Hurricane Dorian slammed into the northwest Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane in early September 2019. With sustained winds of 185 mph, gusts of up to 220 mph and storm surges as high as 23 feet, Dorian hit the Bahamas as the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the island nation’s history. More than 13,000 homes were destroyed, along with at least six health clinics. As recovery efforts continue months after the storm, the official death toll stands at 70, with hundreds still reported missing.
In response to the catastrophic damage that Dorian left in its wake in the Bahamas, International Medical Corps deployed an emergency response team consisting of doctors, nurses, logisticians, mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS) specialists, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) specialists. The Bahamian government asked us to help lead assessment efforts and provide medical care throughout Grand Bahama island, particularly in eastern areas, which were the most affected by the storm and where the health system was decimated. Our team was the first to reach the most devastated communities, including High Rock, McLean’s Town and Pelican Point.
Today, International Medical Corps is continuing to work with the Bahamian government to provide basic medical services and supplies to those affected by the hurricane, as well as WASH and MHPSS services, through our “Hospitainer” primary healthcare mobile unit in East Grand Bahama.