Medical Teams International sends emergency aid to Honduran flood survivors

News and Press Release
Originally published
(PORTLAND, ORE.-Oct. 23, 2008) - Three back-to-back tropical storms in Honduras have triggered torrential rains, demolishing villages, destroying crops and affecting more than 190,000 people.

Medical Teams International is already providing emergency medicines to health teams on the ground who are treating the sick-especially the elderly and children-for diarrhea, exposure, respiratory illness, pneumonia and skin infections.

More help is needed, says Chet Thomas, executive director of Project Global Village, Medical Teams International's local partner on the scene. "This is worse than when Hurricane Mitch hit 10 years ago (and 10,000 died), but there's no media coverage about it," Thomas said in a call on Wednesday.

The storms have wiped out the primary grain harvests for the year, Thomas reported. Local residents already were battling malnutrition because of rising food costs and global recession.

"In the children we see, about 50 percent of them suffer from malnutrition," Thomas said. Child health and malnutrition will only worsen with the current flood and food shortages caused by the crop damage, he added.

Medical Teams International is recruiting emergency health care volunteers from its disaster ready list to respond to this growing crisis.

"We need funds to mobilize these volunteer doctors and nurses as soon as possible," says Bas Vanderzalm, president of Medical Teams International. "In addition, our partners in Honduras are asking us to send as many medicines as we can. We urgently need funds to ship donated medicines as soon as possible. Our supply on the scene is dwindling fast."

More than 96 percent of all contributions given help people who need it most. Donations can be made to the Honduras Flood Relief fund, Medical Teams International, P.O. Box 10, Portland, OR 97207-0010; or by calling 800-959-4325. Gifts can also be made securely online at www.medicalteams.org; or at any local US Bank location.

Medical Teams International is a non-profit humanitarian relief and development agency that exists to demonstrate the love of Christ to people affected by disaster, conflict and poverty around the world. In its 29-year history, Medical Teams International has deployed more the 1,900 volunteer teams and shipped over $1.2 billion in antibiotics, surgical kits and lifesaving medicines to care for 35 million people in 100 countries.