Kenya Trip Notes from the Field: Angie Fife Engelberger

By Angie Fife Engelberger, MedShare Southeast Regional Council

Sign posted in the Men's Ward of St. Mary's Mission Hospital, Nairobi

My name is Angie Fife Engelberger, and I am currently a member of the Southeast Regional Council. This trip, which was originally scheduled for November, did not fit into my calendar.   As soon as I found out the trip had been rescheduled I jumped at the opportunity to join the traveling group  As a late addition I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to join this trip; I’ve been able to participate in many different phases of the MedShare process, from sorting supplies to sponsoring a container, and this is the perfect opportunity to “complete the picture”.  I have been so excited to see the beneficiaries of many MedShare containers and witness first hand how the supplies are being used.

Medshare-provided supplies

First thing Monday morning our group left the hotel for St. Mary’s Mission Hospital in Nairobi. The hospital was founded by Dr. Father Bill Fryda and opened in June 2001. We arrived at the hospital and were met by Fr. Barati, who took us through a waiting area filled with at least a hundred people, to meet Dr. Walter Konya. St. Mary’s has received 19 containers from MedShare since 2001, and I am so impressed by the number of people this long term relationship has affected. In addition to inpatients in this 325 bed hospital, 250,000 outpatients are seen each year by a staff of 20 doctors. Just do the math – the numbers are staggering!  Dr. Konya took us on a tour of the postpartum ward where encountered a room of premature babies, including this little guy, who has been spending the first days of his life in an incubator provided by MedShare.

Preemie in Medshare-provided incubator

We continued our tour and saw patients using wheelchairs provided by MedShare, boxes of supplies provided by MedShare, and an operating theater with much of the equipment provided by MedShare. I am truly in awe by the long reach a simple box of supplies has, and even more impressed by the gratitude Dr. Konya and the entire staff of St  Mary’s expressed for the supplies sent by MedShare. Believe me, I will not look at latex gloves, masks and gowns the same way again. Many thanks to St. Mary’s for their hospitality.  I look forward to following this well run hospital in the future!

Dr. Konya discussing MedShare-provided supplies

This post is part of a series we’re doing over the coming days while MedShare staff, Board of Trustee and Council members travel through Kenya from February 17 – 27. We invite you to share the experience with them by reading their stories; to access them, click on the “Africa Trip“  icon in the right sidebar. Safe travels, team!

MedShare Included in Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Strengthen Health Systems in Bangladesh

At MedShare, we care deeply about not only meeting our recipients’ need for supplies and equipment in the short-term, but also – and more importantly – about strengthening and sustaining healthcare systems worldwide.

To this end, we’re pleased to announce our commitment to strengthen healthcare systems in a network of 12 hospitals in Bangladesh in collaboration with The International Center for Diarrheal Disease and Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), the Ministry of Health of Bangladesh and Americares. Announced at this year’s Clinton Global Initiative, the commitment will lead to the distribution of nearly $8 million worth of donated medicines and supplies and will establish best practice guidelines for patient care and treatment. Over three-years, this project will provide direct benefit to more than 5 million people, the vast majority of whom subsist on less than $2 per day.

Although Bangladesh’s economy has grown at 5% or more the past 15 years, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The 12 hospitals included in thie commitment each have 200+ beds and are located throughout Bangladesh in a mix of rural and urban settings. MedShare’s contribution to the commitment will include 7 ocean containers of medical supplies and equipment.

In celebration of the occasion, MedShare was honored to participate in a special dinner in New York during the Clinton Global Initiative hosted by icddr,b, who is the coordinating NGO for the project. icddr,b translates knowledge from research into policy using strategic health programs. This allows basic research to rapidly influence policy applications and action if the evidence supports meaningful public health benefit. Research priorities at icddr,b are cross cutting, such as to child health, infectious diseases & vaccine sciences, reproductive health, nutrition, population, HIV/AIDS & safe water.

Representing MedShare at the event were Meridith Rentz, CEO & President, A.B. Short, Senior Advisor to the CEO, Sandy Tytel, Chair of MedShare’s New York Regional Council, David Pass, Chief Advancement Officer, and Angie Fife Engelberger and Ralph Engelberger. Angie is a member of MedShare’s Southeast Regional Council and her company, Project Development Services, Inc. (PDSI), sponsored MedShare’s first container of medical supplies and equipment for the project in celebration of their 10th Anniversary. PDSI is a privately-held hotel development and renovation company that specializes in hotel project management.

Projects like this and our relationships with The Atlantic Philanthropies and CURE International demonstrate how MedShare is working within the World Health Organization’sframework for action to improve healthcare systems. WHO identified six building blocks necessary to improve health systems, one of which is access to medical products and technologies. By sending MedShare supplies and equipment to projects where other partners are in place to provide human capital, clinical expertise, physical infrastructure, and pharmaceutical product, we are contributing to a more sustainable system that has the potential to make a long-term, measurable impact that we can then report back to you, our stakeholders, without whom MedShare’s mission would not be possible.

This story is an excerpt from our October e-newsletter. For more – including a first-hand account of a Trustee’s trip to NYC, a letter from our CEO Meridith Rentz, and how to get your family and friends involved – click here.

MedShare: September 2011 Container Shipment Announcements

This shipment represented a milestone achievement for MedShare as it was our 700th container of humanitarian relief shipped.  Hospitals throughout Libya are dealing with a humanitarian catastrophe as they are running short on critically needed medical supplies. The container was sponsored by HOPE International Relief & Development Agency (USA) based out of Columbus, Ohio. I-GO Aid Foundation, based in Malta, Libya, will coordinate delivery of the supplies and equipment to hospitals in Libya.  This marked the fourth shipment we’ve sent to hospitals in Libya collaborating with these partners.

Date: September 2, 2011

Country: Libya

Recipient: Libyan Red Crescent

Distribution Center: Western Region

Sponsors: Hope International Relief and Development Agency

Key Items: Hospital beds, gurneys, exam lights, exam tables, a ventilator for pediatric and adult patients, surgical packs, syringes, gloves and oxygen masks.

For more information, click here.

Date: September 13, 2011

Country: United States

Recipient: VIDA

Distribution Center: Western Region

Roper St. Francis Healthcare (RSFH),  a Charleston, South Carolina based healthcare system, partnered with us to send humanitarian aid to Plateau Mission Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. This effort is RSFH’s second to improve the Plateau Community, their first being the provision of a safe water system in 2009. For RSFH’s “Hands Across the Water” project, employees, physicians and volunteers came together to raise more than $27,000. The 1,000 boxes of medical supplies, supplemented with biomedical equipment and durable medical goods, will support Plateau Mission Hospital’s capable professionals and strong leadership by enabling them to provide better healthcare to the community it serves. For more information, click here.

Date: September 15, 2011

Country: Kenya

Recipient: Plateau Mission Hospital

Distribution Center: Southeast Region

Sponsors: Roper St. Francis Healthcare

Key Items: Nebulizer, incubator, gloves, infant warmer, prep kits, casts, OR light, beds, ventilator and an X-ray view box.

Date: September 21, 2011

Country: Ecuador

Recipient: Junta de Beneficencia de Guayaquil

Distribution Center: Western Region

Key Items: Pulse co-oximeter, stretcher, baby crib, exam table, PET vehicles, ambu bags, baby care kits, cervical collar, IV sets.

icddr,b, a leading international health research institution, has partnered with MedShare and another charity to support a large network of hospitals in Bangladesh by increasing quality of care and in-kind contributions of key medical supplies. The commitment, announced at this year’s Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, will lead to the distribution of nearly $8 million worth of donated medicines and supplies and will establish best practice guidelines for patient care and treatment. The commitment will be operated and managed by icddr,b, which is providing medical professionals to oversee the training of over 7,600 employees at 12 hospitals as well as distributing the donated medical products.

Date: September 22, 2011

Country: Bangladesh

Recipient: i,cddrb

Distribution Center: Southeast Region

Sponsors: Project Development Services, Inc. generously sponsored this shipment in recognition of their 10th anniversary.

Key Items: Vital sign monitor, beds, OR light, oxi sensors, cold packs, crutches, masks, exam stools.

To read more about MedShare’s partnership with i,cddrb, click here

Date: September 28, 2011

Country: Ecuador

Recipient: Hospital Provincial General Docente Riobamba

Sponsors: Kimberly-Clark Foundation

Distribution Center: Western Region

Key Items: Nonconductive tubing, tracheostomy tubes, waste disposal units, masks, gowns, nasal oxygen cannula, exam chair, PET vehicles, nerve stimulators.

Date: September 28, 2011

Country: Paraguay

Recipient: Universidad Nacional de Asuncion Hospital de Clinicas

Distribution Center: Southeast Region

Sponsors: Kimberly-Clark Foundation

Key Items: Electrosurgical unit, dental chair, EKG monitor, blood glucose monitor, surgical blades, cast materials, orthopedic cement, drapes, gloves.

Date: September 30, 2011

Country: United States

Recipient: Gleaning for the World

Distribution Center: Southeast Region

Date: September 30, 2011

Country: Libya

Recipient: Ministry of Health Libya

Distribution Center: Southeast Region

Sponsors: Hope International Relief and Development Agency

Key Items: Forceps, gauze, gloves, surgical packs, walkers, oxygen concentrator, and ventilators.

Date: September 30, 2011

Country: Libya

Recipient: Ministry of Health Libya

Distribution Center: Western Region

Sponsors: Hope International Relief and Development Agency

Key Items: Digital thermometer, stretcher, gooseneck exam lights, laptops, blood collection tubes, forceps, nasal elevator, exam gloves, medical tape.

Date: October 3, 2011

Country: Kenya

Recipient: The 410 Bridge

Distribution Center: Southeast Region

Sponsors: The 410 Bridge

Key Items: Infusion pump, sphygmomanometer, exam light, baby care kits, canes, table covers, IV sets and 10 PET vehicles.