Over the past several days, I have been on the ground in Texas assessing the needs of children in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and have witnessed the extraordinary devastation across southeast Texas. As I told NBC News last week, I believe it will take more than a decade for the impacted regions of Texas to fully recover from this storm.
Significant risks remain for children and families in Texas. Last week, Tom Price, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, declared a public health emergency as a response to the major public health concerns the state faces in the wake of the storm. These challenges include contaminated water, mold exposure, mosquito-borne infections, and inadequate access to medical care and prescriptions – especially for children with chronic illnesses. We also anticipate an increase in psychological trauma and mental health disorders in children.
As with past natural disasters, Children’s Health Fund is committed to addressing the immediate and long term health needs of children and families impacted by Harvey. The National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, which I direct, is a critical partner in these efforts.
Help us ensure children affected by the storm receive high quality healthcare now and in the months to come. Donate today.
Irwin Redlener, MD
Co-Founder and President Emeritus, Children’s Health Fund