MedShare Ships Five Containers in Final Days of August

Here at MedShare, we’ve been busy bees preparing and sending off shipments! In fact, in the last few days of August, we sent 5 containers out. This is amazing in terms of staff efficiency, especially when compared to the fact that in 1999, we shipped only one container the whole year! Even more incredible, of course, is the impact it will have in recipient countries.

Read along to find out where these containers were shipped…

1. Ghana

Volunteers listen as Mme. Nell Diallo speaks about the region of Kumasi, Ghana

  • Ship date: August 24 2011
  • MedShare Distribution Center: Southeast
  • Recipient Country: Ghana
  • Recipient: Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi
  • Total Pieces: 1,071
  • Total Weight: 12,696 lbs
  • Items of interest: electric beds, bandaids, surgical drapes, tissue forceps, ventilator, OR celiing light, spinal needles

2. Ecuador

  • Ship date: August 25, 2011
  • MedShare Distribution Center: Southeast
  • Recipient Country: Ecuador
  • Recipient: Municipio de Limon-Indanza
  • Total Pieces: 1,038
  • Total Weight: 12,698 lbs
  • Items of interest: surgical towels, insuline syringes, P.E.T. carts, pulse oximeters, iodine, patient beds

3. Libya

Container preparing to leave our warehouse

  • Ship date: August 26, 2011
  • MedShare Distribution Center: Southeast
  • Recipient Country: Libya
  • Recipient: Libyan Red Crescent
  • Sponsor: Hope Relief International
  • Total Pieces: 1,245
  • Total Weight: 10,637 lbs
  • Items of interest: ambu bags, suction catheters, orthopedic surgical instruments, plates, and screws, sphygmomanometers, thoracic draines, bandages, exam table

4. Ethiopia

  • Ship date: August 31, 2011
  • MedShare Distribution Center: West
  • Recipient Country: Ethiopia
  • Recipient: Nejo Hospital
  • Total Pieces: 962
  • Total Weight: 10,110 lbs
  • Items of interest: ostomy kit, ortho screws and plates, surgical masks, IV extension sets, stretcher, suction pumps, Microscope
  • More information: http://www.medshare.org/media/news/146

5. Guatemala

  • Ship date: August 31, 2011
  • MedShare Distribution Center: Southeast
  • Recipient Country: Guatemala
  • Recipient: Hospital Materno Infantil Juan Pablo II
  • Sponsor: Kimberly-Clark
  • Total Pieces: 1,387
  • Total Weight: 15,342 lbs
  • Items of interest: nasal cannulas, urinary catheters, ventilator, feeding tubes, gloves, nebulizers, OR light

To view all MedShare shipments, click here.

In May, MedShare Shipped Two Containers to St. Mary’s Mission Hospital in Kenya

Kenya

On Thursday, May 26 and Tuesday May 31, 2011, MedShare shipped out its 18th and 19th containers of medical supplies and equipment to St. Mary’s Mission Hospital in Kenya. St. Mary’s is one of MedShare’s most frequent and oldest-standing recipient hospital partners, and has received one or more MedShare containers every year since 2001.

Father Bill Fryda, MD

Father Bill Fryda, MD, of the Maryknoll Society of Priests and Brothers, is the founder and co-director of St. Mary’s. There are now two hospital campuses. The original was opened in Nairobi in the year 2000, has 320 beds, and sees about 1,200 patients a day. In 2009 a newer, 120-bed facility was opened at Lake Elmentaita in the Rift Valley, and sees about 250 patients a day, many of whom are come from the nearby Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. The staff at both hospitals are Kenyan professionals who strive together to serve the country’s poor. See below for some photos.

St. Mary's patients

Patient with a MedShare-donated walker

These two most recent containers to be shipped were carrying hundreds of boxes of gauze, gloves, syringes, sutures, thermometers, and other medical supplies and equipment. There were also 26 skids of a high-nutrition powder called ATMIT provided by the Latter Day Saints humanitarian center, and shipped to MedShare thanks to the American Foundation for Children with AIDS. The St. Mary’s medical staff will use the ATMIT to treat AIDS patients and the malnourished in Kenya.

Special thanks to the generous financial sponsorship of the Healey Family Foundation for helping make this project possible!

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!

MedShare and UPS Foundation Ship Container of Medical Relief to Pakistan

Pakistan

On Monday, May 2, 2011, a 40-foot container carrying medical relief aid for Pakistan was shipped from MedShare’s Southeastern Regional Distribution Center in Decatur, Georgia.

Over 9,000 lbs of medical supplies and equipment we included on the container, including:

  • ambu bags
  • emergency airways
  • bandages
  • surgical packs and instruments
  • needles
  • syringes
  • endotracheal tubes
  • blood pressure monitors
  • laryngoscopes
  • sphygmomanometers
  • an electrosurgical unit
  • a ventilator
  • and much more!

These donated items will be distributed by the NGO International Relief And Development (IRD) to local health facilities  in the flood-affected districts of Punjab Province.  According to www.pakistanfloodresponse.com, “Pakistan’s current flood zone is an area the size of England. The waters stretch the distance from St. Louis to New Orleans, and the disaster currently affects 20.4 million people: more than the combined number of people affected by the 2004 tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.”

MedShare is proud to support IRD’s flood relief efforts on the ground in Pakistan with this shipment of medical supplies and equipment. Our sincere thanks to the UPS Foundation for sponsoring this humanitarian project.

Global Atlanta repost: MedShare Strengthens Ties With Congo-Kinshasa


On April 20, 2011, MedShare was pleased to welcome His Excellency Dr. Victor Makwenge Kaput, Minister of Health, Democratic Republic of Congo and Dr. J. M. Kalonji, Multi-Sector Advisor, Ministry of Heath. They visited MedShare to discuss future container shipments to Congo. Dr. Makwenge detailed their current healthcare system and struggles, and his plans to improve it.

Global Atlanta’s Ann Cantrell covered the visit, and we wanted to share her article with you.

MedShare Strengthens Ties With Congo-Kinshasa

By Ann Cantrell

The Democratic Republic of the Congo that has been ravaged by years of war and suffers from an inadequate health care system will be receiving much needed medical supplies from an Atlanta-based charity, which is strengthening its ties with the CentralAfrican country.

As part of its mission to provide poorer countries with surplus medical supplies from the U.S., MedShare International will be sending three 40-foot containers from Decatur to the impoverished country by the end of May.

Valued somewhere between $150,000 to $200,000, each container will have supplies such as sonographic and X-ray machines, patient monitoring systems and equipment used to administer anesthesia during surgeries.

Since 2004, MedShare already has sent 25 containers to the Congo, but even this sizable contribution has been woefully inadequate to serve the needs of the country’s 71 million inhabitants.

“In the United States, $8,047 was spent on health care per person in 2009. By comparison, the Democratic Republic of the Congo spends $4 per person … Situations like this are why MedShare is here,” David Pass, MedShare’s chief advancement officer, told GlobalAtlanta.

In keeping with its growing relationship with MedShare, Victor Makwenge Kaput, the Congo’s minister of health,  and two other representatives from the ministry, visited the headquarters on April 20 to tour the facility and discuss future partnerships.

Nell Diallo, vice president of corporate and international relations, told GlobalAtlanta they are seeking corporate sponsors and have begun discussions with the Coca Cola Co., Western Union Co., and DHL Express, an international mail service, to assist with shipping and funding.

MedShare depends on corporate and private sponsors to fund its operations of gathering leftover medical supplies and equipment from hospitals in the U.S. and redistributing them in underserved communities. The organization has sent containers to more than 30 countries including Afghanistan, Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Victor Makwenge Kaput, the Democratic Republic of Congo's minister of health, at MedShare's headquarters in Decatur.

During his visit to the MedShare headquarters and disribution facility, Mr. Kaput outlined some of the health problems in the country to Ms. Diallo, Mr. Pass, A.B. Short, CEO and co-founder and other staff,

Each year, 350,000 children in the Congo do not live past five-years and 3,600 women pass away due to pregnancy complications, according to the health minister. “Each second, children die because of no medical care. Each second, women die because of pregnancy complications,” he added.

According to Mr. Kaput, there are also 1 million people living with HIV/AIDS and many suffer from malaria.

After years of war involving half-a-dozen neighboring countries, he said the health care system was decimated. And even though the war officially ended in 2003, the conflict continued within the country particularly in the east, eventually killing more than 5 million people in the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II.

Years of war destroyed the infrastructure of hospitals and clinics and the government only provides the Ministry of Health with $70 million a year for expenses, Mr. Kaput said, adding that $70 million would not even be sufficient to fund the construction of a single hospital.

Due to the lack of government funding, the ministry looks to non-profits, non-governmental organizations and religious groups for funding, equipment and physicians, he said.

More than 80 percent of its funding comes from these organizations, like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, bringing its budget in the Congo from $1 to $4 for each person per year, he said.

Mr. Kaput said he wants to increase this amount to $14 per person each year, repair damaged public hospitals, improve distribution of supplies to rural areas, bring more doctors to the country and re-develop medical research programs.

Working towards these goals, he added that the health ministry is working with South Africa to bring back thousands of Congolese doctors that relocated during the wars and increase their salary from $200 to $1,000 per month.

The health minister and his colleagues concluded their visit to Medshare with a tour of the warehouse and distribution center.

For more information, visit http://www.medshare.org.

Thanks to Global Atlanta for the great coverage! We look forward to working with the Minister to improve healthcare in the DRC.

To view photos of the Minsiter’s visit, click here.

This Mother’s Day, Honor Your Mom by Supporting MedShare

A MedShare-supported mother and daughter in Ecuador

Your mother provided care to you as a child. She made sure your scraped knee was bandaged and kissed, your broken arm was casted, and your cold was treated. What more meaningful way is there to thank her than to pass on the gift of accessible care to those in need?

By sending Boxes of Hope, you’ll be giving mothers around the world the ability to care for their children. Many hospitals lack basic supplies, meaning things like bandages and casting material aren’t available. These boxes will give the greatest gift of all: hope.

Boxes of Hope contain vitally needed items like syringes, sterile gloves and gowns, hospital beds and mattresses, stethoscopes, fetal monitors, nebulizers, surgical kits, and assorted medical supplies. Your support will help us by providing these otherwise-scarce items to benefit the poor in developing countries. A box of medical supplies – which you can sponsor in quantities of two to 1,000 – will give hope to mothers worldwide.

For……..instead of…………give

$40 – flowers – two Boxes of Hope

$80 – massage – four Boxes of Hope

$100 – gift certificate to restaurant – five Boxes of Hope

$250 – jewelry – 12 Boxes of Hope (1 Quarter Pallet)

Take the case of a young man in the Dominican Republic. This 20-year old had a motorcycle accident that resulted in an open fracture. Unable to get treatment, his fracture remained open for one whole year. His mother did her best to provide care, but lacked supplies and money for treatment. Instead, she resorted to an old remedy of applying a mixture of raw sugar and iodine to his wound to prevent infection. She did this for the whole year. When MedShare supplies arrived on the scene, this young man’s fracture was healed. Imagine what a difference Boxes of Hope would have made in the life of this young man and his mother, and how your donation will change the lives of others.

Donate here.

Accra Mayor: Delta’s Atlanta-Ghana Flight Fulfills Promise (via Global Atlanta)

On March 31, 2011, the Mayor of Accra, Ghana visited MedShare to discuss a partnership in getting containers sent to support their health care efforts. Global Atlanta covered this visit, and we wanted to share their article with you.

Accra Mayor: Delta’s Atlanta-Ghana Flight Fulfills Promise

By Trevor Williams

A nonstop Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Accra has bolstered Ghana‘s case for attracting foreign investment and helped the country’s diaspora stay connected to their families, said Alfred Vanderpuije, mayor of the Ghanaian capital.

Since it launched last June, the flight has augmented efforts to make Accra a focal point for business in West Africa, Mr. Vanderpuije told GlobalAtlanta.

Delta flies to Accra four times per week from New York and three times per week from Atlanta, serving the country every day from the U.S. The airline, which also serves Monrovia, Liberia, via Accra’s airport, is building an expanded terminal area there that is slated to open later this year.

“The Chinese are coming. The Japanese are coming. The Americans are coming. Accra, and for that matter, Ghana, is now a very attractive centerpiece for international activities,” he said.

Mr. Vanderpuije visited Atlanta for the third time on March 31, almost exactly a year after his last trip.

The Mayor of Accra touring MedShare

He went to the Decatur warehouse of MedShare, a nonprofit that collects donated medical supplies and raises money to ship them to hospitals in developing nations. MedShare has already shipped 20 containers to Ghana. Each full container holds supplies with an average value of $300,000, said Nell Diallo, vice president of corporate and international relations.

Mr. Vanderpuije watched workers pack the final pallets into a 40-foot container that will leave April 20 for a six-week journey across the Atlantic to Accra. The shipment included many common supplies – gauze, gloves and more – as well as devices like an oxygen concentrator, which is used as a substitute in developing countries for more expensive oxygen tanks.

The shipment highlights the importance of Accra’s ties with Atlanta while meeting a real need in his city, Mr. Vanderpuije said.

The four hospitals in the mayor’s jurisdiction are fully staffed with doctors and nurses, but they often lack sufficient supplies and advanced equipment. Frustrated working in this environment, many doctors choose to leave the country, he said.

Having the right supplies will help retain doctors and build the health system Accra needs to attract more foreign visitors and businesses.

“We want Accra to be a tourist center, where people can easily come in, enjoy the culture, enjoy the people, Mr. Vanderpuije said. “But when they are there, we want to assure them that their health is very important for us.”

He added that the city is working to instill a “culture of responsibility” in its people with regard to pollution and sanitation.

During his March 2010 trip, Mr. Vanderpuije told GlobalAtlanta that a major problem plaguing Accra was a lack of classrooms, which forced children to go to school in two shifts.

A year later, the mayor is happy to report that the shift system had ended after the construction of 500 temporary classrooms.

Mr. Vanderpuije came to the U.S. some 25 years ago and eventually became a teacher. He served as a middle-school principal in Columbia, S.C., before his appointment as mayor by Ghana’s president.

Before traveling to Atlanta, he visited Columbia, with which he hopes to establish a sister-city relationship.

He also met in New York with development economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Accra, a city of 4.5 million people, is one of 11 African cities chosen for the institute’s Millennium Cities Initiative, which helps urban areas enact reforms that make them more attractive for foreign investment.

The mayor of Kumasi, Ghana’s northern economic hub and another Millennium City, is scheduled to visit Atlanta on April 7 to promote the city’s International Black Arts Festival.

Ghana is often seen as a bellwether for democracy in Africa. President Obama made a major speech in Accra during his first swing through Africa after taking office.

With fighting ongoing over election results in neighboring Ivory Coast, Mr. Vanderpuije said Ghana must hold tight to its role as a “shining example” for democracy on the continent.

“The challenge for us is to continue to sustain our democracy to the extent that other African countries will see that it pays to champion the cause of democracy,” he said.

To watch last year’s GlobalAtlanta video interview with Mr. Vanderpuije, read: Accra Mayor: New Delta Flight Good for Business

Visit www.medshare.org to learn more about MedShare.

The container discussed left our warehouse yesterday. To view more photos of the Mayor’s visit, click here, and to view more of the container being loaded, click here.

Thanks to everyone who had a part in making this shipment happen, and thanks to Global Atlanta for helping spread the word about MedShare’s impact worldwide.