On January 26, 2001, a 6.9-earthquake in Gujarat killed over 20,000 people, injured 150,000 more, and destroyed over 300 hospitals and 200,000 houses across the region.
Americares India responded immediately with relief supplies, including 1,000 tents, blankets, plastic sheeting, facemasks, casting and other orthopedic materials, disinfectants, water purification tablets and generators, as well as medical supplies and nutritional supplements. Through a direct partnership with Disaster Relief Cell, created by the state government in Gujarat after the earthquake, Americares India organized the distribution of these supplies to hundreds of thousands displaced by the earthquake. Americares India also provided orthopedic equipment to clinics throughout the quake-affected area.
We are supporting New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in conducting trainings on emergency medicine, trauma care, and disaster preparedness and response for health care professional in the state of Gujarat, where Ahmedabad is the capital city. In 2007, a disaster training and drill was held at Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad, simulating the emergency response effort that would be needed in the case of bombings resulting in mass casualties. Unfortunately, that was the exact scenario which presented itself at the Civil Hospital in 2008, when a series of devastating explosions resulted in 49 deaths and more than 110 people injured, including two bomb blasts at the hospital itself.