thumbnail DorianTrackOverBahamas 9 September smallUpdated October 3rd, 2019 

The emergency caused by Hurricane Dorian is now in its early recovery phase. Various UN agencies, international organizations, and NGOs are in partnership with local authorities and are coordinating long term solutions for health care delivery, shelters and mental health support.

The number of missing persons has reduced to 424 as NEMA reports 876 people have been found. There have been 60 deaths recorded; 51 on Abaco and 9 in Grand Bahama. More deaths are anticipated as search and rescue efforts continue, and debris removal continue. 

As individuals begin to return to the affected islands, it is essential that vector control measures continue to be implemented to prevent disease and respond to outbreaks. Mold removal in hospitals (notably Coopers Town Clinic and Rand Memorial Hospital), schools and in communities affected by the flooding also needs to be addressed.

Throughout the course of the hurricane response and pre-deployments, PAHO has mobilized 20 surge staff to support the PAHO Bahamas country office in the areas of water quality, enviromental health, surveillance, among others. 

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The British Virgin Islands sustained widespread damage as a result of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. The Adina Donovan Home for the Elderly and the Virgin Gorda Elderly Home—buildings that house the most vulnerable seniors and older persons in their communities—were badly damaged by the storms. With financial help from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the government of Canada, the Pan American Health Organization undertook restoration works which have now been completed.

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The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was particularly active and severe, well above average, with seventeen named storms, ten hurricanes, and six major hurricanes. This compares to the long-term averages of twelve named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

Hurricane Irma was an extremely powerful and catastrophic Cape Verde-type hurricane, the strongest observed in the Atlantic in terms of maximum sustained winds since Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and the strongest storm on record to exist in the open Atlantic region. It was the first Category 5 hurricane on record to strike the Leeward Islands. 

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The Pan American Health Organization commissioned a study of the wind speeds in several Caribbean islands during the passages of Irma and Maria; the wind maps developed provide estimates on various islands.

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This report on the Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) Study in the four Eastern Caribbean Islands is an essential element in the implementation of the Smart Health Care Facilities in the Caribbean Project; multi-million investment by the UK government through the Department for International Development (UKaid DFID).

pdf  Download the report (1.36 MB)