Thanks to Conor Flannery, MedShare Ships Supplies to Tanzania!

On Wednesday, June 8, a 40-foot container of medical humanitarian aid for Shirati KMT Designated Hospital in Rorya, Mara, Tanzania shipped out of MedShare’s Distribution Center in San Leandro, California.

Over 1,000 individual pieces of equipment and supplies were selected by their hospital director, Dr. Bwire Chirangi, and included on the container, including ambu bags, hospital beds, surgical drapes, sterilization packing an anesthesia machine, patient gowns, an ultrasound, and much more.

Many thanks to the Friends of Shirati organization and AISCS for their support. AISCS is a local group that helps African immigrants and has various projects with the Shirati Hospital including an improved water system.

Members of AISCS, MedShare Staff and Volunteers

Pediatric Ward

Inside the OR

This project was made possible thanks to Mr. Conor Flannery, who fundraised $20,000 for MedShare by kayaking 2,500 miles from Seattle, Washington to Achorage, Alaska last March! To learn more, click here.

Mrs. Christine Chacha from Shirati Hospital, Tanzania, and Conor Flannery

To read Conor’s account of the shipment, click here.

AWDF and Hope Floats Initiative Sends Container to Cameroon

Cameroon

On May 13,  MedShare’s Southeastern Regional Distribution Center loaded and shipped a 40 foot shipping container with medical humanitarian aid for Cameroon, West Africa.  This was a joint project organized by the African Women’s Development Foundation (AWDF) and the Hope Floats Initiative.

The container is carrying over 17,000 lbs of medical supplies and equipment, such as gauze, iodine, surgical instrument sets, emergency laryngeal airways, surgical masks, Patient Energy Transport vehicles, hospital beds, a surgical table, blood pressure monitors, and much more.

A large portion of the items will be donated to Limbe Regional Hospital in the Southwest province of Cameroon, where a recent outbreak of cholera has claimed over 98 lives, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.  The Hospital has been overwhelmed with cholera cases in recent weeks and desperately needs the additional beds, Drip Drop Oral Rehydration Solution and other donated items that will be arriving.

The other supplies that were shipped on the container are earmarked for use by a team of physicians and nurses traveling from the US and Nigeria to Cameroon on a medical mission organized by the AWDF and Hope Floats Initiative.  The team will be providing free medical care to needy families by setting up mobile surgical and consultation centers.

Please see below for photos of the container send-off celebration:

Sending the container off

MedShare's Eben Amstrong and AWDF members pointing to Cameroon

Cameroon native and MedShare employee Eben Amstrong with equipment being shipped

Wheelchairs on the shipment

beds on the shipment

Emory University Donated Beds Sent to Ecuador

Ecuador

On April 29, a 40-foot ocean container carrying 50 donated hospital beds and mattresses was shipped from MedShare’s Southeastern Regional Distribution Center.  The donations are on their way to Ibarra, a city in northern Ecuador.  The local municipality of Gonzalo Pizarro will be installing the beds in several rural health centers that have been affected by recent heavy seasonal rains, which have washed out roads and caused multiple injuries in the local populations.  These hospital beds are most urgently needed there!

Donated Hospital Beds

MedShare sends deep gratitude to the Atlanta-based Emory University  Hospital and Emory Midtown Hospital for this generous donation which will benefit so many needy Ecuadorian families.

MedShare Ships Container to Ecuador

Ecuador

On April 5th, MedShare’s Western Regional Distribution Center loaded and shipped out another 40-foot container with hundreds of medical supplies destined for Canton Gonzalo Pizarro, Ecuador.

The Canton is located in the Amazonian province of Sucumbios, where medical supplies and trained healthcare practitioners are scarce resources to be found.  The items sent will be put to use at the small, 6-bed medical center in the town of Lumbaqui that serves local low-resource families from all over the Canton.

Gonzalo Pizarro clinic

The items shipped from MedShare include:

  • beds
  • catheters
  • cervical collars
  • oxygen masks
  • much more!

MedShare's Western Region team with the container before it left for Ecuador

Thanks to Dole Ocean Cargo Express for donating the shipping of this container to the Ecuadorian port!

MedShare Ships Container to Peru

 

Ayacucho, Peru

On Monday, March 14, MedShare’s Western Regional Distribution Center shipped a 40 foot container filled with donated medical supplies and equipment for Hospital Regional de Ayacucho in Peru.  This donation was generously sponsored by the Kimberly-Clark Foundation and facilitated by the local Kimberly-Clark office in Lima.

MedShare’s Western Regional staff send-off container after loading in San Leandro, California

The hospital is run by the Peruvian Ministry of Health and it is the main referral hospital for the entire Department of Ayacucho.  Located high in the Andes Mountains, the Department of Ayacucho is full of spectacular physical beauty and displays a rich indigenous Quechuan culture, but suffers immense poverty.  The Ministry of Health is unable to equip the hospital with sufficient supplies, personnel, and other resources to care for the thousands of low-income patients that come through every month seeking care.

Patients frequently travel extremely long distances from rural areas to come to the hospital, only to find that they must wait long lines at the medical dispensary where they must purchase their own medical supplies for the physicians to use in their treatment.  See below for some photos of the hospital.

Line of patients outside the hospital

Hospital interior

Patients waiting inside hospital

Patients in hospital hallway

children in the hospital

Hopefully the donations on the MedShare container will ease the burden!  The hospital’s medical team of Peruvian doctors were able to hand-select the supplies from MedShare’s internet-based inventory.

Over 1,000 individual pieces of medical supplies and equipment were shipped, including:

Many thanks to everyone who helped make this shipment possible!

MedShare Ships Containers to Nigeria and El Salvador

In partnership with Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), two 40 foot containers of electric hospital beds and mattress donations for the economically developing world were shipped out of MedShare’s Southeastern Distribution Center two weeks ago.

Nigeria

The first of the two containers shipped from MedShare on Thursday, February 22, and is carrying 50 beds and mattresses to be delivered to Lautech Teaching Hospital in Oyo State, Nigeria. Lautech is a newly-built government facility incorporated into the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, and it will cater to the poor and underserved populations of Oyo State. This is the final installment of a four-container shipment of beds for the hospital.

El Salvador

The second container of beds shipped from MedShare on Friday, February 25, and will be going to the Fundación Salvadoreña para la Salud y Desarollo Humano (FUSAL), a humanitarian organization in El Salvador. FUSAL operates nutritional, educational, human rights and health programs in El Salvador and supports hundreds of Ministry of Health hospitals and health posts. This is the second of a three-container shipment of beds to FUSAL.

We’d like to give a special thanks to CMMB for making these shipments possible! To read more about MedShare’s much-valued partnership with CMMB, click here.

MedShare visits Ecuador’s Amazonian Region

By Amanda Paniagua, Shipments Manager, MedShare

Paztaza Province, Ecuador

This week, thanks to a generous grant from an anonymous benefactor, MedShare’s Regional Repesentative in Ecuador Marco Galarza, MedShare supporter Dr. Dan Goldberg, and myself, Shipments Manager Amanda Paniagua, have had the remarkable opportunity to visit several recipient health care centers in Ecuador’s Amazonian basin.  We arrived at midday on Monday in Puyo, the capital city of Pastaza Province, to the warmest of welcomes.  The Municipal Government of Puyo, which has just sponsored the shipment of two containers of medical supplies and equipment from MedShare for the local healthcare system, had prepared a most touching ceremony for us in the Coliseum, complete with a brass band and local press!  After speeches by the Mayor Mr. Gérman Flores, his wife and President of the municipal charity foundation Mrs. Jimena Brito, and other community representatives, donated walkers and PET vehicles were ceremoniously presented to local disabled children, adults, and the elderly.

Mrs. Jimena Britos presents PET cart to young Daniel Vargas, who has Cerebral Palsey

Puyo community members at Ceremony in Coliseum. Medical supplies from containers are displayed behind

After lunch, we were taken on a tour of Puyo Hospital, one of the central Ministry of Health referral hospitals for the entire Pastaza Province, a territory that expands over 29,800 square km and 60,000 inhabitants!  “The hospital is running over 300% capacity right now,” said Dr. Barroso, Chief of Pediatrics and Medical Director of the Municipal charity foundation that sponsored the container.  “The average hospital stay for is 3-5 days per patient, and we don’t have enough beds.”  As luck would have it, MedShare received a donation of electric hospital beds just in time to include 26 on one of the two containers that were shipped to Puyo in December.

Puyo Hospital’s jurisdiction includes thousands of square miles of thick Amazon jungle, where seven different ethnic tribes live in tiny rural settlements without electricity, running water or roads to Puyo city.   In many of these indigenous communities, the only way to reach the hospital during medical emergencies is by small planes called in via two-way radio.  But when the weather is foggy or rainy, which happens frequently, the planes can’t fly.

Happy family at Puyo Hospital. These two boys were being treated for skin abscesses caused by jungle insect bites.

During our hospital visit we met a young boy who had been bitten by a poisonous snake in his jungle village and had been flown into Puyo in under emergency evacuation.  He was a member of the Waorani tribe, which was explained to me to be the most isolated out of the seven indigenous tribes.  The child had arrived naked, as the Waorani traditionally wear only very beautiful and intricate head adornments and body paint, so the hospital staff had dressed him in a pair of pajamas.  When we visited, he was visibly scared of the strange surroundings, but was receiving the best of medical care and was expected to make a full recovery.  Snake bites are one of the most frequent medical dangers seen in this region of Ecuador.

One of 26 hospital beds Puyo received from MedShare on recent container

The Ministry of Health and the Municipal government are obviously deeply committed to their people and are working tirelessly to improve the health care delivery system to reach those in the most isolated areas.  While at the Puyo Hospital we met a young mother from the indigenous Kichwa tribe who had been flown in from the jungle community of Pakayacu with her infant daughter.  The child was eight months old, but due to extreme malnutrition, weighed only a staggering 3500 grams- about the average weight of a healthy newborn.  Chief Nurse Irma Naveda told me that these critical cases of malnutrition had been a chronic problem in that particular village in the past years, but thanks to the efforts of a 4-person medical team stationed by the Ministry of Health a few years ago in Pakayacu, they the rate was reduced by over 50%.

MedShare is fortunate to have such qualified, committed partners as the Ministry of Health and Municipal government of Puyo.  Deep thanks to Mayor Gérman Flores, Mrs. Presidente Jimena Brito, Dr. Barroso, Nurse Irma Naveda, and all others for their warm hospitality and for showing us their outstanding work in the public health system of Paztasa province. Their dedication and love for the local people is truly an inspiration. MedShare is fortunate to have such qualified and committed partners, we hope to work together again on more containers for Paztaza Province very soon!

Dr. Barroso and disabled patient Sr. William P. with donated PET Cart

Puyo Hospital

Young mother and child. Teen pregnancy is a chronic problem in Pastaza Province.

Mother and child with Down Syndrome being treated for respiratory infection

MedShare's Shipments Manager, Amanda Paniagua, center

Special thanks goes to Marco Galarza for all his hard work coordinating this donation.