As Puerto Rico celebrates the holidays and looks ahead to a new year, a fresh infusion of medicine arrived Monday – a week before Christmas and three months after Hurricane Maria made landfall.
Over 100 pallets labeled “emergency medical supplies” lined the ABF Freight warehouse in San Juan on Tuesday. Before shipments departed for clinics across the island, health providers and representatives from healthcare companies that donated the medicines and supplies gathered in the storage space.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Direct Relief-chartered aircraft landed Monday at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan with 79,365 lbs of medical aid requested by the Puerto Rico Department of Health, the territory’s Primary Care Association, and more than twenty hospitals and clinics across the island that are still struggling with the effects of Hurricane Maria three months later.
A critical shipment of medicines bound for a hospital in Hodeidah, Yemen, arrived this week, a sign that aid is resuming into the country. The shipment was coordinated with local aid group, Yemen Aid, and includes IV fluids, antibiotics and other items used to treat cholera. The shipment will bolster the Al-Thawra Hospital in Hodeidah, where Direct Relief is target efforts to help stem the tide of cholera. The hospital is one of many on the front lines of the epidemic.
More than 150,000 people are being evacuated as Mount Agung in Bali, Indonesia, continues to erupt and spew dangerous ash clouds up to 10,000 feet into the atmosphere. The island’s main airport remains closed. Indonesia’s emergency management agency made a statement Monday indicating that the evacuation is proceeding well and that it could last for up to a month. Mount Agung erupted last in 1963, when it killed more than 1,500 people.
Direct Relief announced on Monday a commitment of up to $5 million in cash grants to assist health facilities in Puerto Rico as they continue to address ongoing health needs following Hurricane Maria.
Today’s commitment follows more than 126 shipments of emergency medical aid, totaling $29.7 million, from Direct Relief to health centers, clinics, hospitals, and medical teams throughout Puerto Rico.