Mar 20, 2019

Building Back Better with Bamboo

Training Community Members on Bamboo Construction
Training Community Members on Bamboo Construction

Dani lives in Namo village and works as a farmer. Prior to the earthquake and tsunami on September 28, 2018, Dani says that his house “was made of permanent concrete. Yet at the time of the earthquake, the house collapsed to the ground.” Thankfully, Dani’s family experienced no casualties, but they were living in tents located in a field when they met with International Medical Corps’ on-the-ground partners.

The latest information from government authorities in Central Sulawesi indicates that more than 100,000 homes were either damaged or destroyed. In response to the request from the government to prioritize building more durable, temporary shelters, we made it our goal to build at least 137 shelters that could withstand at least two cyclone seasons. The design of these shelters reduces the risk of people losing their homes due to adverse weather and earthquakes by using bamboo. Additionally, our teams chose bamboo because the regular building materials were out of stock due to the massive rebuilding efforts and the flexibility of the bamboo in regards to its ability to absorb high winds.

Not only is bamboo available locally, but Nursan, also from Namo Village, explains that “bamboo is (traditionally) only used for chicken coops, goat pens, clothes lines and fences.” After attending the training, he told our partners that he came to understand the many properties of bamboo that make it an economically desirable and environmentally friendly, sustainable building material. The villagers hope that by learning this knowledge, there will be less illegal forestry as more people began to understand the environmental importance of bamboo.

International Medical Corps’ teams have been training both community leaders and heads of households how not only to build with bamboo, but also to maintain it. Dani tells us that our teams showed him that the “process of preserving the bamboo makes it last longer,” but he did not stop there. He added that, our team taught him “how to make bamboo housing so that it can provide economic benefits into the future.” Now, Dani can use his new knowledge to make a living and support his family for many years to come.

Thank you for helping International Medical Corps prioritize building shelters that are based on local needs, local materials, are safer and are more sustainable, while still in line with the local culture. Donations, like those from GlobalGiving, help us to ensure that we continue to have the ability to help people affected by disasters build back better— just like Dani and Nursan in Namo Village.

Thank you for your generous support of disaster relief, recovery and resiliency in Indonesia.

Construction by our Teams of Bamboo Shelters
Construction by our Teams of Bamboo Shelters
Dani Learning Bamboo Construction
Dani Learning Bamboo Construction
Mar 15, 2019

Preparing for the 2019 Hurricane Season

Trevor and a volunteer engaging with stakeholders
Trevor and a volunteer engaging with stakeholders

Trevor, our Domestic Emergency Specialist here at International Medical Corps, says that, “We’ve been able to provide critical gap coverage in medical services to those displaced by Hurricane Florence or isolated from their normal access to medical care when they needed it most.” Our work, which began on September 14, when Hurricane Florence made landfall as a Category 1 storm over North Carolina, was critical to the affected populations given the extensive flooding and disruptions to normal activities which resulted from the four days of heavy rainfall.

We deployed our teams ahead of the storm so that we could be on the ground to help coordinate our response along with volunteer teams and local partners. Our activities reached seven communities with 160 patient consultations and the distribution of 6,298 hygiene and wound-care kits.

Those community health centers, long-term care facilities and local health departments impacted by Hurricane Florence still need support to build back better. Our teams are not only providing cash grants to assist these health centers, but also trainings through county health departments and regional healthcare coalitions to build resilience ahead of the 2019 hurricane season.

We believe “in the power of training, both the transfer of knowledge and the experience of mentored practice, as the cornerstone of sustainable humanitarian aid,” explains Trevor. Two of these trainings, on infectious disease prevention and control, will enroll nearly 100 health professionals from the regions most heavily impacted by Hurricane Florence.

International Medical Corps remains committed to supporting the long path to resiliency for healthcare facilities impacted by Hurricane Florence. We thank you and all the GlobalGiving donors for your support of our work helping health centers in North Caroline prepare for the next hurricane season.

Map of International Medical Corps Locations
Map of International Medical Corps Locations
Distributing hygiene and wound-care kits
Distributing hygiene and wound-care kits
Patient consultations for medical care
Patient consultations for medical care
Mar 13, 2019

Building Back Better: Training

Participants in the BLS Training demonstrating CPR
Participants in the BLS Training demonstrating CPR

When Typhoon Mangkhut affected more than three million people and damaged over two hundred thousand homes in the Philippines, our teams deployed immediately to assess the most urgent needs following the devastation; today we are in the typhoon-affected province of Benguet, working to repair water systems, help ensure health facilities maintain access to electricity, and provide training to build back better.

Regarding the importance of our training, Dr. Jojo Cangao, Philippines’ Response Lead for International Medical Corps states, “… while the typhoon brought the best out of the residents of the province, the residents and health workers themselves feel the need to improve their skills and readiness. For instance, one doctor explained, ‘We need specific trainings so that we can better support our people better in times of calamities.’ These words are like a marching order for us, and so we are helping provide the needed trainings, equipping local responders with the skills to feel ready to respond to disasters and emergencies.”

With Dr. Jojo and our teams on the ground, including organization, Baguio 9-11, International Medical Corps aims to build capacity and improve sustainability by increasing the knowledge of the local responders through a series of trainings that focus on the topics such as first aid, CPR, mental health, emergency coordination of resources and related advanced skills. With the Department of Health, International Medical Corps has three objectives for these trainings in the Philippines:

 

  1. Train more responders in the community
  2. Include private health facilities in the trainings
  3. Participate in the activities that strengthens the connection between private organizations and the local government

Most recently, our teams provided a Basic Life Support (BLS) Training of Trainers, reaching nearly 50 individuals who can now go on to instruct others in BLS techniques, such as CPR. In the Philippines, where emergency medical services can be very far away, BLS training can be an incredibly powerful tool for saving lives in disaster response and recovery. During our practicum session, participants demonstrated their new knowledge by teaching CPR techniques to local primary students.

The Regional Director for the Department of Health, Cordillera Administrative Region – where Benguet province is located – opened the training by stating that, “this Basic Life Support Training of Trainers training is the first to be conducted in a series planned… Among the trainings to be conducted next will be Mental Health and Psychosocial Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support, which are now a requirement for licensing of ambulance services.” The Regional Director believes that “saving lives, minimizes the damages and exercises the social unity that is expected to be achieved with government and private partnership, such as this partnership with International Medical Corps and Baguio 9-11.”

International Medical Corps’ organizational values and guiding principles have remained consistent: to provide relief, rebuild communities and enable self-reliance. With donations like those from GlobalGiving, you are helping our on the ground team members, like Dr. Jojo, build capacity beyond the initial recovery and into disaster response for many years to come. Any amount of assistance helps International Medical Corps support communities, like those affected by Typhoon Mangkhut, transition from disaster relief and recovery to self-reliance.

Training with the Department of Health
Training with the Department of Health
 
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