Hurricane Ida makes landfall – HHI responds

August 31, 2021 – Early on August 31, Heart to Heart International deployed its Mobile Medical Unit and advance team of medical and logistics personnel to respond to the damage caused by Hurricane Ida. The team has tetanus vaccines, medications, medical supplies and hygiene kits to help people who have been impacted by this storm.


August 29, 2021 – Hurricane Ida became a Category 4 storm early Sunday morning, rapidly intensifying to sustained winds of 150 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The hurricane has quickly increased in intensity, threatening to be an “extremely dangerous major hurricane” when it makes its projected landfall along the Louisiana coast Sunday afternoon — on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The National Hurricane Center is warning of damaging winds, life-threatening storm surge, and heavy rainfall. Residents who have not evacuated are advised to shelter in place.

Heart to Heart International has responded to hurricanes in this area in the past, including Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Laura last year. The disaster response team has been reaching out to partner clinics and organizations in the area to determine what help will be needed. We are monitoring the storm and are prepared to respond.

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Haiti team treats Haitian earthquake survivors

HEART TO HEART INTERNATIONAL’S HAITIAN MEDICAL TEAM HELPS SURVIVORS OF HAITI EARTHQUAKE IN AFFECTED AREAS

Heart to Heart International (HHI), providing lifesaving disaster relief and humanitarian aid throughout the world for nearly 30 years, is assisting injured earthquake survivors in the affected areas thanks to its Haitian medical team who has been on the ground in Haiti since 2010.

When the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti about 150 km west of the capital Port-au-Prince on August 14, Heart to Heart International, led by the Medical Director Dr. Laila Bien-Aimé, assembled its team of local Haitian doctors and nurses to immediately respond in the areas impacted by the earthquake. HHI has maintained a health program in Haiti since the earthquake in 2010, and was able to start treating people within 36 hours after the earthquake.

HHI has previously worked in this region of Haiti during Hurricane Matthew and has been connecting with officials and healthcare partners in the area. In addition to treating the immediate needs of the people impacted by the earthquake, the HHI medical teams are prepared for the growing threat of other illnesses that typically accompany natural disasters and inadequate sanitation as well as COVID-19.

The earthquake has left thousands of people dead and injured and destroyed homes and infrastructures including hospitals. The team has been treating patients with fractures, possible infections and other injuries as well as distributing medicine and supplies to local clinics.

“The need here in Haiti is great and a lot is unknown,” said Wes Comfort, Caribbean Response and Recovery Lead. “The patients we are helping have been through so much trauma and continue to experience agony because the past few nights have been very difficult. We’ve had aftershocks and a tropical depression come through with rain and wind. Many people are without shelter and have injuries. Some of the areas are still unreachable because of the mudslides or simply the roads are impassable.

“We are grateful for the dedication and work of our teams on the ground and for the ongoing generosity of our supporters throughout the world.”

From its warehouse in Lenexa, Kansas, HHI has prepared several large shipments that will go out this week including medicines, medical supplies and hygiene kits to the impacted areas.

Preparedness is our strength, and with 30 years of experience responding to sudden onset disasters, we are ready for a crisis exactly like this earthquake,” said Kim Carroll, Chief Executive Officer of Heart to Heart International. “Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti who’ve been through so much and continue to suffer in the wake of another natural disaster. We are thankful that our experience in disaster response can provide qualified resources to help make a difference.”

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Release: HHI responding to Haiti earthquake

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 15, 2021

Heart to Heart International medical team in Haiti responding to 7.2 earthquake

LENEXA, Kan. – In response to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Saturday, August 14, 2021 Heart to Heart International (HHI) immediately deployed a team of Haitian doctors and nurses to the affected areas.

The team will be in the impacted communities by Monday to assess needs, meet with local community partners, distribute hygiene kits and treat patients. More supplies and team members will be sent as needs are determined.

HHI has had a presence in Haiti since the earthquake in 2010 with a Haitian team that focuses on healthcare and disaster preparedness and provides outpatient and family medicine at clinics throughout the country.

“Heart to Heart International-Haiti is uniquely qualified and prepared to respond to this earthquake because the team is already in the country and able to reach the affected areas almost immediately,” said Kim Carroll, president and CEO of Heart to Heart International.

Many of the staff members have family in the most impacted areas. In addition to the loss of life, the team is sending reports of thousands of destroyed homes and buildings, landslides over major roads, incredibly damaged infrastructure and strong potential for disease and other health concerns because of unsanitary water supplies.

The HHI-Haiti medical team has experience in disaster response. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, an all-Haitian medical team from HHI deployed to Puerto Rico to treat patients in the rural mountain region. The team was successful because they had previous personal experience recovering from natural disasters.

This earthquake is sandwiched between Tropical Storm Fred, which passed over northern Haiti earlier this week, and Tropical Storm Grace, which is on track to pass over Haiti in the coming days. This also is on top of the recent turmoil of President Jovenel Moise’s assassination five weeks ago.

To help those impacted by the earthquake, donate here.

Heart to Heart International is a nonprofit international health organization with its headquarters in Lenexa, Kansas. Since its inception in 1992, HHI has delivered medical aid and supplies worth $2.2 billion to more than 130 countries, including within the United States. HHI responds to natural disasters both domestically and internationally by supplying medical relief and mobilizing volunteers. The organization is a 4-star Charity Navigator charity and is on the “Philanthropy 400.” To learn more, visit hearttoheart.org.

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Responding to Earthquakes in Puerto Rico

UPDATE (January 14, 2020) HHI is supporting the Ponce Health Sciences University Mobile Medical Unit, which has deployed to the areas impacted by the recent earthquakes.  In addition to supporting the Ponce Health Sciences University, HHI is supporting the Puerto Rico Department of Health with hygiene kits and technical assistance, building on an ongoing grant program established in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. HHI is working to fulfill a request for tetanus vaccines and insulin in response to the earthquakes and is actively participating in the Puerto Rico VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) meetings looking for potential partnerships, connections, and ways to help the anticipated impacted communities.

Hygiene kits assembled by the following partners are being sent to restock the already distributed supply of kits:

  • PQMD (Partnership for Quality Medical Donations)
  • DEMDACO
  • IBT Industrial Solutions
  • Ecolab
  • Employment Practices Network of Kansas City

(January 10, 2020) A 6.4 magnitude earthquake shook the southern region of Puerto Rico on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, followed by a 6.0 aftershock. These are the latest in a series of earthquakes that began on December 28. These quakes have forced more than 2,000 people into shelters. A million people are without power and thousands are without water as of Thursday, January 9.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico. “We are concerned about potential impacts of this week’s earthquakes on the lives of our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico,” Azar said. “Across HHS, we have worked closely with the territory’s health and human services authorities on disaster recovery, and will continue to do everything we can to help ensure the health and well-being of people across the island.”

Heart to Heart International has had an agreement in place with the Medical Corps Reserve of Puerto Rico since fall of 2019 to respond to health needs in Puerto Rico in the case of a disaster. We stockpiled hygiene kits with the Puerto Rican government (Medical Reserve Corps), with COSSAO in Utuado and with TLC in Yabucoa. The organizations have distributed the kits to those sheltering outside in the Southwest part of the island

“We have remained active in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017, working with local communities and government organizations to improve health access and be better prepared should a disaster occur. No one ever wants a disaster to happen, but you want the ability to respond quickly if they do. With hygiene kits prepositioned on the island, we are able to help people immediately after a disaster,” said Kim Carroll, CEO, Heart to Heart International.

More hygiene kits are being shipped to Puerto Rico to fulfill requests from the Medical Reserve Corps and the Office of Public Health.

We continue to reach out to all our partners on the island and remain ready to respond to needs on the ground.

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HHI Responds to West Virginia Floods

Thank you for supporting the West Virginia flood victims!

At least 25 people are confirmed dead and that toll may still rise. Thousands of people are displaced and even more without clean water in the third deadliest flood on record in West Virginia.

Heart to Heart International is deploying our mobile medical unit to help victims of the devastating floods. We are working with West Virginia Health Right, a free and charitable clinic providing medical and dental services to uninsured, underinsured, and medically underserved low-income people.

MMU Outside View

HHI has provided medical product support to WV Health Right for many years.  Yesterday afternoon, we shipped hygiene kits and sunscreen to the clinic, but now the need is even greater, especially for people unable to travel to a standing clinic for care. Our mobile medical unit allows doctors and nurses to reach and treat patients in great need.

The unit is a self-contained, state of the art, “clinic on wheels”. It’s capable of operating independently for 48-72 hours. The MMU weighs 8 tons and occupies a 20′ x 50′ footprint. The unit contains 3 non-ambulatory exam areas, 2 ambulatory patient care areas, and a mobile diagnostics center, among other features.

Our MMU is available nationwide in the lower 48 states. 

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UPDATE:  HHI deployed it’s mobile medical unit (sponsored by the AbbVie Foundation) and partnered with West Virginia Health RightClinic (Charleston, WV) to provide medical support in response to the West Virginia flooding.

The team consisted of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and provided medicines, and medical supplies, including tetanus shots, to more than 175 residents and relief workers.  Heart to Heart also provided essential supplies to those displaced from their homes including 2,500 blankets and 1,500 hygiene kits all provided by Johnson & Johnson.

As is HHI’s policy once the medical infrastructure was up and operational the Mobile Medical unit returned to Kansas City.


 

 THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

BD-01-01 AbbVie-01-01 J&J-01

MEDIA & PICTURES

WVHR-MMU

 West Virginia Health Right medical workers pose in front of the MMU.

AbbVie Sponsored MMU

AbbVie Foundation sponsored our Mobile Medical Unit, helping us stay for a week!

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WV Health Right workers giving man a shot.

 WV Health Right workers meet with local residents to provided shots & check-ups in the Mobile Medical Unit.

Surveying Erika Damage in Dominica

Our team on the island of Dominica has gotten an up-close look at the damage caused by Tropical Storm Erika.  The island nation’s government called for help. Heart to Heart International was the only international NGO to respond.

Dominca Bridge pano

Residents view what remains of a bridge washed away by flash floods caused by Tropical Storm Erika.

 

When Erika struck Dominica, she dropped 15 inches of rain, causing flash flooding and mudslides on the tiny, mountainous Caribbean island. More than 30 people were killed and 35 people remain missing.   While Erika was only a tropical storm, it caused major issues for this small island with a population just more than 70,000.

The governments of Venezuela, Martinique and Guadeloupe responded with heavy equipment and personnel to help clear roads and the island’s main airport.  Cuba responded with a large team of medical responders.  The British Royal Air Force is also assisting, as is the US Coast Guard.

And as our team learned, so far, HHI is the only international non-governmental organization (NGO) to respond to the disaster. On the ground, our team is coordinating with the Dominica Ministry of Health and with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) from the UN.

Drying out

In Coulibistre, Dominica, residents place their belongings outside to dry in the Caribbean sun after Erika’s rains flooded their homes.

 

HHI is providing a relief shipment of Heart to Heart Care Kits, requested by the Dominica Ministry of Health, and is already en route, transported by our global partner FedEx.

Support Relief Aid for Dominica & Keep HHI Prepared for the Next Storm

The storm’s effect will long be felt in Dominica and residents have a long road of rebuilding ahead.  As HHI is committed to help people in crisis, we’re honored to be able to assist in this relief effort.

See more photos from our team in Dominica…

A local newspaper sums up the feelings of the people of Dominica toward Tropical Storm Erika.

A local newspaper sums up the feelings of the people of Dominica toward Tropical Storm Erika.

 

Mudslide mess in Dominica

A muddy mess left behind in Dominica thanks to Tropical Storm Erika’s floods and mudslides.

 

Two Erika survivors

Two women recount the tale of Erika flooding this home. Notice the dried mud below their feet, and the mud and high-water mark on the far wall.

 

Dominica Street

Streets in Dominica are clogged by mud and dirt from mudslides caused by Tropical Storm Erika.

 

Photos by Josh Jakobitz / HHI

 

 

 

 

Nepal Earthquake Relief by the Numbers

The impact of Heart to Heart International’s relief operation in Nepal following the earthquake went beyond our medical team trekking into the mountains to treat earthquake survivors. Additionally, HHI provided a large amount of disaster supplies, medicine and materials to sustain relief efforts.  Here are the numbers…

Supplies arrive in Nepal

Several pallets of relief supplies, originating from HHI’s Operations Hub, arrive at a depot in Nepal for distribution.

 

The big cubes in the back of the truck (pictured above) are just a few of the 40 stacked and plastic-wrapped pallets of supplies that HHI shipped via a FedEx Airlift in response to the devastating Nepal earthquake.  This shipment was delivered to the relief organization Nazarene Compassionate Ministries for distribution.  In total this shipment contained just more than 15 tons of supplies.

Shipment breakdown:

3,768 HHI Care Kits and Johnson & Johnson Hygiene Kits (both types assembled by HHI volunteers)

3,600 water filters, each providing up to 208 gallons of clean water per day

Tents to provide shelter for at least 120 people, and 180 disaster blankets

500 bottles of Biaxin to provide more than 2,000 courses of anti-biotic treatments

Food shipment Nepal

Boxes of prepared meals – 142,560 in total – are loaded onto a truck in Nepal. The meals were provided by one of HHI’s partners Stop Hunger Now.

 

Part of this shipment included thousands of meals from the organization Stop Hunger Now.  At our Operations Hub, we bundled 142,560 of their nutritious, dehydrated meals into the shipment bound for Nepal.

Fast Food Fact

The amount of food in HHI’s relief shipment could provide 6,788 people with 3 meals a day for a week, or 1,697 people with 3 meals/day for a month.

 

WMI loading supplies

Water treatment systems from Water Missions International being loaded in Charleston, SC, bound first for HHI’s Operations Hub, then on to Nepal.

Because of our longstanding relationship with FedEx, we were in the position to help other aid agencies get their own relief supplies into Nepal.  For Samaritan’s Purse and Water Missions International, we shipped an additional 26,000 pounds of supplies, mostly systems and materials to provide clean water.

Breakdown:

Water Missions International – We shipped 12 complete water treatment systems for WMI, each providing up to 10,000 gallons of clean water per day.

Samaritan’s Purse – We moved 5,000 pounds of personal water filters, water storage bladders, collapsible jerry cans and Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) to Nepal for this organization.

IEHK Nepal Depot

A portion of the Interagency Emergency Health Kit for HHI’s medical team is staged in a depot after arriving from the Netherlands.

Fast Fact

The IEHK contains enough medicine and supplies to provide healthcare for up to 10,000 people for a period of three months.

As our medical team was enroute to Nepal, a large amount of medicine to treat a lot of people was on the way too.  The Interagency Emergency Health Kit (IEHK) is a prepackaged emergency medical kit we purchased from a medical supplier in the Netherlands to support our team’s work.  Once our team had completed its mission on the ground, we donated the remaining supplies of the IEHK to the International Medical Corps, an NGO that we’ve worked with for years, including in Liberia during the Ebola epidemic response.

And moving all of these supplies to the other side of the world for us – our partners at FedEx.  Here’s a great infograph put together at the height of the response, highlighting the large amount of aid ferried from one side of the globe to the other.

FedEx Nepal Infogfx

Summing up the numbers – in the weeks following the Nepal Earthquake we shipped 87 pallets of medicine, disaster supplies and food.

HHI’s total to date –  29 tons of relief aid sent to help the people of Nepal.

 

HHI Ships 15 Tons of Relief Supplies to Nepal

While our medical team is in the mountains of Nepal treating survivors of the earthquake, our Operations Hub has been buzzing with activity as 15 tons of relief supplies have been gathered, stacked, pallet’ed and now picked up by FedEx for shipment to Nepal.

Watch the video to see our crew at The Hub in action!

 

Please continue to support our effort to help the people of Nepal.

Help us help more.

Donate to nepal earthquake relief

 

 

Medical Supplies to Help Thousands en route to Nepal

A very large amount of medicine and supplies is on the way to Nepal for our medical team to use to treat survivors of the earthquake.

IEHK 11

Heart to Heart International is shipping an Interagency Emergency Health Kit – IEHK –  to our team on the ground in Nepal.  The IEHK was purchased from IMRES, a company based in the Netherlands, and is a prepackaged emergency medical kit with enough medicine and supplies to provide healthcare for up to 10,000 people for a period of three months. 

The IEHK for our Nepal Earthquake Relief is sponsored by FedEx, as well as our Medical Team’s mobile clinic equipment which will be arriving in Nepal shortly.  The IEHK is expected to arrive in Nepal Saturday, May 2, ready to be pulled off the pallets and delivered into the field.

IEHK 7

Please continue to support Nepal Earthquake Relief.

Donate Now

 

 

First Images from HHI Advance Team in Nepal

Our Advance Team has reached Nepal and is already at work coordinating our Nepal Earthquake Relief response, preparing the way for our Medical Team which will arrive soon.

Advance Team 1

Because of the earthquake damage, internet communications are sporadic.  But our team was able to send back a few images of what it looks like on the ground in Nepal.

These pics are from the village of Kokona.  Dr. Gary Morsch tells us there were about 20 deaths from the earthquake here.  The village is essentially deserted, with those remaining sleeping outdoors due to the fear of more earthquakes.  There was another aftershock here, which our team felt.

Advance Team 2Passing by this alleyway, our team learned that five people had perished in the collapse of this home.

 

Advance Team 3Dr. Morsch explains the photo above: “Delivering rice to a village where we saw so much destruction.  The man in the Scout uniform is the village leader, and he asked for our medical team to come tomorrow.  That means Sue and me, until the full medical team arrives!”

Our medical team – two doctors, three nurses and a paramedic – are scheduled to arrive Friday in Nepal.

Please support our Nepal Earthquake Relief response.

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