IMR to Aid Victims of Hurricane Otto in Nicaragua
In the middle of planning for our next medical mission trip to Nicaragua January 14-22, Hurricane Otto slammed into the southern part of the country near the town of San Juan de Nicaragua on November 24, striking a direct blow to the area where we will be working. Our mission trip to that impoverished region is now more important than ever.
IMR has been the exclusive humanitarian provider of medical care to this region for a decade, and now the Nicaraguan government and communities along the San Juan River are asking for our assistance to help the communities we know so well. Winds topping 120mph, rain, flash flooding, and landslides overwhelmed the riverfront communities where our team will be working, forcing many from their homes and leaving the land in ruin.
Otto left disease and detriment in its wake, and the CDC reports that infections and disease in that area are at an all-time heightened state. We typically see skin infections following hurricanes, and we expect that local doctors will begin to identify those in the coming weeks as residents return to their homes to try and rebuild their lives.
Our team anticipates providing extensive wound care and treating fungal infections people receive from coming into contact with damaged property and land. Local clean water sources are also threatened as floodwaters seep into water supplies, which will likely cause widespread infectious disease outbreaks.
Apart from infections, the CDC anticipates diarrhea, stomach issues, and upper respiratory diseases could potentially be on the rise for next couple of months. The winds stirred up mold and contaminants from the ground, and the local hospital is reporting seeing a large number of patients with asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis. People who had electricity lost power, which compromised their food supply and will likely lead to more digestive complications.
How to Help
We are actively collecting donations for medical supplies to support local doctors in Nicaragua ahead of our arrival in January. We are also looking for more volunteers for our mission trip to Nicaragua, as the demand for our care is now much greater than we had anticipated. Please help us in any way you can – your help WILL make a difference.