. 

Finally, International Medical Corps facilitated a training on WASH in emergency response for health professionals in coordination with the Philippine Red Cross. Training community members in harmony with other organizations leaves an increased awareness about the importance of working together toward a common goal for the betterment of the community. Jojo, the Medical Coordinator for International Medical Corps’ Philippines mission, informs us that, “the partnership with the Philippine Red Cross helped the health and WASH professionals of the provinces become more confident and competent in responding to the WASH needs of their communities, especially when disasters happen.”

We thank the GlobalGiving community and other donors for their continued support as our teams work to promote clean water, sanitation and hygiene in the wake of natural disasters around the world.

WASH in emergency response training with Red Cross
WASH in emergency response training with Red Cross
Aug 13, 2019

Using Radio Programs to Address Mental Health

Team being hosted on Nueva Vida Radio.
Team being hosted on Nueva Vida Radio.

When Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 5 storm in September 2017, just weeks following Hurricane Irma, the devastation included the loss of homes, healthcare facilities and critical infrastructure.

Hurricane Maria also devastated the communication networks. Not only was it difficult to obtain insight about the effects of the hurricanes, but the lack of communication negatively affected the dissemination of recovery information. Our teams noticed that radio had become the best, and sometimes only, way to spread important information to community members.

To expand the reach of our mental health programming, particularly in hard-to-reach areas, International Medical Corps began hosting radio shows in April 2019 to enhance recovery efforts and prepare communities for the 2019 hurricane season. International Medical Corps strategically chose six radio stations that had the highest broadcast reach throughout the island, allowing us to reach a wide age range.

Our radio show hosts included our mental health staff and several guest experts. These guests possessed vast experience in the mental health field, completed psychological first aid training and participated in emergency response teams directly following the storms.

We recorded a series of 21 half-hour shows and three-minute commercials that gave information on stress reduction, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, emergency preparedness and available mental health support. Since April 2019, we reached some 2.8 million Puerto Ricans through our radio programming over a period of three months.

“I had many feelings while doing the radio shows,” said Pedro, one of International Medical Corps’ mental health and psychosocial support assistants. “I felt joy, anxiousness and like I was being helpful all at once. It felt really good to have this platform to be able to help my fellow Puerto Ricans with their mental health, especially after the impact Hurricane Maria had on the island.”

We are currently collaborating with the Department of Health and local health facilities to refer community members to the resources that were mentioned on the radio shows.

Thanks to donations, like those from GlobalGiving community, International Medical Corps is able to contribute to the continued and sustained recovery of survivors, even after the emergency is over.

Recording about mental health and preparedness.
Recording about mental health and preparedness.
Aug 2, 2019

Using Training to Stop the Cycle of Violence

Richard discussing prevention w/ community members
Richard discussing prevention w/ community members

In South Sudan – a nation torn apart by war, sexual violence, famine, and disease, International Medical Corps provides comprehensive medical care and nutrition services. Our patients include survivors of gender-based violence (GBV), who can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy.

But our services are not just about access to inclusive healthcare. We also work to prevent gender-based violence (GBV) by promoting awareness about GBV and gender equality.

What’s the best way to prevent sexual violence? Teaching men as well as women about the importance of gender equality and how to prevent gender-based violence will stop the cycle of violence in its tracks.

Our training sessions are filled with powerful community leaders, men as well as women, who are rising together to combat the causes of GBV and intergenerational trauma, remove the burden of prevention which tends to rest solely on women, and promote resilience.

Richard is a 50-year old community leader from Wau in western South Sudan. Utilizing his leadership position, Richard has been promoting gender equality ever since he took part in our community-based initiative titled “Engaging Men in Accountable Practices” (EMAP) last year.

Richard remembers how the training helped him understand such key concepts as gender, masculinity and GBV. “I started to understand how I can support women and girls as a man and as a community leader, as well as how to improve my mindset in this regard,” he told our team.

Richard now identifies GBV cases and refers them to International Medical Corps caseworkers, who as part of our comprehensive healthcare team ensure that survivors receive the assistance they need – whether referrals to medical or mental health services, nutrition services and/or maternal and child health services. Our teams are there, ready to provide support wherever, and whenever it is needed most.

So what does the future hold for Richard and his community? Richard wants to “create a country where women and girls are valued, equal and free from violence.” He has joined with International Medical Corps to break the cycle.

Thanks to the GlobalGiving community and other generous donors, International Medical Corps can continue to promote gender equality in South Sudan.

Men protesting for women's empowerment in S. Sudan
Men protesting for women's empowerment in S. Sudan
EMAP training with community leaders.
EMAP training with community leaders.
Richard helping his wife with her chores.
Richard helping his wife with her chores.
 
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