By the time Hurricane Maria hit the Dominican Republic, it had reached 155pmh winds making it a Category 5 hurricane. Like Puerto Rico and many other Caribbean countries, the Dominican Republic faced deaths and flooding.
One barrier that affected the access to care for those after hurricane Maria was that the Caribbean islands had just been hit with hurricane Irma fairly recently. Just as the population was beginning to clean things up, another category 5 hurricane comes and destroys many of the already battered shelters and healthcare facilities.
Luckily the Pan American Health Organization is just one of the organizations taking steps to cover medical supplies and establish health services in the countries in need.
The flooding made sanitary conditions a priority. The hurricane caused an increase in mosquito and rodent activity on the island. This cause not only causes a risk for vector born diseases, but also flood associated diseases, including cholera and hep A.
Trauma care that might be needed in a situation like this would include providing clean water and clean shelters. Other trauma interventions that would be important could be mental health treatments. Trauma affects people in different ways and there might be a high need for mental health services after an even like this.
I think we are still learning, but after events like this it becomes apparent the importance of preparing for these events. The teams did a great job helping out the population that was affected, but there is always room to improve.
Critical Health Response Ongoing due to Hurricanes Maria and Irma in the Caribbean. (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2018, from https://reliefweb.int/report/dominica/critical-health-response-ongoing-due-hurricanes-maria-and-irma-caribbean
Hughes, T. (2017, September 21). ‘The country is in a daze’: Hurricane Maria ravages Dominica. Retrieved April 11, 2018, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/09/20/hurricane-maria-blamed-least-7-deaths-caribbean-islands/685030001/
Osborne, M., Winsor, M., & Jacobo, J. (2017, September 22). Hurricane Maria leaves trail of death and destruction in the Caribbean. Retrieved April 11, 2018, from http://abcnews.go.com/International/hurricane-maria-strengthens-category-ravaging-puerto-rico/story?id=49997188