Submitted by Direct Relief
MAUI, Hawaii, August 14, 2023 /CSRwire/ - Direct Relief, in response to the catastrophic Maui wildfires, announced today an initial cash commitment of $500 thousand to aid affected communities and facilitate the timely and sustained delivery of urgently needed medical supplies to clinics, shelters, and state and local emergency response agencies with which is working.
The wildfires in Lahaina – the deadliest disaster in Hawaii’s history – have resulted in the loss of over 2,000 structures and claimed the lives of more than 80 individuals. With thousands seeking refuge in shelters across Maui and Honolulu, Direct Relief is actively addressing the pressing medical needs of these evacuees and aiding search and rescue operations.
The organization’s initial deliveries of emergency medical essentials were deployed in shelters in Maui earlier this week, and Direct Relief staff today are delivering additional requested medical essentials to Maui via ROAM air.
Today’s shipment includes numerous wildfire kits. These kits, developed in consultation with medical and emergency-response experts, aim to prevent emergency room visits during significant wildfire events. They contain vital medications, including inhalers, nebulizer solutions, irrigation solutions, antibiotics, analgesics, wound care products, and chronic disease medications.
Beyond the immediate risks of burns, wildfires can exacerbate pre-existing health issues. Airborne particulates can worsen respiratory or cardiovascular problems, even sending those affected to the emergency room, and people with chronic conditions can face acute medical crises if they evacuate without their medications.
At the request of Maui Search and Rescue, Direct Relief is also dispatching 20 emergency medical backpacks to bolster on-the-ground relief efforts.
Based on years of disaster response experience, the packs are tailored for paramedics and health professionals to use in the field and are the standard for the State of California’s Medical Reserve Corps.
Today’s delivery follows a series of emergency shipments by Direct Relief this week, including requested medical resources that arrived with the local organization Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawai’i.
The supplies were put to immediate use by medical personnel in Maui shelters and via a mobile medical unit caring for pregnant and post-partum individuals, newborns, and their families.
Direct Relief will continue to respond as the situation unfolds, coordinating with local clinics, Hawaii state health and emergency response officials, FEMA, and associations like the Society for Critical Care Medicine.
For more information on Direct Relief's response to the wildfires in Hawaii, visit: https://www.directrelief.org/emergency/hawaii-fires/
About Direct Relief
A humanitarian organization committed to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty and emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the US and globally to communities in need—without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. For more information, visit https://www.DirectRelief.org.
A humanitarian organization committed to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty and emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the U.S. and world to communities in need—without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. For more information, visit https://www.DirectRelief.org.
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