Our team providing care in High Rock, Grand Bahama
This will be our final update as International Medical Corps’ emergency response to Hurricane Dorian draws to a close.
To continue supporting International Medical Corps, please visit our “Emergency Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)” project to learn about our global response to the pandemic.
Learn more about our Coronavirus response here: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/emergency-response-to-the-coronavirus-2019-ncov/
On Sunday, September 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorian made landfall as a Category 5 storm – the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Bahamas with winds of 185 mph, gusts up to 220 mph and storm surges as high as 23 feet. “No one thought it would be this bad,” says Tina, a Grand Bahama resident. She continued, “The weather reporter said a hurricane was coming, but this wasn’t a hurricane. This was a hurricane, tornado and storm surge all at once.” Hurricane Dorian then moved slowly towards the southeastern United States, battering the coast of North Carolina as a Category 1 storm, leaving flooding and devastation across the Outer Banks. The island of Ocracoke was submerged under seven feet of water.
International Medical Corps responded immediately. In the Bahamas, within 72 hours of Hurricane Dorian, International Medical Corps deployed and set up a temporary emergency medical health facility in High Rock – one of the most devasted areas across the island of Grand Bahama. A Grand Bahama Health Services administrator reported that it was a great relief in the days following Dorian knowing that, “International Medical Corps was handling the needs in the eastern part of the island.”
Over the last 14 months, International Medical Corps:
- provided more than 2,200 health consultations;
- surged response capacity at Grand Bahama’s Rand Memorial Hospital – the only hospital-level facility on the island;
- delivered 15,200 lbs. of medications and equipment;
- provided access to clean water for 75 people a day;
- provided some 1,000 people with mental health and psychosocial support services; and,
- raised awareness of 11,281 people on self-care; and more.
As the people of the Bahamas continued to face challenges because of the damage sustained by several health facilities on Grand Bahama, International Medical Corps provided two state-of-the-art deployable facilities to the Grand Bahama Health Services to support continued needs; a “Hospitainer” and “BB Pod.”
The Hospitainer is a 20-foot mobile medical clinic with its own power and water filtration systems that can travel directly to the communities most impacted by the crippled health system in eastern Grand Bahama.
The BB Pod is a re-purposed shipping container that is weatherproof and designed to withstand hurricane-strength winds when properly anchored. The BB Pod accommodates one patient at a time and is located across from the damaged High Rock clinic. It will remain there indefinitely, as the clinic will take years to rebuild.
In North Carolina, our team provided assistance to Ocracoke Health Center, the only health center on Ocracoke Island, which sustained substantial damage as a result of Hurricane Dorian. International Medical Corps helped enable flooring, electrical, drywall, storage fixture, lighting, office equipment and other building repairs to ensure residents could get quality medical, dental and mental health care.
When the local healthcare workers reported an increase in adolescents and their caregivers seeking mental health services after Hurricane Dorian at both the Ocracoke Health Center and its sister site, Engelhard Health Facility, International Medical Corps provided additional support enabling the health centers to procure two telepsychiatry units; this is critical today as COVID-19 limits in-person care. Across these efforts, our teams supported some 6,900 people in North Carolina.
International Medical Corps’ approach, “was remarkable. They always asked, ‘how can we assist,’ ‘what do you need,’ ‘we will do our best to assist,’ and that they did,” says Stacie of the Grand Bahama Health Services. Across our Hurricane Dorian response, in both the Bahamas and North Carolina, our teams supported local health facilities so they could build back stronger.
With the generosity of the GlobalGiving community and other donors, International Medical Corps reached nearly 32,000 men, women and children impacted by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and North Carolina. Thank you.
The Hospitainer can travel to communities in need