IMC's Programs 21 Mar 2005

Report
from International Medical Corps
Published on 21 Mar 2005
Afghanistan: IMC's 20-year history of medical assistance, health care training, and relief and development programs in Afghanistan reflects the depth of its long-standing commitment to the Afghan people.IMC currently supports and operates over 45 community-based health centers including 40 maternal child health clinics, four emergency obstetric care centers, and one provincial hospital. IMC also supports an extensive community health care network, including well-equipped training centers in 10 provinces across Afghanistan. IMC clinics provide comprehensive maternal, pediatric and other outpatient services, including vaccination, nutrition, pharmacy, laboratory, health education, and basic emergency obstetric care. IMC also provides technical, financial and managerial support to a local health care NGO, IbnSina
Azerbaijan: Since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Azerbaijan has had difficulty improving the health care system for its population of residents,internally displaced persons,refugees,and host families. Currently, IMC is working to facilitate community health development, including HIV/AIDS prevention programs, in 31 communities throughout Azerbaijan. To ensure sustained access to quality health care, IMC is assisting in the rehabilitation of a hospital to enhance emergency services,including supplies,equipment,staff train-ing,and physical infrastructure improvement.Additionally,IMC is providing technical support for development of the national family planning and reproductive health care program, which will ensure quality reproductive health services for all communities throughout Azerbaijan.

Burundi: IMC has worked in Burundi since 1995 to provide immunizations, water and sanitation programs, distribution of food to the malnourished, and preventative and curative care. IMC's current programs are based in the Muyinga, Kirundo, Rutana, and Muramvya provinces,where drought and insecurity have exacerbated malnutrition. IMC operates therapeutic and supplementary feeding centers in all four provinces. IMC also operates a malaria program, offering treatment, insecticide-treated bed nets, and health education, and is training traditional birth attendants and community health educators to provide information on nutrition, sanitation, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. In addition, IMC's emergency preparedness program is effectively reducing the incidence and prevalence of potentially epidemic and communicable diseases among the local population and internally displaced persons.

Chad: In response to the recent influx of Sudanese refugees into Chad, IMC is currently managing and implementing health care and nutrition programs for approximately 37,000 Sudanese refugees located in three refugee camps in eastern Chad. Among the services IMC is providing are primary health care, immunizations, health education/outreach, malnutrition screening, and therapeutic and supplementary feeding. In order to increase sustainability and encourage the involvement of beneficiaries, IMC recruits those within the displaced and host communities who have health-related education or work experience to fill the majority of the camps' health support roles.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Since eruption of the civil war in 1994, an estimated 3.5 million people have died, mostly in eastern DRC, and more than two million people have been displaced. The country remains in great need of emergency assistance, with an estimated 37 percent of the population believed to have no access to any form of health care. IMC initiated emergency health and nutrition interventions in Kivu in 1999. Currently, IMC supports two district hospitals and ten surrounding health centers in Bunyakiri and Kalonge Health Zones on the western edge of Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu, benefiting nearly 250,000 people.

Eritrea: The eruption of the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 2000 resulted in the displacement of more than 1,000,000 people.IMC medical teams provide services to Eritrean returnees in isolated camps and host communities via mobile clinics.Services include curative care, expanded programs of immunization, and antenatal care and growth monitoring for children. In 2002, IMC began microcredit activities, including the formation of village credit communities and credit groups, the selection of loan applications, and the disbursement of loans to approved businesses.IMC has also established seed banks that allow Eritrean farmers to borrow or purchase the seeds necessary to have a successful planting season.

Ethiopia:The recurring drought in Ethiopia in recent years has devastated the nutritional well-being,general health status,food security,and economic stability of the population. IMC's West Hararghe emergency nutrition program utilizes a comprehensive approach to the threat and consequences of famine. IMC has established therapeutic feeding centers, which provide a carefully balanced and managed dietary regimen with intensive medical attention to rehabilitate the severely malnourished. IMC also works to increase the capacity of health and community systems to provide nutritional emergency response through training of local health workers and has established nutritional early warning systems. In addition, IMC is working to improve the general health status of the target population through the establishment of an expanded program of immunizations.

Georgia: Since its 1991 independence from the Soviet Union,Georgia has been plagued by ethnic and civil strife that has burdened the country's economy and social welfare system. IMC has implemented health programs for the nearly 300,000 displaced persons in western Georgia since 1998. IMC reduces financial barriers to accessing care and engaging communities and health care providers in building local capacity. With its unique health insurance initiatives, micro-projects, and extensive health education and training components, IMC has served over 500,000 people in nearly 300 communities in five regions in western Georgia.

Indonesia: IMC has worked in Indonesia since 2000 providing emer-gency,primary health care,and mental health programs in the Malukus, West and Central Kalimantan, Madura Island, North Sumatra and North and Central Sulawesi. A disaster relief team from IMC was among the first to arrive in Aceh province and provide emergency care after the tsunami on December 26. Over the long-term, IMC is committed to helping tsunami-affected regions recover their livelihoods and rebuild their health care systems.Because of Indonesia's unusual geography and numerous conflict zones, IMC uses mobile clinics to reach the most remote and vulnerable populations. IMC also implements long-term capacity building initiatives, rehabilitating health facilities, training health workers to staff those facilities, and making improvements to water and sanitation systems. In addition, IMC responded with medical assistance within hours of the bombing attack in Bali in October 2002, in which 202 people were killed and more than 300 wounded. Afterwards, IMC shifted its focus to the treatment of psychological trauma and initiated a long-term program to provide counseling to victims, family members, and other local residents.

Ingushetia: Despite an environment of sporadic violence and constant insecurity, IMC's team in the Russian Federation's Republic of Ingushetia has provided continuous medical assistance and support to internally displaced persons since the spring of 2000. IMC is currently the largest health provider in Ingushetia, with ten mobile medical teams that provide primary health care and mother and child health services to approximately 22,500 IDPs living in 47 spontaneous settlements. IMC's mobile teams offer immunizations, prescription medications, check-ups, lab tests, prenatal care, and referrals to specialists.

Iraq: IMC entered southern Iraq in April 2003,and in the past year has operated in 16 of the 18 Iraqi Governorates, conducting multi-sectoral relief programs that include primary health services,basic medical supplies and drugs, community health education, emergency feeding programs for the most vulnerable,water and sanitation activities,and complementary food distribution. IMC's activities provide sustainable improvements in the health system by offering hands-on training to Iraqi medical counterparts. All IMC programs are focused on rehabilitating the existing Iraqi health care infrastructure.

Kenya: IMC operates two programs in Kenya to address HIV/AIDS in severely affected communities. In the Kibera slums of Nairobi,IMC is working to increase the availability and use of services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. IMC is also implementing a tuberculosis control program enhancing successful treatment of TB patients among people with limited access to health care. And in the Mathare slums of Nairobi,IMC works to support the healthy nutrition of people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to the distribution of dehydrated food, IMC is training women's groups on the importance of good nutrition and food fortification,and is conducting health education sessions.

Liberia: In response to 2003's intense fighting and unstable political situation in Liberia, IMC initiated a multi-sectoral emergency response in war-affected communities.IMC currently provides emergency health services for conflict-affected populations,as well as training for national health providers. Since August 2003,over 40,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have benefited from IMC's primary and reproductive health care services. In addition, IMC has been rehabilitating and reequipping health facilities in order to establish a functional health system for IDPs and residents.

Pakistan: IMC has provided for the health needs of Afghan refugees in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan since 1999. IMC provides primary health care through its five basic health units (BHUs) in refugee camps, an urban maternal and child health clinic, emergency obstetric centers, and additional health centers. IMC also provides material and technical support to BHUs in refugee camps operated by its local partner organizations, Afghan Help Training Program and Humanitarian Medical Relief Body, as well as an urban MCH clinic operated by its local partner organization, Afghan Women's Council. More than 300,000 Afghan refugees directly benefit from IMC's programs annually, and an estimated 500,000 refugees benefit indirectly.

Sierra Leone: Since 1999,IMC has responded to Sierra Leone's emergency needs and addressed its health coverage gaps. As security has improved and population movements have decreased, IMC's focus has moved towards strengthening institutional health capacity and introducing cost recovery systems for the primary health care (PHC) units. IMC has expanded primary health care coverage by establishing additional PHC Units in Kailahun District and assisting the Ministry of Health to post staff. IMC continues to conduct training for maternal and child health aides and traditional birth attendants on reproductive health, as well as for new staff in the treatment and management of malnutrition and infectious diseases.

Somalia: IMC was the first American NGO to arrive in war-torn Somalia in 1991 and has since become the principal provider of community-based primary health care in the Bay, Bakool, and Hiraan regions of south-central Somalia. Over 750,000 Somalis benefit from IMC's emergency primary health care, maternal and child health (MCH), and supplementary feeding programs annually. IMC's programs currently support 136 village health posts with supplies, train community health workers and traditional birth attendants,and provide integrated MCH services through six MCH clinics in district capitals. In addition, IMC provides regional emergency response for disease outbreaks and nutrition interventions.

Sri Lanka: With the massive destruction of infrastructure, especially in transportation, communications and health care, relief efforts in Sri Lanka continue to face mounting challenges.IMC,working in Sri Lanka's hard-hit northeastern coast, helped establish a transitional field hospital in the town of Kinniya,where the town's existing hospital was completely destroyed by the tsunami. IMC helped build the hospital's emergency room capacity and has instituted a formal curriculum in emergency medicine tailored to the hospital's needs. In addition, IMC is operating mobile clinics at four different locations and is treating displaced persons. IMC will help to establish a psychosocial program to address the needs of traumatized tsunami survivors. It will also conduct a livelihoods assessment to determine ways to increase economic opportunities for individuals, recognizing that establishing economic stability is key to improving the health of the population.

Sudan: The Darfur region of western Sudan has been torn apart by a violent conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and forced more than one million others to abandon their homes and livelihoods. IMC is providing emergency medical assistance to more than 31,000 people in the Al Sreif Al Jir Camp outside Nyala in South Darfur. In addition, IMC has been battling vector-borne parasitic infections in southern Sudan's Western Equatoria region with programs that combat onchocerciasis (river blindness) and guinea worm disease.

Tanzania: IMC, in collaboration with the African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF) operates a Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Management Project (CAMP) in Tanzania.CAMP is a five-year project that lowers HIV transmission by improving management of sexually transmitted infections, and strengthens the clinical management of HIV/AIDS patients through prevention and treatment of opportunistic infections. IMC and AMREF have implemented CAMP in the Morogoro, Mwanza, Shinyanga and Mara regions of Tanzania.

Uganda: In response to the drought and acute food shortages in northern Uganda, IMC has initiated implementation of an emergency health and nutrition program to increase access to health services for vulnerable populations, as well as therapeutic and supplementary feeding for moderate and severely malnourished children. Additionally, in Hoima and Mbarara districts, IMC works with local partner Raising Voices in conducting an integrated response program for sexual exploitation and gender-based violence among refugee populations.