Americas / United States / Puerto Rico

December 7, 2017

Puerto Rico: A looming health crisis

Two months after Hurricane Maria laid waste to large parts of Puerto Rico, huge numbers of people continue to suffer. There is a desperate shortage of shelter, clean water, food, and medication, especially in the remote outlying mountainous regions. Cases of diseases such as Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya Fever have been registered.

While no official case numbers are available, there are many reports in the media, and from meetings Malteser International Americas had with Puerto Rican healthcare providers and government officials, that there are increased conditions related to unclean water, ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to conjunctivitis, scabies, and asthma. In addition, by the end of October, Puerto Rico reported 121 cases of leptospirosis, since the hurricane, with four confirmed deaths as a result.

“If these illnesses continue to spread, Puerto Rico is set to face a huge health crisis,” warned Ravi Tripptrap, Executive Director Malteser International Americas.

Malteser International Americas is concerned about a health crisis for those who are also still without access to safe water who have been turning to natural water sources such as ponds, lakes, and streams for their drinking water. This can be very dangerous because of possible contamination. Malteser International Americas’ has recommended water filters for families without clean, running water.

Donate today to Puerto Rico’s recovery.


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