Millwood, VA – Project HOPE announced the deployment of an emergency response team, including medical professionals, to Puerto Rico, which is facing a long period of recovery after Hurricane Maria left millions without power, compromising health facilities, the water system and sanitation services.
Project HOPE’s team will include physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and mental health specialists who will provide emergency care while HOPE’s logistics experts assess needs arising from the damaged health infrastructure. The first contingent will arrive on Saturday followed by other medical volunteers on Monday.
Hurricane Maria raged through the Caribbean islands, causing severe flooding in Puerto Rico, which was declared “a major disaster” zone by the White House, after it was struck on Wednesday by winds of up to 155 mph and torrential rains, causing widespread damage to homes and public buildings and devastating the power grid.
“The destruction in Puerto Rico is unprecedented and we expect health needs to rise quickly. Our team has a wide range of medical expertise and is prepared to deliver a range of health services, hygiene promotion and psychosocial support,” said Chris Skopec, Executive Vice President, responsible for Global Health and Disaster Response Programs.
Project HOPE also responded to hurricanes Harvey and Irma with medical volunteers in clinics in and around Houston and care for elderly and special needs patients displaced by Irma in Florida.
HOPE is still in Texas helping patients with hypertension, chronic illnesses and mental health ailments as people try to find a sense of normalcy after the chaos of a monster storm.
“Harvey reminded us just how vulnerable our communities are to disasters of this scale and Maria has been even more destructive to the people of Puerto Rico. There will be serious health implications for Puerto Rico with water and sanitation systems being badly compromised and the entire population being potentially without power for several months,” said Skopec.