Chattahoochee Technical College Students Outfit Bus with Medical Equipment for Africa

It is only through partnerships that we are able to achieve our mission of bridging the gap between surplus and need. Hospitals, schools, clinics, governments and community groups are just some of the groups that make our work possible. It is the partnership of a school, Chattahoochee Technical College, that we’d like to recognize today.

Chattahooche Technical College instructor Mike O’Rear and six of his Biomedical Technology Engineering students spent time refurbishing a University of Georgia-donated bus with biomedical equipment that MedShare provided. The bus will be shipped to Ghana, and used to check for hypertension and diabetes in patients while information is transferred back to the United States for analysis.

For more information on this project, we’d like to share this great article with you:

CTC Students Outfit Bus with Medical Equipment for Africa

Mike O’Rear and his students from Chattahoochee Technical College installed medical instrumentation on a bus that will be shipped to Ghana.

Chattahoochee Technical College Instructor Mike O’Rear and five of his Biomedical Technology Engineering students saw months of hard work culminate in a ceremony this week. The instructor and students handed off the keys to a bus that has been refurbished as a mobile medical unit with equipment they installed.

Dr. Mike O’Rear and students hand off the keys to Dr. Issifu Harruna of the Kibasibi Foundation and his mother, Amina, whom the bus is named after. Credit Angela Chao

“I was approached by the people at MedShare about doing this project,” explained O’Rear. “They supplied the equipment, and then these students worked to install it and make sure it was working properly.”

O’Rear, along with about six students from Chattahoochee Technical College installed the medical instrumentation on a bus that will be shipped to Ghana. Once there, healthcare workers will utilize the equipment and facility to check for hypertension and diabetes in patients while information is transferred back to the United States for analysis.

Dr. Issifu Harruna of the Kibasibi Foundation was on hand to see the now completed bus, which was once used to transport students at the University of Georgia. According to Harruna, the bus will be used primarily in rural Ghana. The bus is named after Harruana’s mother, Amina, who accepted the keys to the bus.

The bus is outfitted with cabinets for storage and medical equipment. Credit Chattahoochee Technical College

This is not the first international project for O’Rear, who traveled to Africa in 2008 with MedShare—an organization that collects donated medical equipment for use in third world countries. However, this is a first chance for many of the students to do such a project.

“This project will help the people of Ghana,” said student project leader Charles Cowan. “It will help the world.”









First-Hand Tale: Delivery of a MedShare Container in Nigeria

In April 2010, MedShare shipped a container of medical supplies and equipment to Nigeria. The project was sponsored by “Yinit D. Med-Ventures Inc.,” an organization founded by  Dr. Adeniyi Henry Olowu, which also handled the distribution in Nigeria.

MedShare container unloading in Nigeria

Dr. Olowu’s daughter, a college student, went to Nigeria with him to help with the distribution and wrote an account of her experience that we wanted to share with you:

I had the opportunity to travel to Nigeria this summer, after thirteen long years. It was a wonderful experience, especially seeing relatives that I haven’t seen in over a decade. One of my most memorable moments in Nigeria was when I spent time with my dad distributing medical supplies to local clinics. This is a memory that will stay with me forever, and from it I have taken away many life lessons which I hope to share with others.

Nigeria, along with many other African countries, is in dire need of medical assistance, not so much medical professionals but medical supplies. From my experience in Nigeria, I can strongly state that the majority of the clinics I saw lacked proper supplies and equipment to care for their patients. And at the few that did, their supplies were outdated. This was a major problem that I noticed – lack of technology, and sometimes this can be the determining factor in saving lives. For example, many of these clinics did not have access to a defibrillator and relied mainly on chest pumps with their bare hands to resuscitate patients.  But as we all know, this method is less effective in comparison to the use of a defibrillator. And if more of these machines alone can be introduced to hospitals and clinics, more lives can surely be saved.

I had the privilege of going to a small town outside the capital of Nigeria with my dad, where we were able to distribute medical supplies to the local clinic. The status of the clinic was dreadful and the thought of it being the place that people relied on treatment was even worse. Just like the physical appearance, the attributes were lacking as well. A few bandages and syringes here and there could not treat anything but a simple cut or wound. If someone with a critical medical condition was taken there, they will be helpless because without proper medical supplies there is only little that can be done. With this being said, I can’t even put to words how this community as a whole was very delighted with the resources, supplies and equipment we provided them.

All in all, much gratitude and appreciation was shown to us by all the clinics and hospitals we donated supplies. And with this same gratitude and appreciation that was given to us, I am also extending it to you. I thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for providing my father with the opportunity to touch lives and give back to those in need. Without your role all this would not have been possible. I also want to thank you personally for giving me this wonderful experience, it was truly something unforgettable.

Tuesday Thanks: A Letter from Mully Children’s Family’s Founder & CEO

Mully Children's Family

On August 12, we shipped a container of almost 20,000 lbs of medical supplies and equipment to Mully Children’s Family in Kenya. The non-profit Christian organization cares for hundreds of homeless Kenyan children and also hosts monthly medical mission teams of doctors and nurses who need better supplies and equipment for their important humanitarian work.

We received the following words from Dr. Mulli, Founder and CEO of Mully Children’s Family, yesterday, and we wanted to share them with our supporters.

Dear Friends,

How honored and humbled I am to witness what the Lord is dong through each one of you. As I read your email, I was overcome with excitement at the thought of having our clinic improve its ability to care for the over 2,100 children in MCF as well as hundreds of staff and thousands of needy community members. Thank you for being part of this change that will help us save lives.

On behalf of the entire MCF fraternity, please accept our sincere thanks for what each of you has contributed to make this happen. It is my hope that one day we will welcome you to MCF so that you may witness first hand how your efforts are impacting lives.

Wishing you blessings.

Yours sincerely,

Thanks again to two of our incredible sponsors, US-based healthcare supply chain corporation MedAssets and UPS, for covering the cost of this container and its shipping.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Visiting MedShare to Address East Africa’s Famine

Rev. Jesse Jackson Visiting MedShare to Address East Africa’s Famine

Rev. Jesse Jackson visiting Atlanta-based nonprofit to initiate humanitarian aid shipments to those suffering in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya

This afternoon, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, will visit MedShare to address East Africa’s famine.

The U.N. fears that thousands have died due to hunger, and Rev. Jackson hopes to partner with MedShare to mobilize his influence to send humanitarian aid to treat those suffering from malnutrition in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya.

“According to the UN World Food Program, over 11 million people are in need of emergency assistance in the Horn of Africa,” says Rev. Jackson. “In Kenya, an estimated 3.6 million people have been affected; this includes refugees, rural pastoralists, and urban poor who are unable to buy adequate food because of escalating prices. In Ethiopia, at least 4.5 million people are in need of assistance. I strongly believe that we can show how compassionate we are as a country by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and sheltering the homeless.”

“MedShare is honored to host the Revs. Jackson and Lowery, and explore opportunities for medical supplies and equipment that we can provide to address the healthcare issues that thousands of East Africans are facing as a result of the famine,” says A.B. Short, CEO and Co-founder of MedShare.

Food for Thought: Hospital Pricing in Kenya

Last week, Barbara Bonar toured MedShare’s Western Region. Barbara represents Miranga Hospital in Kenya, a potential container recipient.

The photo below was taken at Miranga Hospital, and is one that Barbara shared with us. Take a look:

Pricing Structure at Miranga Hospital, Kenya

In 2007, the cost of an average birth in America was $8,800. Compare that to the pricing in the photo… Quite a discrepancy, no? This pricing structure is representative of the healthcare situation in many parts of Africa. It’s a stretch for many to be able to afford even these prices, so it’s vital that costs remain low.

This is where MedShare comes in, and why we’re proud to support hospitals like these. Our service of providing low-cost containers of medical supplies and equipment enables these hospitals to operate at a minimal cost and provide care to those in the world’s neediest countries.

What do you think about this? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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

MedShare Ships Two Containers to Hospital General Douala in Cameroon


On Thursday, April 21, two 40-foot containers of medical humanitarian aid for Cameroon were loaded and shipped from MedShare’s Southeastern Regional Distribution Center in Decatur, Georgia.  Both containers will be delivered to Hopital General Douala, one of the central Ministry of Public Health institutions in the city of Douala, where doctors and nurses struggle daily with a lack of resources to care for their patients, most of whom come from poor backgrounds.

Hopital General Douala

MedShare’s Senior Biomedical Engineer, Eben Amstrong, is originally from Cameroon, and has worked and volunteered to repair medical equipment at the Hopital General Douala numerous times.  On Eben’s most recent return home to Cameroon this winter he spent more time at the hospital and, upon seeing the dire need for supplies and equipment, returned to the United States to organize the shipment of these two containers.  “Douala is the economic capital and the largest city in Cameroon,” says Eben. “This hospital is the one of the biggest referral hospitals and most patients there have been referred from different regions.  Unfortunately it doesn’t have enough equipment for the 21 million people in Cameroon.”

Among the items included on the containers are:

  • hospital beds
  • emesis basins
  • suction catheters
  • gauze pads
  • surgical masks
  • drape packs
  • patient monitors
  • an ultrasound machine
  • an electrosurgical unit
  • nebulizers
  • a dental x-ray machine
  • and much more.!

Thank you to the Coca-Cola Bottlers of Northwest Africa for generously sponsoring this project!