SAN DIEGO, Calif.- It’s been more than a week since a 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal. The death toll has now surpassed 7,000 people. Assistance from all over the world is being sent out to Nepal, including the San Diego Scripps Health Medical Response Team.
Thousands of Nepalese have been left homeless in desperate need of food and shelter as well as medical assistance. Following the 7.8 eight magnitude quake that hit the area. San Diego Scripps Health deployed a medical response team to Nepal this past Friday. A group of four nurses and one administrator packed their bags and set flight to help those in need. CEO of Scripps Health San Diego, Chris Van Gorder says they’ve had a response team ever since 9-11. He says their team has been deployed in the past to other major disasters like Katrina and Haiti. Van Gorder says he runs a 24-hr command post from Scripps and one of the responsibilities of the team is to report to them daily, he says it’s a way to keep the group protected.
“So far they’ve been very safe the international medical corp. has done a good job with security and transportation and all of those things.” Said Van Gorder.
All five of the responders were provided with shots as well as medical gear to stay safe. Van Gorder said, “The main responsibility is to not become a victim and so go in making sure the team is protected.”
The response team has been divided into two groups. One of the teams is staying in a hotel in Dhading District. The others are sleeping in tents outside of a hotel in Gorkha. Van Gorder says just last night the group in Gorkha took care of about 60 patients. Responders have been able to distribute hundreds pharmaceutical items supplied to them by the World Health Organization. The responders say that one of the biggest concern right now is disease, potentially contaminated water and other things.
“So part of what the teams do is go in and make assessments in addition to doing medical care.”
Van Gorder says this is a 21 day mission. They count on having the response team back by May 22, although he says that day may change.