Teams Supporting Local Responders in Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan Boroughs
An MSF physician conducts a medical consultation with a resident at a makeshift clinic opened on Beach 57th street in Far Rockaway, Queens. MSF teams are going door-to-door in apartment complexes in Far Rockaway along side volunteers from various community groups, including Occupy Sandy Relief and Far Rockaway Youth Task Force, to assess the medical needs of residents who live in apartment buildings in the area. Some of these buildings, predominantly housing elderly residents, have been without electricity, heat, and water since Hurricane Sandy struck on Monday, October 29. The community groups, through volunteers, are carrying water and other supplies to residents of the buildings, including a 22-story apartment building.
USA 2012 © Michael Goldfarb/MSF
NEW YORK, November 3, 2012 — Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has mobilized local medical and mental health teams to meet some of the humanitarian needs of those affected by Hurricane Sandy. A team of doctors, nurses, mental health specialists, and logistical experts are assessing the situation, and working alongside local community volunteer efforts to satisfy the most urgent medical and mental health needs in the Rockaway Beach area of Queens, and we have activated locally-based internationally experienced medical and non-medical staff to supplement emergency responses in New York and New Jersey.
On Staten Island, one of the worst-affected areas in New York City, MSF has visited several emergency shelters in support of the response from local and state authorities as well as community groups that are mounting the bulk of the aid effort in the borough. At the Susan E. Wagner High School, which has become a shelter for an estimated 350 – 400 people, many of the displaced who have sought sanctuary there have lost access to medicines for chronic medical conditions. MSF is working to support the onsite medical team and organize a medicines procurement system as well as dispatching a mental health team to the shelter in order to assess psycho-social support needs.
USA 2012 © Michael Goldfarb/MSF
MSF has mobilized additional support for exhausted and overstretched medical workers and volunteers in Manhattan and Brooklyn who have worked tirelessly since the storm to tend to the needs of their patients.
At this time, MSF is not seeking any donations to support these efforts. Approximately $35,000 that had been raised by New York City marathon runners to support MSF medical programs is being used for the Hurricane Sandy relief operation.
Over the past twenty years, a large proportion of MSF’s financial support has come from donors from communities in New York and New Jersey that have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Hundreds of field staff and thousands of donors have given their time, professional expertise and financial support to help people beyond their own borders. We thank them and want them to know our thoughts and efforts are with them at this time.
MSF provides medical humanitarian assistance in more than 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters.