Post-Dorian response detailed in draft health sector action plan
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While the final death toll stemming from Hurricane Dorian remains unclear nearly two months after the storm decimated portions of Grand Bahama and Abaco, a draft post-Dorian health sector action plan obtained by Eyewitness News Online budgets $75,000 for the burial of “approximately 50 unclaimed victims”.
As part of its disaster victim and mass casualty management, the ministry allocated $35,000 for Cabinet and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to identify and acquire a “possible mass burial site” on a plot of land within three months.
As it relates to the burial of unclaimed victims, the action plan reads: “Cost assumes approximately 50 unclaimed victims at a burial cost of $1,500 each. A suggestion is that every three months a mass burial exercise can be conducted for the unclaimed.”
At last report, the death toll associated with the storm was at least 65.
Several hundred remains missing, though the latest figure has not been updated in recent weeks.
According to the document, dated October 25, the ministry will spend nearly $5.5 million in the short, medium-and long-term (six to 12 months) as part of its response in the aftermath of the Category 5 storm.
Earlier this month, Sands said Dorian caused almost $100 million in damage to the Ministry of Health’s facilities in Abaco and Grand Bahama. The figure, however, considered the economic impact of the storm, including damage to the Rand Memorial Hospital and other clinics on the storm-impacted islands; damage to vehicles and the impact on staff.
The draft action plan outlines actions to replace vehicles and assist staff displaced and affected by the deadly storm.
The ministry has budgeted $57,600 on coordinating with NEMA for the provision of at least 48 modular, RV homes for the same number of staff displaced from clinics other than Marsh Harbour.
It expects each RV to cost $1,200.
The costing reflects outfitting the RVs with gas tanks, dishes, fans, linen, and other items needed to make them livable, the document notes.
The plan indicated the source of funding as the Consolidated Fund, public, private partnerships (PPP) and international donors.
It will take an estimated $140,000 to procure and deploy at least eight vehicles to facilitated clinical duties.
It will take an estimated $240,000 — $45,000 per unit — to execute repairs under approved contracts for repairs to staff residence on Marsh Harbour Healthcare Centre compound.
The ministry is expected to spend just under $225,000 on building disaster preparedness and response capacity.
It plans to spend just over $200,000 on the coordination of international assistance.
According to the action plan, the ministry has budgeted $75,000 for disease surveillance.
It plans to spend another $78,748 on health education, promotion and communication.
Just under $125,000 has been allocated for disaster victim management.
Psycho-social support has been allocated $14,400.
A closer look at the action plans and expected results, shows the ministry plans to spend $2 million to make the clinic in Marsh Harbour more resilient and another $1 million to explore and fund modalities to outfit them with equipment, furniture, supplies and health technology, inclusive of laboratory and diagnostic equipment.
The ministry said it will explore external donor opportunities as a means to offset direct cost to the government.
Repairs and other remediation work in Coopers Town is estimated to cost $250,000.
In total, healthcare cost associated with Coopers Town and Green Turtle Cay is estimated at $310,500.
The action plan noted it will take $4,723,780 to restore health services delivery capacity in the aftermath of the Category 5 storm that decimated portions of Grand Bahama and Abaco nearly two months ago — $20,000 for governance; $3.78 million for Marsh Harbour; $565,500 for North Abaco; $200,000 for South Abaco; $10,000 for the cays and a further $140,000 for vehicles in Abaco.