Medical treatment and distributions of relief supplies: Help was given where it was needed

by Nina Skandalaki, Ruth Bücker,  2013/04/04

Two severe earthquakes with a magnitude of 6 and 6.2 struck the northwest of Iran on August 11th, 2012. According to official figures published by the Red Crescent, 399 villages were affected by the quakes. About 12.000 houses were completely reduced to rubble. 1.800 injured persons had to be treated in hospitals, 12.000 people were given outpatient treatment.

After an official appeal for help by the Iranian Red Crescent, which was conveyed by the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Berlin, humedica launched an emergency aid project for the victims of the earthquake. The plan was to deliver medical care to the several thousands of injured people and distribute relief supplies and sanitary products. Given the imminent onset of winter, sleeping bags were to be handed out as well.

What was the outcome of these plans?

Medical care

With so-called mobile clinics, two successive humedica teams stopped in 36 villages and treated more than a thousand patients in varying surroundings. Treatment was delivered at local health posts, but also in tents or in the open air.

In contrast to the hospitals of the bigger towns and cities, there was a lack of medical staff as well as equipment and medication in the rural destination area of the humedica mission. Before the earthquake, medical care had already been insufficient in many places and the situation was then aggravated by the natural disaster.

Consequently, the doctors not only treated injuries suffered in the earthquake. Besides tending to the physical and emotional wounds caused by this traumatic experience, the humedica doctors also provided basic health care and pain alleviation.

Distribution of sanitary and household packages

1.059 families received both a set of sanitary products and a package containing other non-food items.

The sanitary kit contained soaps, skin, hair and tooth care products, baby powder, washing powder, washing-up liquid and sponges, towels and underwear for children and adults. Other relief supplies handed out were blankets, cookware, LED emergency lamps, multiple sockets, winter caps and gloves.

In order to facilitate the transport of the supplies for the families, the clothes, blankets and towels were packed in jute-like sacks and the sanitary and household items in cardboard boxes. Local staff was employed for packing the bundles and humedica also benefited from the knowledge and experience of its local partners during the distributions.

In order to reach the neediest of families, humedica decided, in the course of the distributions, to give a part of the relief packages to the semi-governmental welfare organisation Komitee Emdade Imam Chomeini. The organisation, which cares for needy and disabled people, gratefully accepted the help given to them.

Distribution of sleeping bags

Given the fact that large parts of the population had to spend the beginning of winter in tents or unheated containers since reconstruction efforts were only progressing slowly, humedica decided on the additional distribution of sleeping bags.

The first samples produced by different companies in Teheran were ordered, delivered and tested in October last year. In November, a bulk order was placed with a local company that processed the raw materials and produced a part of the components itself.

Thus, we were able to strengthen the local economy on the one hand and to obtain a lower piece price than expected on the other. Consequently, we were able to hand out 3.206 sleeping bags and provide 556 more persons than originally planned.

Thank you so much!
Dear friends and supporters, these goals would not have been achieved without your help. Thank you for every kind of support. We would also like to extend our special thanks to The Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany for their generous financial support and to action medeor e. V. for the medication donated by them.

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