Natural disasters like Hurricane Maria and the recent earthquake in Puerto Rico place women and children in the eye of a different kind of storm increasing their vulnerability to dangers ranging from complications during pregnancy and delivery to the need of oxygen for newborns. COHI is on the ground in Puerto Rico working directly with our partners CentroMAM and local midwives, nurses, and physicians to provide medicines, care, and supplies.
The earthquake that hit Puerto Rico in January of this year has set the island many steps back in terms of the Hurricane Maria recovery process. Displacement, loss of shelter, resource inaccessibility - these are only a few of the immense and often seemingly insurmountable challenges that refugees of climate change experience. That's why, back in 2017, Hurricane Maria was so devastating to the island of Puerto Rico and this year's earthquake has only worsened the situation.
COHI has responded to natural disasters affecting Puerto Rico by working directly with local midwives, nurses, and physicians through partners CentroMAM to provide medicines and care in Puerto Rico. Even after the initial urgency has passed, the dangers continue for vulnerable mothers and babies. Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico towards the end of an unprecedented hurricane season resulting in donor fatigue, leaving too many families without the support they need in a weakened infrastructure.
COHI is committed to providing direct clinical support through partner clinicians. The funds we raise pay for medically related services and medicines. They also help offset transport and relocation costs for local expectant mothers and families with newborns, and repair costs to local birth and maternity centers as the recovery continues. COHI has already provided clinical volunteers to our partner birth clinics allowing us to serve over 5,000 women and children.