Categorized | Featured, National News

PAHO: ‘No Need for State of Emergency’

Hurricane Survivors Abaco3

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and The World Health Organization (WHO) Representive for the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Dr. Esther De Gourville believes there is no need for the government to declare a state of emergency.

In a press conference on Thursday, Dr. De Gourville told the media that “the Bahamas is an island archipelago” and only two of all the islands had been impacted.

“Nassau, New Providence is the home of over 75 percent of the population of the Bahamas and has not been severely impacted by the hurricane,” Dr. De Gourville explained.

 “I think the government is doing tremendous in responding to this crisis and the coordination that has been done by NEMA that is unparalleled.”

PAHO/WHO had pledged health sector infrastructure and public health support to the Bahamas. 

Given the disrupted services in Abaco and Grand Bahama, PAHO/WHO is providing urgent assistance to meet the health needs of those affected by Hurricane Dorian. 

“Our organization has responded by increasing our surge capacity and already onsite. We have expertise in logistics management, in epidemiology and public health,” Dr. De Gourville said.

“We are also helping to mobilize emergency medical teams to compliment services and integrate the services with the Ministry of Health to meet the needs. Two teams from Samaritan’s Purse and Team Rubicon are providing full hospital capacity to respond to the need.”

They have yet to assess the scale of injuries and will be working out of the Marsh Harbour Clinic.  They are still accessing which clinics can be used in the short term. 

PAHO/WHO is trying to also prevent a second crisis of an outbreak of leptospirosis, waterborne diseases and vector-borne diseases which there is a high risk due to flooding and comprising of sewage systems. 

According to a press release, the organization’s responses have already included “the provision of a PAHO Disaster Response Team, with experts in logistics, civil and military coordination, information management, epidemiological surveillance, coordination, medical personnel and environmental health”.

“PAHO/WHO is working at top speed with the government to ensure that the people of Bahamas can access essential health services during this crisis to ensure that people with HIV, tuberculosis or diabetes continue to receive their medications, that pregnant women are able to receive care for safe childbirth, that children receive treatment for common infections and are screened (and treated if needed) for acute malnutrition, that people in need receive psycho-social support and protection,” the release said. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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