Menu Helping in Jesus' Name™

Boosting Medical Preparedness and Disaster Relief Capacity

It is evident there has been a rapid increase in man-made and natural disasters around the world in recent times, and Samaritan’s Purse International are often one of the first organisations to deploy to developing nations, which lack sufficient medical resources to cope with the magnitude of a disaster when it befalls them.

As reported last month, Samaritan’s Purse International has a large field hospital it can deploy when needed. In fact, the need was so great in Ecuador that it was decided to leave the hospital there permanently. It would be wonderful to see Australia provide more medical professional volunteers to join those from America, Canada and the UK, to deploy when the need is urgent.

We are pleased to announce that our first short-term medical team deployment to Cambodia will take place between 5–13 November, but this is not a disaster deployment. The 13 medical professionals deploying to Cambodia will be working under our resident medical doctor, Dr Tharanga.

They will be assisting by conducting clinics in villages, and upskilling local medical staff. We hope to see this type of program increase over the next few years, as the need is huge. We Are The Organisation That Sticks Around!

When disaster strikes in developing nations, the most urgent needs are normally shelter, food and water, and our deployments often focus on these needs so as to preserve life. Long after the headlines have faded and many other organisations withdraw, we often remain in the country to assist with the rebuilding of destroyed structures, such as schools and preschools.

This happened in Vanuatu, where we participated with distribution of food and non-food items such as blankets, cooking kits and hygiene kits for the first three months after Cyclone Pam, and then went onto start a program of rebuilding preschools. Eight rebuilds have been completed so far, through the generous donations of our supporters and our hard-working volunteers who flew out to help us on short-term ‘Build Back Better’ missions.

Similarly, we deployed to Fiji in response to Cyclone Winston in February this year, and focused on providing shelter material for families whose homes were devastated. From there we went on to
tarp 16 schools, as requested by the local authorities. We are now preparing to send teams to rebuild preschools that were completely destroyed.

Disasters in the South Pacific are now so frequent that we have decided to pre-position 2000 tarps in Fiji, for rapid distribution in Fiji or other South Pacific islands when a disaster next strikes.

Our Homeland Is Not Forgotten!

We love our great countries of Australia and New Zealand, and it is well known that Australia is often ravaged by flood or bushfires that cause so much destruction. We are blessed in that we have wonderful first response services such as the State Emergency Service (SES) and Rural Fire Service (RFS); however, once these services leave there is often a lot of clean-up work to be done.

This is where our large number of volunteers respond, enabling us to remain in disaster areas for weeks or sometimes months, and in the case of the Black Saturday fires in Victoria in 2009, we remained for one and a half years to help with the aftermath.

We are looking for volunteers to deploy to disasters. if you are interested, please apply here.

If you would like to donate and support the work of Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief, please click below.

dr donate button

If you would like to volunteer for our Medical Disaster Response Team, please register here for our Medical Disaster  Response Training in Sydney on 5 – 9 December 2016.