Working with a network of partners across the island, Direct Relief will send prescription medications for acute and chronic conditions, IV fluids, personal care items, nutritionals, 1,700 individual solar lights and 10 facility solar lights, and other supplies to the Puerto Rico Department of Health, Asociación de Salud Primaria de Puerto Rico, 21 community health centers, six hospitals, and VOCES, a vaccine coalition. Working with the Asociación de Salud Primaria de Puerto Rico, Direct Relief will distribute additional supplies to the same 21 community health center members on an ongoing basis. These community health centers administer 62 clinical sites in 53 municipalities and provide primary care, and emergency services in some cases, to the entire population.
Direct Relief's airlift addresses the urgent need for medical resources in Puerto Rico and will help treat acute conditions and manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension that can rapidly become medical emergencies if access to care is limited.
December 18, 2017: The chartered plane for Hurricane Maria response efforts will depart Miami and arrive in San Juan. Upon arrival, ABF Freight, a vetted logistics company, will pick up the palletized shipments of medicines and supplies and store at the ABF warehouse in Guaynabo.
December 19, 2017: Health care officials, hospital and health center executives, pharmaceutical company representatives, and Direct Relief representatives will gather at the ABF warehouse as emergency medical aid is staged for distribution.
December 20-22, 2017: ABF Freight will deliver the shipments to the recipients. Beyond the chartered airlift, Direct Relief will continue to mobilize medical resources into Puerto Rico to support relief and recovery efforts.
Hurricane Maria churned a devastating path through Puerto Rico. As of Dec. 29, the official death count was 64, but reports suggest that figure vastly underestimates the actual number of casualties. Heavy damage remains evident more than 100 days after the storm made landfall, and much of the island is still without power. As with any large-scale disaster, Hurricane Maria has caused a serious strain on the island’s healthcare system, which has had to divert already-scarce human and medical resources to respond to the crisis.
Direct Relief will continue to work with a network of healthcare and other companies, foundations, and individuals to continue to provide a range of medical items and cash support to ensure healthcare providers have the ability to care for Puerto Rican patients.
In addition to the more than $51 million in medical aid provided, Direct Relief has also provided $465,000 in cash assistance and recently committed another $5 million in cash grants to assist health facilities in Puerto Rico as they continue to address ongoing health needs.