Given the slow response of relief organizations, AHF will deploy resources to assist in the Puerto Rican relief efforts
FT. LAUDERDALE (September 29, 2017) As the people of Puerto Rico continue to await much needed basic resources from relief agencies, following the devastating impact on the island, as a result of Hurricane’s Irma and Maria, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global organization serving those living with HIV/AIDS, chartered a cargo plane that departed Miami/Opa-Locka Airport this morning loaded with 50 generators to assist in getting sustainable power needed to support the health department facilities in Puerto Rico whose staff are tackling numerous health care issues in local relief efforts. AHFs local staff in Puerto Rico is also working to support these medical needs of the community, and ensure the needs of those living with HIV are able to get the care that they need.
In working in collaboration with the San Juan Office of the Mayor, a majority of the donated generators will be offered to local health departments to offer relief to local hospitals that continue to be overwhelmed by numerous patients dealing with chronic diseases and in need of time sensitive medical attention.
Following a need for support shared earlier Tuesday by AHF Southern Bureau Chief Michael Kahane, who also oversees the organizations operations in the Caribbean, several members of AHF’s South Florida staff mobilized to secure the generators needed from retail stores across Miami-Dade/Broward County.
In addition to providing the local area healthcare facilities with this initial supply of generators, AHF plans to continue to work in collaboration with local authorities to provide much needed resources to help the people of Puerto Rico, get the resources they need to regain some level of normalcy.
“Having been in constant, but challenging communication with our staff in Puerto Rico, as well as continually monitoring the situation since Hurricane Irma initially hit the island, I was very aware of how frustratingly slow the response by relief organizations has been, while the needs of the people continue to rise.” stated Michael Kahane, AHF Southern Bureau Chief. “It’s disheartening to know that weeks have passed since these hurricanes devastated Puerto Rico and basic resources have still not been provided to a community that is in such dire need.”
Earlier this year, AHF opened a local clinic in the metro San Juan community to support the growing needs of the area in addressing the increased HIV/AIDS epidemic.
According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, Puerto Rico has some of the most concerning HIV/AIDS statistics in the United States. Puerto Rico has ranked in the top 10 AIDS case rates among all states and territories, and has an HIV death rate higher than any U.S. state or territory, a rate nearly 4 times the national rate.