Puerto Rico: Hurricane Maria Relief

15 Outreaches Conducted: April 2018

August 01, 2018
Marisol Espinosa


Summary of Activities

Our Partnerships

Serving Patients and Supporting Communities

After our initial needs assessment in October 2017, RMF Founder and CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs visited Puerto Rico in early December 2017, strengthening ties with local authorities, medical professionals, and organizations. RMF then began working closely with Dr. Luis Gonzalez Bermudez, who oversees 5 medical facilities in the Vega Alta municipality.

Thanks to support from LDS Charities and individual donors, we began supporting the operations of these 5 health clinics and hospitals, and Dr. Martina Fuchs returned in February 2018 to guide our Puerto Rico team as per next steps of the program.

Through RMF, the clinics are also receiving essential medical supplies, dietary supplements, safety equipment, and personal hygiene products from Direct Relief International (DRI). These supplies are used to serve patients in the clinics, support community outreaches, and contribute to the safety of local maintenance and construction workers.

Our Outreaches

Dorado, Naranjito, and Vega Alta

These supplies and hygiene products were distributed through the outreaches at Naranjito, Dorado, and Vega Alta, coordinating with different clinics, nursing homes, communities, and government agencies.

RMF Puerto Rico has been continually providing health outreaches throughout rural and urban areas most impacted by Hurricane Maria, focusing our efforts on inland towns where health services and support are most needed. Thanks to the in-kind donations from Direct Relief International (DRI), as well as the support of LDS Charities and individual donors, we have been able to conduct 15 outreaches during the month of April 2018.

During this month, RMF Puerto Rico held outreaches in the urban area of Dorado, as well as the rural areas of Naranjito and Vega Alta. We visited communities, clinics, doctor’s offices, and nursing homes. Thanks to the donations from Direct Relief International, we will be able to continue offering these essential health and hygiene supplies to the community.


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Results &

Accomplishments


  • April 4, 2018

    Dr. Jorge Holguin’s Medical Office

    We held an outreach at Dr. Jorge Holguin’s medical office, located in the town of Naranjito in the central region of Puerto Rico. During Hurricane Maria, many homes, businesses, roads, bridges, and government buildings in the area suffered major damage from the strong winds and heavy rain. Many patients are assisted at Dr. Holguin’s medical office on a daily basis, and we were glad to boost the clinic’s services through this outreach.

    April 8, 2018

    Casa Angel de Luz

    We visited Casa Angel de Luz, which is a nursing home for the elderly. Casa Angel de Luz is located in the Higuillar neighborhood of Dorado and provides elderly residents with care and accommodation in a family setting, maintaining an atmosphere of peace and harmony.


  • April 8-14, 2018

    Angelorum Medical Aesthetics Pain Clinic

    During the first two weeks of April, we held several outreaches at the Angelorum Medical Aesthetics Pain Clinic in Dorado. The clinic works to improve patients’ quality of life by addressing physical, mental, and spiritual needs, uniting traditional and alternative medicine to uphold fair treatment and humane values.

    April 11, 2018

    Department of Family Affairs of Puerto Rico

    We visited the Department of Family Affairs, which is responsible for all matters related to the family and social work in Puerto Rico. Multivitamins and hygiene products were provided for 12 families.


  • April 12, 2018

    Arenales I Community

    We visited the Arenales I Community of Dorado, which is located in northern Puerto Rico. Residents live with few economic resources and still do not have electricity or drinking water seven months after Hurricane Maria. We were able to provide over-the-counter (OTC) vitamins and hygiene products to 24 families in this community.

    San Carlos Community

    Later the same day, we visited the San Carlos community of Dorado, which is also located in northern Puerto Rico. Residents live with few economic resources and still do not have electricity or drinking water seven months after Hurricane Maria. We were able to provide over-the-counter (OTC) vitamins and hygiene products to 33 families in this community.


  • April 17 and 24, 2018

    The Espinosa Community

    On both of these dates, we held outreaches in the Espinosa community of Dorado, located in northern Puerto Rico. Residents live with few economic resources and still do not have electricity or drinking water seven months after Hurricane Maria. We were able to provide over-the-counter (OTC) vitamins, medications, and hygiene products to over 55 families in this community.

    April 18, 2018

    Angelorum Medical Aesthetics Pain Clinic

    We provided the Angelorum Medical Aesthetics Pain Clinic in Dorado with 2 bags of dextrose and 4 transport tapes. The clinic works to improve patients’ quality of life by addressing physical, mental, and spiritual needs, uniting traditional and alternative medicine to uphold fair treatment and humane values.


  • April 20, 2018

    Jardines de Dorado Community

    We held an outreach in the Jardines de Dorado community, located in northern Puerto Rico. Residents live with insufficient economic resources and still do not have electricity or drinking water seven months after Hurricane Maria. We were able to provide over-the-counter (OTC) vitamins and hygiene products to over 60 families in this community.

    April 25, 2018

    Arenales II Community

    We held an outreach in the Arenales II community of Dorado, located in northern Puerto Rico, where residents live with insufficient economic resources and still do not have electricity or drinking water seven months after Hurricane Maria. We were able to provide over-the-counter (OTC) vitamins and hygiene products to over 65 families in this community.


  • April 1-29, 2018

    Emergency Medical Center CDT

    Throughout the month, we held outreaches at the Emergency Medical Center CDT in Bajura, Vega Alta, which is located in northern Puerto Rico. Residents live with few economic resources and still do not have electricity or drinking water seven months after Hurricane Maria. We were able to provide over-the-counter (OTC) medications and vitamins to 846 families in this community.

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Background

& Objectives

Background

On September 20, 2017, Category 4 Hurricane Maria hit the US territory of Puerto Rico. The winds, 155 miles per hour at landfall, completely wiped out the island’s power grid and phone towers. A flash flood emergency was declared in central Puerto Rico, and the island experienced record flooding.

Prior to the hurricane, Puerto Rico’s infrastructure was weak, and the storm left the small island crippled. Across the island, cities reported collapsed bridges and severe damage to roadways. On October 2, almost two weeks after the storm, 55% of people were still without access to drinking water, only 1 of 69 hospitals was fully operational, and 80% of the island’s crops had been destroyed. The full extent of the damage is still unclear, as most telephone and internet lines are still down. The damage has left many rural areas isolated, without access to communication or desperately needed supplies: food, water, shelter, and medical supplies.


Objectives
  • To provide primary health care and essential supplies to unreached, hurricane-affected communities
  • To form local partnerships and empower local health professionals, ensuring effective service provision to communities most in need
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More

Photos

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Numbers

Served

15 Outreaches Conducted

Many Patients Served

Thanks to the in-kind donations from Direct Relief International (DRI), as well as the support of LDS Charities and individual donors, we have been able to conduct 15 outreaches during the month of April 2018, providing community members with:

  • 1,675 free hygiene products
  • 1,251 multivitamins
  • 72 medical supplies
  • 818 OTC medicines

Health education is also provided at the events, and beneficiaries included many children, teenagers, and the elderly.

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General

Updates

Direct Relief International Shipments

In-Kind Supply Donations

During the month of April, RMF Puerto Rico continued to distribute supplies received in the third and fourth shipments from Direct Relief International (DRI), which included:

  • Multivitamins
  • Pediatric supplements
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines
  • Soap
  • Body wash
  • Shampoo
  • Vaseline
  • Sunscreen
  • Surgical medical supplies
  • Stethoscopes
  • Safety materials such as safety helmets, safety glasses, bactericidal water tablets, and lamps.

Together, the third and fourth shipments were valued at $1,763,866.62.

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Hurricane Maria Relief
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        Initiative Page: Hurricane Maria Relief