A group of doctors and volunteer staff from Atlantis Health Care Group visited the municipalities of Ponce, Guayanilla and Yauco recently, offering medical services and distributing essential items to several of the communities with the greatest structural damage and whose citizens have been emotionally affected.
“It was really shocking to see so many homes collapsed and so many families without basic services like water and electricity,” said Atlantis COO Carlos Cabrera.
“We could feel how the terror is in full bloom in all these people who continue to feel intense seismic movements constantly, in such ways that they prefer to sleep in camps rather than in concrete structures in order to assure their safety,” he said.
“The emotional state of the victims is fragile, thus providing continuous clinical emotional support is essential to help them manage this emergency situation, in which science has no way of defining when it will end,” said Cabrera.
Atlantis through its team of doctors and nurses provided medical evaluation, which included blood pressure taking, blood sugar levels samples, as well as prescriptions of medications to people who needed it.
In addition, the team of nutritionists evaluated food intake, needs and alternatives to bring adequate food and dietary supplements to the emergency camps according to their health conditions.
The social work team provided emotional support, crisis intervention and first aid in community resources. In addition to establishing links with mental health services agencies (APS Healthcare Puerto Rico) to refer to people in need of services.
Finally, the administrative group served as liaison between the town mayors, community leaders and the media to develop an effective route and impact communities in greatest need, both to provide medical help and to provide support in the distribution of essential items.
The communities reached were Maga Arriba, Maga Abajo and the Bahía community in Ponce and Guayanilla. While in Yauco Atlantis visited Alturas del Cafetal and the Municipal Stadium.
Meanwhile, Metro Pavia Health System and its 12 affiliated hospitals reiterated their commitment to the community’s health and well-being, joining forces to help victims in the earthquake-affected region.
“We have 12 affiliated hospitals throughout the island, of which four offer mental health services and have excellent health professionals such as nurses, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists, who have joined this initiative to provide emotional and recreational support to adults and children in shelters and other designated areas,” said Metro Pavia Health System President Karen Z. Artau-Feliciano.
During the past few days, the medical and clinical faculty of the affiliated hospitals have been visiting several communities and shelters to offer counseling and/or services, she said.
The Metro Pavia Ayuda Foundation is also continuing to run a collections center to supply essential items to evacuees and those in need in the towns of Ponce, Yauco, Guánica, Guayanilla, Peñuelas and San Germán. The collection center is located at the Pavia Santurce Hospital and receives donations from the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Some of the essential items that will be collected are: adult diapers, antibiotic ointment, hand sanitizer, sanitary napkins, rubbing alcohol, sterile gauze and mosquito repellent, among others.