• The overall death toll from Hurricane Dorian has risen to 58, with roughly 600 people still reported missing.
• Between September 9 and October 3, International Medical Corps has conducted 538 consultations in the medical facilities we support on Grand Bahama island.
• We have reached hundreds more with information about best practices in healthcare and hygiene, and about where to find medical services on the island.
• Our mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) coordinator conducted a mental health awareness session with 11 members of the pediatric-care staff at Sunrise Medical Center.
More awareness sessions and psychological first aid (PFA) training are planned for local health workers next week.
One month after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas, the government and international relief organizations continue their work to provide most basic needs to those in those areas severely affected by the storm, while creating and implementing strategies for economic and social recovery.
Frankie A. Campbell, Minister of Social Services and Development, declared the clean-up of those areas most severely damaged by the storm as a priority in government-led efforts to restore and rebuild lost housing. and ensure the future socioeconomic sustainability of Grand Bahama and Abaco islands. Government agencies continue to carry out assessments of damage to buildings and infrastructure throughout the islands, while utilities are hard at work restoring services, with a number of international NGOs (including International Medical Corps) helping to fill gaps.
As the healthcare system in affected areas gradually recovers, international relief agencies continue to support Ministry of Health (MoH) efforts to meet the needs of people affected by the Category 5 storm. There has been growing concern about the ability to provide mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services, as the initial shock of the disaster fades and a new reality sets in among those whose lives have been severely affected. This has resulted in pressure to ramp up MHPSS services.
As part of its response to these expected needs the MoH is working on strategic messaging to reach the population across many platforms, including radio, social media and print, to raise awareness and provide health education about such issues as mental health, environmental health, chronic non-communicable diseases and prevention of communicable diseases.