Sep 11, 2019

Final Report on the Indonesia Earthquakes and Tsunamis

Handover ceremony with KUN and Yogi (second left).
Handover ceremony with KUN and Yogi (second left).

As International Medical Corps’ emergency response to the Central Sulawesi and Sunda Strait earthquakes and tsunamis have come to a close, this will be the final report. Thanks to the support of the GlobalGiving community and other generous donors, our team has ensured access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene; shelter; and mental health and psychosocial support for more than 8,600 men, women and children in Central Sulawesi.

To continue supporting International Medical Corps and our GlobalGiving projects, please visit our “Emergency Response to Hurricane Dorian.” Hurricane Dorian did not head straight to Florida as was originally expected, but — as a Category 5 storm packing sustained winds of 185mph and gusts of 220 mph — stalled over the northwest Bahamas, causing widespread devastation and loss of life. In response, International Medical Corps has sent an emergency response team to Nassau to support the Government of the Bahamas and local partners to assess how best to serve those affected by the hurricane.

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

The Importance of Partners

Emergency responses, such as the earthquakes and tsunamis in Indonesia, are complex processes that involve many parties. “In Indonesia, a country hit regularly by natural disasters, there is a well-defined system for how government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) respond to emergencies, work together through recovery, and support long-term development efforts,” says Chandra, Program Officer for International Medical Corps.

Yogi, the Country Representative for International Medical Corps Indonesia, explains that “timing and accuracy are key to an ethical and effective response.” Our on-the-ground teams aim to be the first there, no matter where the disaster. However, “no institution has the ability to map every need of a community after a disaster,” says Yogi. He continues, “working with partners, therefore, becomes the best medium for exchanging information so that all parties can obtain complete information and can plan their operations appropriately, without overlapping or gaps in the field.”

Right after the earthquakes and tsunamis, “our teams collected initial information about local organizations participating in the response for Central Sulawesi,” and found three local NGOs whose missions and goals aligned with ours. The organizations were all local humanitarian organizations that had previously worked within disaster response: Yayasan Kemanusiaan Muslim Indonesia (YKMI), KUN Humanity System (KUN), and Indonesia Bhadra Utama Foundation (IBU).

Two of the organizations, YKMI and KUN, were known for working in agriculture, environment, water, sanitation, hygiene, and livelihoods, and they worked with our teams to train community members on hygiene and construct 137 shelters. The third local partner, IBU, worked with us in three villages to provide psychosocial support services to more than 1,200 children and 575 caregivers who survived the disaster.

“Our partners are key to the sustainability of initiatives and, long after the projects end, our local partners retain the skills and ability for an effective, high quality response to the next disaster,” says Chandra. Working with partners makes our teams more effective. She continues with, “our local partners bring linguistic, cultural, contextual knowledge enabling rapid and scalable emergency response. The technical acumen and skill building we bring supports high-quality response efforts, as well as long-term development goals.”

Yogi told us that working with our partners reminded him of himself: “I started my career a dozen years ago as a young, energetic man full of passion, idealism, enthusiasm, and thirsting for knowledge, but I still needed to get further guidance and experience.” Yogi believes that by partnering with local organizations, our experts are both gaining knowledge from local communities, and leaving knowledge and skills behind so that they can become their own first responders.

We thank the GlobalGiving community for helping make it possible for our teams to help train communities to become their own first responders, both in Indonesia and worldwide.

Yogi (second left) & KUN celebrate the completion.
Yogi (second left) & KUN celebrate the completion.
Traditional celebrations for reaching our goals.
Traditional celebrations for reaching our goals.
Sep 9, 2019

Hurricane Dorian Update

Hurricane Dorian first affected Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, and appeared to be heading directly toward Florida. International Medical Corps worked with our team on Puerto Rico to prepare, we also assembled a team to deploy to Florida, at the request of the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), to support the state’s emergency operations. One team traveled to the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, to coordinate efforts with government officials and local partners as they prepared for the storm’s impact. We also deployed medical teams to help the FDOH provide emergency health services to vulnerable populations, including at a special-needs center in Palm Coast, where about 100 people took shelter from the storm, which brought high winds, flooding and even tornadoes to the area.

Hurricane Dorian did not head straight to Florida, but—as a Category 5 storm packing sustained winds of 185mph and gusts of 220 mph—stalled over the northwest Bahamas, causing widespread devastation and loss of life. In response, International Medical Corps sent an emergency response team to Nassau to work to help the Government of the Bahamas and local partners to assess the situation and figure out how to best serve those affected by the hurricane.

At the request of the Bahamian Ministry of Health (MoH), International Medical Corps is deploying a Mobile Emergency Medical Team (EMT) for outpatient care in Grand Bahamas. Our doctors, nurses, mental health, and water, sanitation and hygiene staff will work with the people and government of Bahamas to provide medical services and medicines through mobile medical teams; rehabilitate water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure; conduct hygiene promotion to prevent the spread of disease; and assess and address psychosocial support needs, to help individuals who have lost loved ones and livelihoods.

During a recent interview with Judy Woodruff on PBS Newshour, our Team Lead, Susan Mangicaro, noted that, “The islands have been dramatically impacted. Most healthcare systems are non-functioning, with minimal support.” She adds, “We deal with disasters all the time, so we have the flexibility to be totally independent, running a clinic that’s self-standing, or have mobile teams that go out and treat patients where they happen to be.”

We thank you and the GlobalGiving community for your support, which will help us address the unparalleled level of damage in the Bahamas, and the plight of its people. 

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
 
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