Potential medical crisis on horizon in Puerto Rico
By Marvin Schrebe
CNN reports that the medical situation on Puerto Rico is about to “explode.” This report comes just one week after Hurricane Marie, a then dangerous category four storm, hit the Caribbean island territory. Dr. Maria Rodriguez told CNN “"We can do some things. I have a stethoscope and the antiseptics and I can prescribe. But the pharmacy can't work with that, they need the system -- they need labs to provide medications to these patients.”
Rodriguez, medical director at Concilio de Salud Integral de Loíza, a hospital serving mostly the poor on Puerto Rico says the situation is getting desperate. CNN reports that diesel fuel is in short supply on the island and what little there is does not become allocated properly. Once she runs out of diesel she will become forced to close the doors of the hospital, something she has never done before. “What else we can do?" she told CNN. "I haven't seen anything like this."
Rodriguez reported to CNN that she has worked at the hospital for twenty-four years. “"The desperation that all these people have, they've lost everything -- on the whole island,” she told CNN.
She fears the situation will become worse before it becomes better. Dr. Robert Fuller, an emergency medicine physician at University of Connecticut and International Medical Corp told CNN that he has worked during many disasters but the devastation on Puerto Rico was a surprise even to him. “"I didn't realize it was gonna be corner-to-corner everybody affected by the storm," Fuller told CNN, "Every family's been touched and disturbed in some way or another. And the degree of destruction -- the power the storm had -- took me by surprise."
Fuller agrees that the biggest need at present is fuel and electricity. “If we had good logistics and good communications, things could probably settle out a little faster," Fuller told CNN. Fuller too believes a great medical crisis is about to unfold on the island. “"It's a matter of getting the medications and treatments to the people.”
Fuller told CNN that the proper medications cannot be delivered to the proper people because there is no fuel to drive while making the distributions. Human resources are not the problem as Fuller sees plenty of qualified personnel coming to the island.
Along with electricity and fuel Logos Post readers can pray that God moves and a disaster can be avoided.