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. With the conflict in its third month, there are many reports of wide spread destruction, particularly in civilian areas, many thousands of casualties including families and children as population movements of hundreds of thousands of people flee towards the west and away from fighting. Russian special forces and airborne troops have targeted major cities including Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital with increasingly deadly bomb and missile strikes. Fierce fighting has focused around several of Ukraine’s cities as the conflict shifts to different cities, putting more and more civilians in danger. As Russian troops withdraw from northern Ukraine, a trail of destruction and death has emerged. People are fleeing eastern Ukraine to escape major battles now underway over the Donbas region as the Russian offensive in the East intensifies. The European Union member states and other countries continue to mobilize more humanitarian aid to assist the flood of refugees. Negotiations to establish safe humanitarian corridors for civilians continue to be a need and a challenge.
Latest reports indicate that tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers have died in the fighting as more civilian areas including dozens of health, transportation and educational facilities have come under attack. Virtually no community in Ukraine has been left untouched by the war. The World Health Organization has verified over 180 attacks on health facilities thus far. The overall humanitarian crisis also worsened, with more than 6.2 million refugees now having fled Ukraine and with over 8 million internally displaced persons, the United Nations reported with more than half of the refugees crossing into Poland where an Americares Ukraine Response Team is based. Up to 200,000 people every day are fleeing, and there is no end in sight. Most of the people fleeing are women, children and the elderly as many of the younger men remain in Ukraine.
Americares has emergency response teams in Poland and Romania to support health services for families affected by the escalating humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The teams have expertise in coordinating large-scale shipments of medicine and relief supplies and mobilizing emergency medical teams in crisis situations. Our immediate response is focused on the delivery of critically needed medicine and supplies. To date, Americares has shipped or delivered more than 100 tons of medicine and relief supplies to 20 partners responding in Ukraine and at least 6 more shipments are underway or planned. We had made the commitment to deliver 100 tons of medical aid to Ukraine within 90 days of the start of the invasion and that goal has been achieved.
Americares is also providing emergency funding to local organizations supporting children and adults caught in the crisis in Poland, Ukraine and Romania. Thus far, emergency grants for 33 organizations operating in Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia and Romania have been awarded totaling more than $725,000. The funds will be used to support psychosocial services, train staff in crisis counseling and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, hire Ukrainian-speaking staff to connect refugees with educational resources and facilitate the last-mile delivery of medicines and medical supplies to partners in Ukraine, among other activities. The grants also include one month of funding for a specialty medical team providing care to pregnant women and children fleeing to Romania.
We are prepared to deliver more medicine, medical supplies, emergency funding and relief items to the region and have activated our roster of staff and volunteer medical professionals in the event they are needed to provide surge support in neighboring countries. Staffed by physicians, nurses and other medical professionals, our medical teams provide primary care services, emergency treatment for injuries and as well as mental health and psychosocial support services to help survivors cope with stress and trauma. There is a critical need right now for medicine and medical supplies, including antibiotics, insulin, IV fluids, wound care supplies, labor and delivery supplies and trauma kits. Americares is prepared to meet to those needs—and more.
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/