International Medical Corps

International Medical Corps is a global humanitarian nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through healthcare training, disaster relief, and long-term development programs.
May 8, 2015

Grace: Nurse, Midwife, First Responder

Grace
Grace

In honor of International Day of the Midwife on May 5th, International Medical Corps recognized one of our inspirational midwives in the field, Grace. Grace received the Founder's Award at International Medical Corps' Annual Awards Gala for her unwavering commitment to building a cadre of skilled First Responders to serve their own communities in rural South Sudan.

Grace has worked tirelessly to train midwives in a country with one of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates. Here is Grace's moving acceptance speech from that night.

“I feel very honored to be here with you at this fantastic function. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to International Medical Corps for allowing me to do my important work. And to be here in the United States today.

“I am a daughter of the newly born nation of South Sudan which has experienced more than five decades of civil war. I was born during the war. I grew up in the war. And I am still experiencing the war. They say in my country, if you go one night without hearing a gun shot that is considered a peaceful night’s rest.

“When I was a child of 6 years old in a refugee camp, a group of nurses came to provide health care to the people. What motivated me to choose this career was the nature of their lifesaving work. And honestly as a young girl, I just absolutely loved their uniforms.

“My father was killed during the war. Our home burnt into ash. I was forced to look for a job at the age of 11 to earn my school fees. But I worked hard. And went on to receive my degree in nursing. Since then, International Medical Corps saw the potential in me. I was able to continue my training. As well as to train other midwives. Since 2008, Kajo Keji midwifery school has graduated more than 105 midwives and nurses.

“As a midwife, the smile of a mother hearing her baby cry for the first time moves me more than words can express.

“Dealing with life is not an easy thing in South Sudan. But as a health worker, as a mother, as a teacher, I can see that we are making progress.

“I thank International Medical Corps for recognizing my work, and everyone in this room and around the world who supports us in our mission. Thank you very much. God bless you.”

International Medical Corps supported Grace’s advanced midwifery and leadership training, paving the way for her to educate other midwives in South Sudan. In a country where up to 90% of women give birth far from formal medical facilities and without the help of professionally trained assistants, midwives can be the difference between life and death for mothers and newborns. With just 307 registered midwives available for a population of 2.4 million women of reproductive age in South Sudan, schools like the one Grace works at are having a remarkable impact.

Today, Grace helps oversee the school’s strategic plan to provide quality learning opportunities for nurse midwives, and is being mentored to take on the role of school principal in the coming year. Thanks to her leadership and hard work, 48 midwives and 20 nurses to date have graduated from the school and are providing care for expectant mothers and their newborns every day. Grace and her fellow International Medical Corps health workers are directly helping South Sudan reduce child mortality and improve maternal health.

May 5, 2015

Update on Nepal Earthquake Response and Link to NBC Nightly News Feature

Dhading Mobile Medical Unit
Dhading Mobile Medical Unit

International Medical Corps’ response to the April 25 earthquake in Nepal that has claimed the lives of more than 7,200 people and injured some 14,000 men, women and children continues.  Significant aftershocks are still being felt – including a 5.0 magnitude quake on May 2 – preventing people from returning to their homes and making response to remote areas extraordinarily difficult.  Shelter, food, and access to health care and clean water remain paramount concerns for the government and First Responders, and fears of the spread of communicable and water-borne disease are still high.

International Medical Corps response was featured on Sunday’s NBC Nightly News – it can be viewed at the following link: 

https://youtu.be/0_dl9HpV9xU

In addition, to date, International Medical Corps has:

  • Mobilized an Emergency Response Team with more than 50 volunteers and staff, with more coming quickly on board, including local Nepalese doctors and nurses.
  • Deployed mobile medical teams and provided 360 emergency health care consultations in remote communities at the epicenter of the quake in Gorkha, Dhading, Bhaktapur, and Khulla Manch – including, on Monday, May 4, a mobile medical unit via helicopter to the remote and completely devastated village of Laprak in the Gorkha District.  As a result of the visit, two survivors were carried out of their village to the helicopter and medevac’d out of the village for injuries sustained during the quake
  • Began constructing latrines in camps in Kathmandu, providing services and helping stop the spread of disease to some 10,000 displaced men, women and children.  To best meet the needs of communities in Kathmandu and in rural villages like Laprak – which has no latrines for 5,000 people – International Medical Corps is hiring 21 additional WASH staff members to work with the Ministry to build latrines across the country.
  • Opened supply lines and secured 6 WHO-approved “Interagency Emergency Health Kits” which can collectively provide medicine and medical supplies for 60,000 patients for three months, bolstering the capacity of the healthcare system to provide care; additional supplies are en route.
  • Trained frontline health workers in psychological first aid, to help comprehensively meet the needs of patients affected by this quake and identified a local partner organization – International Medical Corps will provide psychological first aid training, and newly trained frontline health workers will deliver training in some 13 districts across Gorkha.
  • Moving forward, International Medical Corps is preparing for large scale supply distribution programs, and nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene interventions that can help keep families healthy in the aftermath of a disaster, and will be partnering with the Ministry of Health to support recovery efforts.

It is with the generous support of GlobalGiving and other donors that we have been able to act quickly to meet the most pressing needs. Your continued support will further enable us to make a lasting impact at a time when it is so urgently needed.

Dhading Mobile Medical Unit
Dhading Mobile Medical Unit
Dhading Mobile Medical Unit
Dhading Mobile Medical Unit
Dhading Mobile Medical Unit
Dhading Mobile Medical Unit
Apr 30, 2015

Update on Nepal Earthquake Response

As International Medical Corps' response in Nepal continues it is clear that hospitals are overwhelmed. Areas outside of Kathmandu are still cut off and experiencing landslides in places, and the remaining roads are jammed as people are trying to flee to India.  The lack of access to clean water remains a paramount concern.

International Medical Corps' Emergency Response Team, including international and local doctors, nurses, logisticians and specialists, are operating Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) in Gorhka and Dhading, hard to reach areas near the epicenter of the quake.  We are working with the Ministry of Health to expand MMUs to additional communities, and to bring urgently needed services to displaced families living in camps in Kathmandu. 

Moving forward, International Medical Corps is working to expand the number and reach of its mobile medical units; distribute urgently needed supplies, especially hygiene kits, tents and blankets; provide psychological first aid to survivors; and work with the government to help reactivate health facilities and build back stronger. It is with the generous support of GlobalGiving and other donors that we are able to continue these activities and we are hugely appreciative of our donors continued support.

 
   

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