By Gail Hairston, Andrea Gils
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador on Saturday, April 16. The epicenter was in Manabi province, in the Ecuadorian coastline, where many cities and villages have been devastated.
According to CNN, the quake has killed at least 413 people and more than 2,500 have been injured.
Several countries and organizations have come together to support to the Ecuadorian people, including a group of Ecuadorian physicians who are completing their residency and fellowship training in the U.S., Canada and Spain. Among these physicians is pediatric neurology resident at UK HealthCare, Dr. Ana C. Albuja.
Albuja, together with the support of close to 100 physicians from various universities and hospitals including UK HealthCare, Duke University, University of Chicago, Emory University, University of Texas-Houston, Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic, have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to support Ecuadorians in such a time of desperate need.
“Thousands of others are directly affected, having lost their homes and sources of income,” Albuja said.
“Rescue efforts are underway and there is an urgent need for food, clean water, clothing and tents to serve as provisional shelter,” according to the GoFundMe website. “Medical missions are also taking place, with a critical need for medical supplies.”
According to the Albuja, all donations will be devoted to either support immediate rescue efforts by the Ecuadorian Red Cross or to support Archdiocese of Quito, an organization that is currently administering charitable donations for disaster victims. The campaign is also seeking donations of medical supplies.
Currently, the campaign’s goal is to fundraise $100,000, and the group has already raised more than $50,000.
“We are impressed about the $50,000… Somebody donated $18,000 which helped boost our numbers,” Albuja said. “Every donation counts. We very much appreciate your support to the victims of this disaster, and to the Ecuadorian people as a whole.”
In addition to the GoFundMe campaign, Samantha Almeida, an Ecuadorian UK student in the College of Communication and Information, has been in contact with one of her professors in Ecuador, who suggested another avenue to provide support to the community, a crowd-funding campaign launched by Global Shapers Quito Hub.
The organization has created an Indiegogo campaign for Ecuador along with EcoGlobal, international friends and several other organizations including the WWF Ecuador. The campaign aimed to raise $8,000 and surpassed its goal within less than 24 hours. The campaign has raised over $85,000 to date.
UK Shoulder to Shoulder Global (STSG), along with partners Timmy Global Health (TGH) and the foundation Hombro a Hombro also have initiated a funding relief campaign to support the emergent needs in the disaster areas. STSG and TGH will send all donated funds to Hombro a Hombro, a health care non-profit in Ecuador to support supplies and relief work. The clinic staff of Central Salud Hombro a Hombro are already in the coastal area providing emergency health care in coordination with the Ecuador Ministry of Health.
To support this effort in Santo Domingo, visit https://timmyglobalhealth.org/online-donation-form/. Indicate in comment section that this is for STSG and select "Ecuador Earthquake Relief 2016" from the dropdown under "Please use my donation."
To donate to the Indiegogo campaign launched by Global Shapers Quito, please click here.