NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The government is slated to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Americares organization on February 24, 2020.
Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands recently confirmed the MOU will facilitate critical primary health, mental health and psychosocial support services, with a social worker and clinical psychologist, to Hurricane Dorian survivors.
It will also include training to strengthen the capacity of the Bahamian healthcare system specifically through the Ministry of Health, with first responders and other stakeholders to aid the recovery from Hurricane Dorian.
In the days following Dorian, Americares submitted to the Ministry of Health its ability to deploy a type one mobile emergency medical team to provide support and access to primary healthcare services.
“Soon thereafter, Americares quickly went to work to conduct damage assessments on the island of Abaco to understand its needs remaining in close contact with the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization and other partners,” Sands said in a recent press release.
Americares is a health focused relief and development organization that saves lives and improves the health of people affected by poverty or disaster.
Americares Hurricane Dorian Response Team Leader, Cora Nally noted that her organization has delivered medicine, medical supplies and relief items valued at more than $2.6 million to support the health needs of survivors.
Established 40 years ago, Americares has provided more than $18 billion worth of aid in 164 countries including the United States, and each year the organization responds to approximately 30 natural disasters and humanitarian causes.
It focuses closely on the establishment of long-term recovery projects and disaster preparedness programmes to vulnerable communities.
Sands continued: “Americares provided medicine, clinical and physiological support services to close the gaps made by the destruction of many of our health facilities and also addressed the medical needs of remaining residents in Marsh Harbour, Elbow Cay and Man-O-War Cay.
“Operations were expanded to include Fox Town, Cooper’s Town, Sandy Point, Guana Cay and Green Turtle Cay.”
The health minister explained that on September 11, 2019, Americares started providing primary care services, medicine and mental health and psychosocial support to the shelters in New Providence to the residents who relocated from Abaco.
“Subsequently, they also provided mobile health aid to Abaco,” he said.
“For nearly five months on the island of New Providence and nearly four months in Abaco, Americares has provided more than 4,000 medical and more than 2,500 mental health and psychosocial support consultations to persons impacted by Dorian.
“Americares provided these services in New Providence alongside our hardworking Ministry of Health staff from the community clinics and public hospitals.”
In the MOU, Americares has also agreed to provide medicine and to collect data to assist the Ministry of Health to track diseases, referrals and health service utilizations during the recovery and also on joint efforts on public relations and communications.
It will also foster a collaborative partnership and allows for Americares to expand its clinical services for Hurricane Dorian survivors in New Providence.
Moreover, he said Americares will continue to provide health and mental health, psychological services in Abaco.