One month ago today, Hurricane Maria roared through the Caribbean and slammed into Puerto Rico. While media coverage is beginning to fade, the suffering for so many continues. The damage to the island has been staggering with power outages expected to continue for six months or longer. Over half the residents do not have access to clean drinking water; less than 10 percent of roads are passable.
|Carmen Rivera (at left in the orange dress) sits on a cot at the Cataño shelter. She suffers from severe asthma and knee pain and has had to be rushed by ambulance to the hospital for asthma treatment twice since the hurricane. She says she feels forgotten by authorities. GREG ALLEN / NPR|
MAP International’s immediate disaster relief efforts to help those impacted in Puerto Rico were detailed in a previous blog. More than 82,000 people have or will benefit from our supply of medicines and health products.
With such extensive damage on the island, however, many people are still at risk to illness and injury. While 98 percent of the hospitals are reported open, many do not have generators. Supplies of critical medicines such as insulin for diabetes management and antibiotics to treat bacterial diseases are in increased demand with supplies running low.
“Because of the electricity situation, a lot of people died, and are still dying. You can’t get sick now.” Puerto Rico resident, Lisandra Figueroa told the New York Times.
This week, MAP continued to help save lives and restore health in Puerto Rico:
- MAP airlifted antibiotics, bronchodilators, hypertension medicines, analgesics, and health items such as soap, antiseptic wipes, and other basic disease prevention goods.
- Supplies also included 20 MAP Medical Mission Packs valued at more than $400,000 in medical relief; Johnson & Johnson Medical Mission Packs; and 500 Disaster Health Kits.
- MAP delivered more than $100,000 in medical relief to Global Rescue Relief and Resilience to support a medical team of doctors and medical personnel providing care at Bella Vista Adventist Hospital in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and outlying rural areas.
- MAP plans to ship three additional 40-foot shipments of similar medical relief supplies.
Our work on the island continues today and will for months to come. MAP's prayers and commitment to helping the citizens of Puerto Rico remains strong. Your generous support will continue to make this life-saving work possible.