As the world faced multiple crises and disasters, International Medical Corps staff, volunteers and supporters came together many times throughout 2018 to save lives and relieve suffering. Here’s a quick look back at some of what we have achieved together as a community of global First Responders.
We continued to support recovery in Puerto Rico, Dominica and Florida, which were all still feeling the impacts of Hurricane Maria.
Training saves lives! We transformed a vacant lot at the foot of City Hall in downtown Los Angeles into the site of our Emergency Field Hospital simulation, for a week-long crisis training.
Dozens of medical and humanitarian professionals ran simulations to test response mechanisms, enhance protocols and train on responding to an array of potential emergencies.
As we marked Syria’s civil war entering its eighth year, Inanna Sarkis — actress, singer and YouTube creator — visited our programs for Syrian refugees in Jordan.
2.3 million people in Somalia lack access to safe water. We built 30 ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines to serve displaced people, forced to leave their homes in search of food and water, now living in camps in and around Harhar village.
On May 8th, an Ebola outbreak was declared in Bikoro, a territory in the northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) upriver from the capital city of Kinshasa, home to 11 million people. We already were on the ground in the DRC, and quickly deployed to the affected areas to work in support of Ministry of Health-led efforts to stop the spread of the deadly virus before it could spread to more densely populated areas. Efforts to fight this outbreak were successful, and the World Health Organization declared the outbreak over on July 24th.
We continued to work with UNHCR in Libya, providing assistance and medical services to refugees and migrants who are fleeing violence in North Africa.
On July 25th, moms and moms-to-be celebrated #BumpDay to raise awareness about maternal health needs around the world. International Medical Corps, with the support of What To Expect, is committed to promoting healthy pregnancies and safe births by training midwives and health workers, improving health facilities and equipment, and expanding communication and education to women and girls.
As the situation in Yemen grew increasingly dire, with millions forced to leave their homes due to violence, our staff continued to work hard to provide healthcare, food, water, sanitation and hygiene services, and much more.
Another outbreak of Ebola erupted in the DRC, this time in North Kivu, which has since become the second-largest outbreak in history. Containment efforts are still underway, as violence continues to threaten the safety of humanitarian workers in the region.
In September, International Medical Corps responded to multiple catastrophic disasters across the world.
After a powerful magnitude 7.4 earthquake rocked Indonesia on September 28, a massive tsunami hit nearby coastlines. Our emergency advance team was on the ground within 24 hours to support response efforts.
We deployed ahead of the devastating Hurricane Florence, which battered North and South Carolina on September 14th. Our Emergency Response Unit worked with partners on the ground to staff shelter clinics with volunteer doctors and nurses, and sent a mobile clinic and medical supplies to meet the needs of hurricane survivors in hard-hit communities.
Typhoon Mangkhut struck the Philippines on September 15th. We deployed an emergency advance team to the devastated area immediately. Our team worked with local authorities and partners to reach those most affected by the typhoon.
Our Emergency Response Unit was pre-positioned as Hurricane Michael, with sustained winds of 155 mph, made landfall on October 10 as the strongest hurricane to hit the continental United States in 50 years.
At the request of the Florida Department of Health, we immediately mobilized multiple teams of volunteer doctors and nurses to the state to care for survivors in the aftermath of the devastating storm. We also partnered with PanCare Health Network to provide shelters for temporary clinics in some of the hardest-hit communities.
On November 25th, our programs participated in the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, kicking off #16Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, and spreading the message that #EnoughIsEnough — violence against women and girls must end.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we are continuing the fight against the second-largest outbreak of Ebola in history.
Despite growing challenges, we’ve been on the ground since the beginning, constructing and running Ebola screening-and-referral units and treatment centers, training local staff on proper infection-prevention and control practices, and providing equipment and sanitation supplies across key facilities to help prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
Training underpins everything we do, because training one person can save many lives — multiplying the impact of our work. New knowledge also makes communities more self-reliant, meaning that when we leave, our programs continue to have a lasting impact.
Together we have saved lives and eased suffering.
Together we have made a difference in the lives of others.
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