Find resources and situation updates here along with information specific to medical outreach. Resources include general guidelines for humanitarian response in emergencies as well as tools with information on current emergencies. Access information provided by US and international sources, such as the CDC, NIH and WHO and learn how you can help.
On the morning of February 24th, Russian forces launched a multi-pronged invasion by land, air, and sea on Ukraine.
The deadly conflict has continued unabated as it engulfed many areas of the country. Even as Ukrainian forces made significant ground gains in recent months, continued strikes by Russia against Ukraine through the holidays exacerbated concern for humanitarian needs in the midst of winter. Concern also escalated for the worsening global food crisis caused by the war as the one-year mark of the invasion of Russia in Ukraine approaches next month. New waves of attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure have left millions without electricity, also affecting access to water and heating in Ukraine at a time when temperatures are below zero in many parts of the country. Several regions were completely disconnected from electricity, and the entirety of Kyiv – with a population of around 3 million – was left without water access for several days due to Russian strikes. Many months of war has caused widespread destruction and killed thousands of civilians, including many children. Cities have been reduced to rubble, with virtually no part of the country untouched. In June, the World Health Organization reported hundreds of attacks on healthcare facilities and personnel. By August, 7 million people affected by the war had fled Ukraine, while nearly 7 million people were displaced within Ukraine, all searching for safety from the violence and destruction.
The overall humanitarian disaster also worsened, the United Nations reported, with more than half of the people affected by the war crossing into Poland where an Americares Ukraine response team is based. The flow of refugees moving back and forth across the border continues with the war showing no sign of ending as shifting battle lines and strategies continue to produce more death and destruction. Increasing drone and missile attacks on civilian targets in many cities have killed more people and destroyed critical infrastructure. Most of the people fleeing are women, children and the elderly as many of the men remain in Ukraine. The European Union member states and other countries continue to mobilize more humanitarian aid to assist with the flood of refugees. An agreement had also been reached to allow shipments of Ukrainian grain to depart in response to a growing global food crisis. Ukraine has historically been a major supplier in the global food market.
Since February 24, Americares has delivered more than 280 tons of medicine and medical supplies valued at over $54 million to health facilities and responders in Ukraine and more shipments are planned. These shipments include antibiotics, IV fluids, wound care supplies, labor and delivery supplies and trauma kits. In addition, Americares has awarded more than $3 million in grants to more than 51 organizations supporting health in Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. The funds are being used for multiple projects. Our grants include funding for generators for 25 health facilities in Ukraine to ensure they can operate during power cuts. At the same time, Americares Medical Outreach program has supported trips by 20 volunteer medical teams to Poland, Romania and Ukraine, with more than $3 million worth of donated medicines and medical products.
Going forward, Americares will continue to support health facilities in Ukraine with funding and shipments of critical medicines and supplies. For organizations in Poland, Romania and Slovakia meeting the needs of refugees from Ukraine, Americares will continue its support and plans to provide training in mental health and psychosocial skills to increase the capacity of local organizations to meet the growing demand for these services.
To date, this funding for mental health and psychosocial services has supported more than 13,800 individual crisis intervention sessions for refugees needing emergency support. With Americares support, our partners have also trained more than 1,100 frontline clinicians in war crisis cognitive behavioral therapy and nearly 1,000 practitioners in recovery techniques for children experiencing war-related trauma. Americares mental health and psychosocial staff is also providing daily support and technical assistance to local organizations in Poland and Ukraine.
For more information, click here: https://www.americares.org/emergency-program/conflict-in-ukraine/
The coronavirus outbreak, first reported in Wuhan China in December 2019 exploded into a Global Pandemic within weeks. COVID-19, the name of the disease caused by the virus (SARS-CoV-2), continues its deadly spread with new waves of infection from new virus variants threatening regions even as authorities work to increase vaccine availability while facing unequal access and an alarming level of vaccine hesitancy. Two years into the Pandemic, as “pandemic fatigue” pushes many to put aside preventive measures, progress is evident and vaccines have saved many lives. The science keeps learning more, but at the same time, so does the virus.
Global COVID Snapshot
World deaths from COVID have surpassed 6 million (with experts estimating a much higher toll). The European Union overall experienced a substantial increase in infection rate and individual countries responded with different levels of preventive measures. Countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America have seen alarming increases in infection rates and deaths with the spread of more virulent variants. As the U.S. and other countries in the West struggled to manage the latest wave from the pandemic, countries and communities with limited access to vaccines face new threats as some health systems are overwhelmed by rising infection rates.
CDC COVID-19 FAQ
CDC Guidance If You Are Sick or Caring for Someone
CDC PPE Sequencing Guide
CDC Germ Prevention Poster
Pulse Oximeter Use in COVID-19 (Lifebox)
WHO Module: COVID-19 Preparedness, Readiness and IPC
WHO Module: COVID-19 Epidemiology, Risk factors, Definitions and Symptomology
WHO Module: IPC in context of COVID-19
WHO Home Care for Suspected Patients
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland COVID-19 (coronavirus) Surgical Practice
From Advances in Surgery and the Johnson & Johnson Institute
American College of Surgeons COVID-19 and Surgery: Resources for the surgical community
American College of Surgeons Roadmap for Maintaining Essential Surgery during COVID-19 Pandemic
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists “Anesthesia Care of the Patient with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)”
American Society of Anesthesiologists “COVID-19 Information”
Ti, L.K., Ang, L.S., Foong, T.W. et al. What we do when a COVID-19 patient needs an operation: operating room preparation and guidance. Can J Anesth/J Can Anesth (2020).
Migration: More than 4 million people have fled Venezuela since 2014 to escape extreme food and medicine shortages, violence and political instability. More than half of the people fleeing have gone to Colombia, which has received more than 1.4 million people from Venezuela since 2014, according to the Colombian Government.
Health Care: Pharmacies and hospitals in Venezuela have severe shortages of medicine and supplies and inadequate staffing as medical professionals leave the country. Even in locations where medical services are available in Venezuela, falling wages and hyperinflation have put medical care out of reach for many families. The collapse of the health care system has exacerbated health conditions for the migrant population with many going months without care.
Response: Americares has set up clinics in towns near the border or where Venezuelans have settled to meet the primary health care needs of migrants who may arrive with dangerous health conditions such as high blood pressure that has gone untreated.
For more information, click here: https://www.americares.org/emergency-program/ep-colombia-venezuela-border-crisis/
Hurricane Dorian, the second most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record, smashed into the Bahamas and for 40 hours lashed Grand Bahama, the Abacos and other smaller northern islands with winds of 180 mph and more, 40 inches of rain and 20 foot storm surge. This catastrophic Category 5 storm left at least 50 confirmed dead with hundreds of people missing, many thousands are homeless with thousands of homes and other buildings including medical facilities seriously damaged or completely destroyed.
For more information, click here: https://www.americares.org/emergency-program/hurricane-dorian/
The historic 2017 Atlantic hurricane season produced 17 named storms, most notably Harvey, Irma, and Maria that left hundreds dead, destroyed communities across the southern U.S. and Caribbean and caused an estimated $265 billion in damage – the most expensive hurricane season on record. Hurricane Harvey set a new mark for the most rainfall from a U.S. tropical storm. Hurricane Irma became one of the strongest Atlantic Ocean hurricanes ever recorded. Hurricane Maria was the most powerful hurricane to make landfall on the main island of Puerto Rico in 85 years.
For more information, click here: https://www.americares.org/emergency-program/ep-hurricanes2017/