MedShare featured on Groupon for Good! Donate now.

On January 31 – February 2, MedShare is the featured Groupon for Good campaign in the Atlanta and Athens markets. Donate $10 – which will be matched by MedShare – to send much needed medical supplies to Nepal. The link is: http://www.groupon.com/deals/gt-medshare-1.

G-Team is Groupon’s main philanthropic program designed to help their subscribers discover local causes in their own neighborhoods. In the same way that Groupon deals make it easier for people to discover their cities, G-Team campaigns make it easier for individuals to come together with others to do good, have fun, and make a real impact.

Click through to donate:

MedShare’s reason for participation is two-fold: we will be raising money to help sponsor a container of medical supplies and equipment to Nepal, and we’ll also be raising awareness of MedShare and our mission in Atlanta by utilizing Groupon’s huge subscriber base.

We encourage you to share the link with your friends and family via email, Facebook and Twitter. We need 50 people to buy into this deal @ $10 for MedShare to receive the donations. It will be live through Thursday, February 2nd.

Let’s see if we can make this the most successful Groupon charity campaign ever!

Ecuador Receives Container of Medical Supplies

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

Dole Ocean Cargo Express generously donated the shipping of this container to the Ecuadorian port, including the tractor-trailer container. Below is a photo of the container before it left our warehouse in San Leandro, CA.

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

We’re happy to report that the container arrived in Ecuador the week of May 9. The hospital recipient sent photos of the container being unloaded, and we wanted to share these as they illustrate the full circle of MedShare’s work. See below…

Container being unloaded in Ecuador

Unloading boxes

Blue skies and a full container!

Dole container in Ecuador

Ecuadorians with the unloaded Dole container

These photos show the folks on both the giving and receiving end of MedShare’s work.  Thanks again to Dole Ocean Cargo Express for providing the container and shipping, and to everyone else for their hard work in making this happen!

Need a Valentine’s Day Gift Idea?

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching (just 6 days to go!), and with it comes the question of what to get your sweetie to show him or her you care. Boxes of chocolate only get half eaten, candy hearts get stale, and flowers wilt. So, what to get?

Valentine's Card that will be sent on your behalf

Consider donating Boxes of Hope on behalf of your sweetie. It will warm his or her heart while saving lives around the world – and that’s better than any of the typical presents!

You can honor your sweet and make a difference in the lives of those in need by simply donating to Boxes of Hope. A box of medical supplies – which you can sponsor in quantities of two to 1,000 – will save lives. These boxes contain vitally needed items like syringes, sterile gloves and gowns, labor and delivery kits, biopsy kits, and surgical kits. Your support will help us by providing these otherwise-scarce items to benefit the poor in developing countries.

Donate Boxes of Hope in honor of your sweetie, and a customized Valentine’s Day card will be sent to them on your behalf.

Boxes of Hope can be sponsored in the following amounts:

  • $40 – Two boxes
  • $100 – Five boxes
  • $250 – Quarter Pallet – 12 boxes
  • $500 – Half Pallet – 25 boxes
  • $1,000 – Full pallet – 50 boxes
  • $11,000 – Half Container – 500 boxes
  • $22,000 – Container – 1,000 boxes

Click here to send Boxes of Hope.

Project Medishare prepares opening of new maternal health center (re-post)

Project Medishare for Haiti is a nonprofit based in Florida that was founded in 1994 by Dr. Barth Green and Arthur Fournier. The organization is dedicated to sharing its human and technical resources with its Haitian partners in the quest to achieve quality healthcare and development services for all. As you can imagine, their mission has become ever more vital since the 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010.

To support Project Medishare’s opening of a new maternal clinic in the Central Plateau, MedShare recently donated equpiment. Medishare’s Jennifer Browning wrote a great post detailing the project on their blog, and I wanted to share it here:

Project Medishare prepares opening of new maternal health center

By Jennifer Browning

Dr. Gerarde Mondesir conducts a prenatal exam for 24-year-old Jesula Alexander at the clinic in Marmont. Upon opening, the maternal health center will provide women in the Central Plateau a full package of women’s health services including reproductive health education, family planning, along with HIV/AIDS counseling and testing. "I am so happy about the maternal health center opening," Alexander said. "I hope it is ready by the time I have my baby so that I don’t have to travel far to have my baby and receive healthcare. I can have my baby here." Photo by Jennifer Browning.

Jean Vasula, 17, sits with her 2-month-old son Maté at the clinic in Marmont waiting to see the doctor. Here doctors see everything from pediatrics to adult medicine and for now, even provides family planning as well as prenatal and postnatal exams.

Thanks to the Greig Family, who completely funded the construction of the Maternal Health Center, and MedShare who donated all of the medical equipment, women in the Central Plateau are closer to having access to a full package of women’s health services including reproductive health education, family planning, along with HIV/AIDS counseling and testing.

A grant provided by Ralph Lauren is assisting with upstart costs such as staff salaries. Currently, Project Medishare is recruiting and interviewing midwives, nurses and other personnel for the center.

Vasula said while she was pregnant with Maté, she visited the Marmont clinic each month for her prenatal care. She said she is excited that there will be a clinic dedicated to women.

“The new maternal health clinic will be so good for [women in the community],” Vasula said. “Right now, here in Marmont we have to depend on the hospital in Thomonde. If we need a test, we have to go to Thomonde; or if we have any complications we have to go to Thomonde or maybe even further in Hinche. I am glad the maternal center is opening here because it will serve the whole community and all women here will have access.”

In Haiti, and particularly in the Central Plateau, the high rate of maternal mortality remains a challenge. Haiti’s statistics regarding maternal mortality are among the highest in the Caribbean: 1 out of every 37 female deaths is linked to a high-risk pregnancy.

Haiti’s poor suffers by far the highest maternal mortality ratio in the Western Hemisphere. According to UNICEF, out of 100,000 live births, 670 Haitian women died of pregnancy-related causes in 2006.

Familiar with complications that can come with childbirth, Vasula hopes by having a maternal center in the community, less women will lose their babies during birth.

“It will help because with me, I had trouble during my pregnancy,” Vasula, who had her baby in Thomonde, said. “If I had my baby at home like many women do here, I would have lost my baby.

Vasula said when she was going into labor with Mate, she was at home with a mid-wife, but there were complications. Her family found a way to get her to Thomonde where she eventually had a C-section. While the maternal health center won’t be performing surgeries like C-sections, the medical staff there will be able to monitor the delivery and send women like Vasula to Thomonde for emergencies.

Gillef Mieloudes, 33, gave birth to her son Yadley at home. She said she was lucky that she didn’t have any complications.

Mieloude who lives in Denizrad situated between Thomonde and Marmont went to Thomonde for her prenatal checkups each month and planned to give birth at home, with the help of a midwife. But by the time the midwife showed up she had already had the baby.

She said she is happy knowing the maternal health center will open soon so that women in her community will have the services they need.

“When the maternal health center opens, if any women have complications with their pregnancy then they will know that there is a place for us to go,” Mieloude said. “Right now women in my community rely on Thomonde for the things that we need when it comes to our health. It will be so nice to have a place that is for women only.

The new maternal health center will be equipped with a full laborator, incubators, examination and observation rooms thanks to a generous equipment donation provided by MedShare. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

Jacque Balde, an auxillary nurse for the Ministry of Health at the Marmont Clinic said there is a lot of interest in the maternal health center.

For now women go to the clinic in Marmont to receive women’s health services, and the new maternal health center will allow the Marmont clinic to focus more on pediatric and adult medicine.

“This is important that the people here will have such service, a good service in their home in Marmont,” he said. “When the maternal health center opens it will allow us to organized the Marmont clinic better so we can focus on pediatric and adult medicine.”

Balde is all too aware of complications that can come with childbirth. A few months ago, is wife suffered from eclampsia and gave birth to their son two months early.

“She gave birth at Hinche but there were no incubators,” he said. “They wrapped up our baby and kept him close to my wife, but at seven months you need an incubator. When I saw the incubator at the maternal health center it made me think of my son. If there had been an incubator at Hinche, it could have saved the life of my child.”

As the field coordinator for Marmont, Balde also organizes Project Medishare’s community health agents to go out into the community. As soon as he gets word that the center will open, it will be his job to educate the community health agents to let people know about the maternal health center and about the updated medical equipment available for the women in the community.

Project Medishare internist, Dr. Gerarde Mondesir said a big problem right now is that many of the women come to the Marmont clinic for their prenatal follow-up, but then they will go give birth somewhere else like Thomonde or in Hinche.

“The doctors and midwives there have never seen them before and have no clue about how their pregnancy has been the past nine months,” she said. “I think that it is important to have a maternal health center here, because if we detect a possible problem during their prenatal visit, we will know it and it will be on their file when they come in to give birth. We will be able to follow-up with them better because all of their care is happening in one place.”

Dr. Mondesir said it is also essential that women in Marmont will have a center in their community where they can give birth. She hopes by having the maternal health center, less women will have their babies at home. And she feels this will help decrease the maternal mortality rate in the community of Marmont.

“Sometimes the women live very far and getting them on the road and then all the way to Hinche or all the way to Thomonde is very difficult for them,” Dr. Mondesir said. “When the women realized how long it will take to get to the hospital, they just prefer to stay at home and have the baby there. I think that the maternal health center will also help decrease the maternal mortality rate here in this community. While there will be some mothers who still have their babies at home because they can’t make it here in time, I believe more women will come here knowing that there is a place close and someone here who can help them.”

The maternal health center is scheduled to open this spring.

We are proud to support such a wonderful mission, and look forward to working alongside Project Medishare on other projects in the future. Be sure to visit Project Medishare’s site to learn more about their mission (and support it), and their blog to read the lastest news.

Kimberly-Clark Sponsors Container to Bolivia

Bolivia

Thanks to the generous financial sponsorship of the Kimberly Clark Foundation, MedShare shipped another 40-foot container of medical humanitarian aid for Bolivia yesterday from our Southeastern Regional Distribution Center in Decatur, Georgia.

The medical supplies and equipment on the container are donations for the Hospital Clinico Viedma in the Andean city of Cochabamba.  This 200 bed public health institution has been serving Bolivia’s most poor and needy populations for the past 126 years.  In his appeal to MedShare and Kimberly Clark for donations, Hospital Director Dr. Eduardo Amaya wrote that 60% of the hospital’s patient population comes from rural and semi-urban areas, 20% are from the city center, and 20% are migrants from around the country’s provinces and rural villages.  The hospital also receives patients referred by the police and patients living on the streets and dealing with alcoholism and mental health illnesses.   The Bolivian Ministry of Health does its best to provide the hospital with supplies and staff, but due to the high poverty rate, they are constantly lacking critical resources to care for all of these needy patients.

According to the World Health Organization, 61 out of 1,000 children under five die in Bolivia, as compared to 8 out of 1,000 in the United States. Child malnutrition and stunted growth is a chronic problem.

Over 1,000 individual boxes of medical supplies and equipment were shipped to Hospital de Clínicas on the container today, including surgical gloves, crutches, syringes, surgical masks, IV tubing, exam tables, suction pumps, laryngoscopes, pulse oximeters, a ventilator, an electrosurgical unit and more.

We’d like to deeply thank the Kimberly Clark Foundation for sponsoring this humanitarian project, and the Kimberly Clark S.A. corporate office in Bolivia for facilitating the donation to the hospital!

A young Bolivian woman with a wheelchair sent from MedShare on a different container just a few months ago.

MedShare ships container to Gambia

Gambia

MedShare’s Southeastern Regional Distribution Center loaded and shipped a 40 foot container of medical humanitarian aid for the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital in The Gambia,  a tiny, highly impoverished country in West Africa with a population of about 1.6 million. Tuberculosis, malaria and child malnutrition are frequent health problems suffered by the people.  See this WHO Health Profile for statistics.

This is the second container to Royal Victoria generously sponsored by Gambega Ltd., the Coca-Cola bottling company in West Africa; the first arrived in October and was a huge success. Click here to read an article that ran in a Gambian newspaper, Today!, describing the shipment.

Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital is the  main referral hospital for the country and is run by the government. It is a 500-bed teaching hospital that provides all levels of care to the Gambian population.  About 780 patients per day are cared for, and maternal, child health services and hemodialysis are provided free of cost.  The hospital relies heavily on the support of NGOs and donors like MedShare and Gambega Ltd to be able to care for the poorest families of the country.

MedShare sent over 12,000 lbs of medical supplies and equipment in the container today, including a birthing bed, examination table, blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, a ventilator, laryngoscopes, bandages, cast materials, IV catheters, gloves, and much more!

See below for photos of the RVTH:

RVTH, Gambia

RVTH Patients

Young RVTH Patient

Dole, MedShare Partner to Deliver Medical Supplies to Latin American Communities In Need

Dole Food Company, Inc. today announced that it has just shipped its sixth 40-foot container containing medical equipment for communities in need in South and Central America. The result of a partnership with MedShare, the donated equipment ranges from ultrasound equipment to hospital beds, centrifuges and generators, to smaller implements such as crutches, walkers, needles, gauze, syringes and surgical drapes.

The supplies were provided by the non-profit organization MedShare and shipped from Dole ports in the United States via Dole Ocean Cargo Express. The containers are delivered to municipal governments and non-profit organizations that run small public-health clinics in Ecuador and Honduras.

Dole defers the cost of shipment by providing container space on its fleet of cargo vessels. The first shipment took place in 2008.

“Dole is proud to help to make these donations possible,” said Marty Ordman, Vice President, Marketing & Communications. “Our employees and the land we farm are our most important assets. Dole’s partnership with MedShare represents one more way in which we are able to support the communities in which we live and work.”

MedShare is grateful to have good partners like our friends at Dole to help us import life-saving medical supplies and equipment to Ecuador,” said MedShare CEO and Co-founder A.B. Short. “The contents of these containers will literally support the healthcare of tens of thousands of people living in poverty.”

Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.