Health Crisis in Puerto Rico

Valerie Levine

It’s been four weeks since the terrifying hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, destroying everything in its path, leaving hundreds injured, and yet the locals and others are struggling to receive the medical aid needed.

People carry water in bottles retrieved from a canal due to lack of water following passage of Hurricane Maria, in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. 
(HECTOR RETAMAL ECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Across the island, only forty-three hospitals have a limited amount of electricity. They also don’t have enough medicine and supplies to treat their many patients. Puerto Ricans are unable to receive the attention needed to help cure them. For example, the extremely ill dialysis patients treatments have been minimized since there is still a shortage of diesel to run their generators. Aiming to help the people of Puerto Rico, the federal government sent ten Disaster Medical Assistance Teams made up by doctors, nurses and paramedics. The lack of drinking water and frequent power outages are not helping the islanders, it will only start the spread of diseases.

The people trapped on the island are stranded with barely any drinking water, and a limited food supply. Not only do they have to worry about how or where they can manage to find food and water to drink, but they must consider that some of the food can be contaminated by animals and bacterias. Small cuts or scrapes can possibly cause an infection. Puerto Ricans are in desperate need of help and these small infections can lead to the spreading of infectious diseases which may even possibly result in death.