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Direct Relief News
Emergency response and global humanitarian reporting from Direct Relief, an apolitical, nonsectarian non-profit with a humanitarian mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty and emergencies.
Apr 29, 2021
In Homeless Communities, Gaining Trust is Key for Vaccination Efforts
While those experiencing homelessness are some of the most vulnerable to Covid-19, the population faces substantial barriers to accessing vaccines. Many lack transportation to get to and from a vaccination site. Others live nomadically, making it difficult to commit to a second vaccine appointment. But according to homelessness activist Tasia Thompson, misinformation is the primary […]
Apr 19, 2021
Chronic Disease and Mental Health are Linked. But How?
Research suggests other factors at work, beyond diet and exercise. At Centre Volunteers in Medicine in State College, Pennsylvania, providers are integrating mental health services and chronic disease care to help patients better manage their medical conditions.
Feb 23, 2021
Treating an Opioid Use Disorder Is Difficult. A Pandemic Doesn’t Help.
Getting treatment for an opioid use disorder can be complicated, often requiring daily visits to receive addiction medication under the supervision of a provider. While guidelines have been relaxed to reduce barriers for those seeking care, it’s not clear how effective the changes have been. “Their barriers are huge here,” said Kim Brown, the founder […]
Jan 19, 2021
Growing Up in a Pandemic: How Covid is Affecting Children’s Development
Pediatricians are noting developmental delays as well as potential for long-term health consequences, particularly for children from low-income households.
Dec 2, 2020
Sometimes, Getting to the Doctor is the Hardest Part
Chronic conditions require routine care and strict medication regimens, but for millions, transportation stands in the way of accessing timely health care. From rural communities to urban cities, patients struggle to make routine appointments. Some can’t afford a vehicle, others live hours, if not days, from the nearest point of care. The distance–and lack of […]
Nov 9, 2020
Mental Health Providers See “Unprecedented” Surge During Pandemic
As the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic fills hospitals to capacity, mental health providers are seeing a surge of their own. “People are under so much stress,” said Ryoko Chernomaz, a licensed clinical social worker at the San Francisco Free Clinic. Issues at home – from increasing childcare responsibilities to domestic abuse – are […]
Oct 5, 2020
For Pregnant Women, Stigma Complicates Opioid Misuse Treatment
New and expectant mothers face unique challenges when seeking treatment for an opioid use disorder. On top of preparing for motherhood, expectant mothers often face barriers to accessing treatment, which typically involves taking safer opioids to reduce dependency over time. The approach is called medication assisted therapy, or MAT, and is a key component in […]
Sep 11, 2020
Wildfires and Covid-19. Overlapping Emergencies Strain Resources, Demand Strategic Response
In California, six of the state's ten largest wildfires are currently burning, along with blazes in Oregon, Washington, and Arizona.
Aug 26, 2020
“Way Beyond Their Medical Needs.” Health Care Providers Prepare for Hurricane Laura
Whether in the storm's path or further afield, safety net providers are preparing to keep the lights on and services available.
Aug 26, 2020
In Sudan, Those with Diabetes Face Increased Risks Amid Pandemic
Rising food insecurity coupled with strained health care systems has created new challenges for those managing diabetes during the Covid-19 pandemic. When food is scarce and meals are inconsistent, people with diabetes may experience extreme blood sugar spikes–or dips–that can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, and even death. In Sudan, where the number of […]
Aug 21, 2020
In CA, Wildfires Accelerate Convergence of Public Health Crises
California faces a convergence of public health crises as dozens of wildfires unleash hazardous levels of air pollution across the state. Smoke-laden air has exacerbated conditions, like asthma, while the menace of Covid-19 still looms, mounting a respiratory threat on two fronts. For the more than 650,000 Californians sick with the virus, poor air quality […]
Aug 12, 2020
A New Way for Health Centers to Keep the Lights On
A battery rebate program is designed to help low-income people living in high fire risk areas, and the critical organizations that serve them, navigate future public safety power shutoffs.
Aug 5, 2020
Fewer Medical Visits, More Unplanned Pregnancies. How Covid-19 Impacts Reproductive Health.
While researchers say the coronavirus pandemic is more likely to lead to a baby bust than a baby boom, it’s limiting access to family planning services and contraception. One-third of American women have reportedly delayed or canceled visiting their provider for reproductive health care services or have had trouble getting their birth control, citing concerns […]
Jul 24, 2020
Responding to Covid-19 in the Navajo Nation: A Front Line Perspective
In the Navajo Nation — a sovereign territory spanning 27,000 square miles — responding to Covid-19 comes with unique challenges. A third of residents don’t have access to running water. Grocery stores are few and far between. And many must travel hours to reach the nearest hospital. While the nation has the highest case rate […]
Jul 16, 2020
“They Don’t Have Food, Period. Let Alone Healthy Options.” How Covid-19 Has Impacted Chronic Disease Care.
With many Americans out of work and struggling financially, managing chronic diseases, like diabetes, may be an afterthought. These health providers are working to change that.
Jul 8, 2020
Responding to the Coronavirus Outbreak on U.S.-Mexico Border
On the California-Mexico border, the coronavirus continues to disproportionately impact communities where large numbers of essential workers and high rates of poverty render preventative measures, such as social distancing, nearly impossible. In San Diego County, the discrepancy between case totals tracks the region’s socio-economic divisions. In the county’s southernmost zip code, case rates are roughly […]
Jun 30, 2020
In U.S., New Trends Fuel Coronavirus Resurgence
As the United States reports record-high case totals, patterns in viral spread are emerging.
Jun 22, 2020
Racial Health Inequities Persist. Here’s How Two Minneapolis Providers are Bridging the Gap.
Black Americans suffer significantly worse health outcomes than their white counterparts–from higher rates of chronic disease to lower life expectancy. During the coronavirus pandemic, these disparities have only been amplified, with Black patients dying at more than three times the rate of white Americans. Despite decades of research and community efforts, the United States’ racial […]
Jun 16, 2020
Dominica Nearly Eradicated Covid-19. Hurricane Season Could Change That.
On the Caribbean island of Dominica, hurricane season threatens to undo months of preventative measures taken to stop the spread of Covid-19. With only one public hospital and a handful of ICU beds, health officials acted quickly to contain the virus once the first case was reported in March. Since closing its borders, the island […]
Jun 3, 2020
Deciding How – and Where – to Send Supplies During Covid-19
Many countries – previously considered Covid-19 hotspots – have moved into new phases of their response, lifting multi-month lockdowns and reopening public spaces. While the changes signal progress for some, other countries, spared in the early stages of the pandemic, are now reporting dramatic surges in case totals. The progression of the virus is of particular […]
May 21, 2020
In the Midst of Covid-19, Florida Healthcare Providers Prepare for Hurricane Season
With Atlantic hurricane season beginning June 1 and Covid-19 still unfolding, health officials prepare on two fronts.
May 16, 2020
‘Last Black Man in SF’ Actor Was Appalled At Mask Prices. So He Gave Thousands Away.
Jamal Trulove grew up in a poor community and spent more than six years in prison before being exonerated, and is now on a mission to help those who are where he was.
May 7, 2020
Monitoring Population Movement as States Reopen
With about half of states lifting their shelter-in-place orders and reopening to varying degrees, many Americans are stepping out of quarantine for the first time in weeks. Restaurants are serving in-house diners, storefronts are opening their doors to shoppers, and people are going back to their workplaces, creating scenes of pre-pandemic life and stirring hopes […]
May 5, 2020
Covid-19 Exposes Digital Divide in Healthcare
As telemedicine takes hold, those without technological access may be left behind.
Apr 23, 2020
Not Just How, but Who: Tracing the Indirect Deaths Caused by Covid-19
Covid-19 will most likely cause the deaths of many who never contracted it at all, or who contracted it and recovered from it. When it comes to estimating the lives claimed by the novel coronavirus, there are two considerations, said Dr. Satchit Balsari, a Harvard professor of emergency medicine and fellow at the university’s FXB […]
Apr 15, 2020
The Camp Fire Destroyed Their Homes. With Many Still Unhoused, Covid-19 Brings New Complications.
As Covid-19 forces millions into their homes, fire survivors who lost their housing in the 2018 Camp Fire have found themselves sheltering in extremely close quarters. “You have three adults and a dog living in a 17-foot trailer and its stressful,” says Magalia resident Joan Coffin. Coffin and her family are just one of many […]
Apr 2, 2020
Coronavirus Response: Live Story- March
This live story is no longer being updated. For the latest news, see this month’s live story at Direct Relief News. For the latest case totals and donation data at a glance, be sure to check Direct Relief’s live updating map: March 31 – *** Today’s shipments for Covid-19 support went out to clinics in […]
Mar 30, 2020
Inside the Lives of America’s ‘Essential Workers’
As demand for medical assistance reaches an all-time high, shipments continue to health workers battling Covid-19.
Mar 9, 2020
“The Tip of the Iceberg.” Infectious Disease Specialist Weighs in on Coronavirus Outbreak
The global health community is working to better understand coronavirus, and how to protect patients.
Mar 6, 2020
For One Australian School, Repairing Classrooms Came First. Then Mental Health.
Australia's bushfires created massive impacts on communities, including those where lives and property were lost. Administrators at Buxton Public School are working to support elementary students as long-term recovery continues.
Mar 3, 2020
As U.S. Ramps Up Testing for Covid-19, Cases Expected to Rise
As cases decrease in China, the number of known cases is increasing in other places, including the United States.
Mar 2, 2020
Beyond Tampons and Pads: A Solution to Period Poverty?
A period product that has been around for decades is now being considered by experts as a possible solution to period poverty. The menstrual cup — first introduced in the 1930s — has gained popularity in recent years as a zero-waste option for women looking to reduce their environmental impact. But, according to a recent […]
Feb 12, 2020
From the Middle Class to the Working Poor, Millions in U.S. Count on Free Clinics
The United States has several de facto medical systems, and the one a person accesses often hinges on how much money they have, or their employment benefits. Those with the means to visit a hospital or private medical group often do. But for the nation’s vulnerable populations, a social safety net exists, in the form […]
Jan 16, 2020
In America’s Heartland, an Unlikely Activist Tackles the Opioid Epidemic
As communities across the U.S. grapple with the opioid epidemic, a Midwest-based group is using unconventional methods to promote the health of drug users. Through street-based outreach, the IHRC has equipped drug users across the state with Naloxone—the drug that reverses opioid overdoses. Since 2016, the group has helped prevent more than 2,000 opioid-related deaths. […]
Jan 12, 2020
Ten Years Later, Remembering the Haiti Earthquake
Ten years ago, Haiti was hit by the deadliest natural disaster in its history. On January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the island nation, killing more than 220,000 people and internally displacing another 1.5 million. The disaster exacerbated existing humanitarian challenges and upended the lives of millions, exerting an indelible influence on the country’s […]
Dec 26, 2019
Direct Relief’s Top Podcasts of 2019
Within three months of launching the Direct Relief podcast, thousands have listened in to hear the voices shaping global health. The podcast has captured the stories of doctors on the front lines of humanitarian catastrophes, first responders mobilizing in the wake of disaster, and the patients they serve. As an ode to the end of […]
Dec 20, 2019
An Aging Population Calls for a New Approach to Elder Care. This Health Center is Meeting the Challenge.
Urban Health's Plan's Center for Healthy Aging is taking a comprehensive approach to geriatric care.
Dec 12, 2019
A Year of Disasters Brings Another Year of Response
From Mozambique to the Bahamas, 2019's disasters revealed challenges for those responding, and a signal for what may be yet to come.
Nov 28, 2019
Cutting Through the Noise by Giving Thanks
While disasters seem unending and politics divisive, giving thanks may offer a much needed shift in perspective. This Thanksgiving, we sit down with Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe — who gives a refreshing take on the current state of affairs and answers the question on everyone’s mind this holiday — What are you […]
Nov 22, 2019
For California Health Centers, Access to Power Remains Open Question
Doctors used headlamps to see patients during most recent round of blackouts in Northern California communities. It may not be the last time.
Nov 12, 2019
Haiti Is Facing a Humanitarian Crisis. This Doctor Is on the Front Lines.
Haiti is in the throes of a humanitarian disaster provoked by months of violent protests. Demonstrations have blocked supply routes, choking a nation already crippled by poverty. Accessing health care in these conditions is challenging, if not impossible, exacerbating existing health problems. As medical care grows more scarce, preventable disease becomes more deadly. On this […]
Nov 8, 2019
The Need to Adapt to a Changing Climate
Massive wildfires, severe storms, drought — the effects of climate change are in full swing. While reducing greenhouse gas pollution continues to be a priority, adapting to the new climate is a must. Increasing climate resiliency has become a major concern for community leaders, from firefighters to public health officials. Last week, these leaders gathered […]
Oct 31, 2019
Stress Headaches and Fluttering Heartbeats. The Kincade Fire is Eroding Mental Health.
The Kincade Fire has displaced more than 200,000 people in Northern California, upending the lives of residents across Sonoma County.
Oct 23, 2019
Rags Instead of Tampons. Here’s What Period Poverty Looks Like in the U.S.
Pads and tampons are a simple necessity, yet women across America are going without them. The cost of these products make them inaccessible for many low-income women struggling to make ends meet. These women often forgo menstrual hygiene products in order to afford for other basic necessities. Without tampons or pads, women resort to using […]
Oct 8, 2019
To Address the National Opioid Crisis, This Health Center Acts Locally
The Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics are using a multi-tiered approach to tackle opioid addiction.
Sep 30, 2019
Carlos Delgado, Major League Legend, Steps Up to Bat for Puerto Rico’s Kids
Even as he was slugging his way into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, left-handed batting legend Carlos Delgado was paying close attention to the social injustice in his native Puerto Rico. Growing up in the city of Aguadilla, across the island from the capital, San Juan, “I noticed how a lot of the institutions […]
Sep 25, 2019
Giving Girls Their Days Back
Many girls around the world lack access to menstrual products, which can limit educational access and further advancement. Days for Girls is working to change that.
Sep 20, 2019
Remembering Maria, Puerto Ricans Jump into Bahamas Response
Edwin Rodriguez, a pediatric cardiologist in Puerto Rico, spent the days after Hurricane Maria using carefully rationed gasoline to reach trapped or bedridden patients in damaged buildings. So when a colleague asked him to travel to the Bahamas to help the people hit hardest by Dorian, he had some idea of what to expect. “We […]
Aug 31, 2019
During a Hurricane Evacuation, Don’t Forget About Your Health
When a disaster forces people to evacuate, they often forget to take medicines and supplies needed to manage chronic conditions, which can quickly spiral into medical crisis.
Aug 17, 2010
Direct Relief Expediting In-Country Medical Aid Delivery for Pakistan
Direct Relief is expediting the in-country delivery of urgently needed medical supplies to organizations supporting people affected by flooding in Pakistan. Abbott Laboratories in Pakistan is donating the children’s oral rehydration solution Pedialyte and the pharmaceutical Entamizole, used to treat gastrointestinal infections including acute amoebic dysentery and giardia, which are common when people are exposed […]