Beds for Haiti

Patients and families in Haiti sleep in tents on the floor because they have nowhere to go.

Since the devastating earthquake, many of the hospitals in Haiti are overcrowded with patients living and being treated in tents outside the building, so there is a huge need for additional hospital beds.  The Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Carrefour is a 70-bed hospital overflowing with over 200-300 patients, and is in dire need of beds.  There are nearly 1,000 people currently living on the hospital grounds, and the staff are struggling with limited resources to care for all.

To meet that need, MedShare sent its 18th SHIPMENT of disaster relief aid to Haiti with a container load of 44 hospital beds and 10 laptop computers going to the Adventist Hospital.  This shipment left Thursday, April 29 from MedShare’s Western Regional Distribution Center in San Leandro, California.  Thanks to Jerry Daly and everyone else from SDA and Loma Linda University, and to Horizons West and Direct Supply for coordinating the procurement of the beds!

40-foot container full of beds for Haiti!

More Medical Aid for Chile

Medical supplies heading to Chile for earthquake relief.

MedShare’s THIRD shipment of medical humanitarian relief aid for CHILE left from the MedShare Southeastern Regional Distribution Center this morning, April 19, 2010.  The supplies on the container number over 1,300 boxes and weigh a total of 12,700 lbs!  They are shipping to Hospital Clínico Regional “Guillermo Grant Benavente” in Concepción, Chile, where the medical staff have been struggling to care for thousands of injured earthquake victims that have flooded through their doors since the disaster occurred in February.  The medical supplies and equipment being donated on this container include ambu bags, IV kits, gloves, endotrachael tubes, urinary catheters, laboratory equipment, stethoscopes, nebulizers, and more items that the hospital needs.  Special thanks go out to Gearbulk for generously providing donated shipping services for this project, and to the honorable Ambassador to Chile for connecting MedShare with this hospital!

Aiding the Elderly of Chile’s Earthquake

Today, we shipped our second medical relief shipment to aid earthquake victims in Chile.  These medical supplies were requested by Fundacion las Rosas, which is a Chilean nonprofit organization that cares for impoverished elderly people in 40 nursing homes throughout Chile.

Nursing home destroyed by Chile earthquake

They care for 2,400 elderly Chilean residents in their facilities, 40% of whom are confined to their beds, 48% require help to perform daily activities, and 12% are self sufficient.  The devastating earthquake that occurred in Chile in late February left 28 of their 40 nursing homes with structural problems, 2 have bene completely destroyed, and 4 are in a critical state.   There are only 5 homes left undamaged in the Fouth and Fifth Regions.

“We are so overjoyed and thankful for this medical donation.  These supplies are desperately needed, and will be used right away on our elderly patients residing in our facilities in the Southern region of Chile, which was hit hardest by the earthquake,” said Dr. María Eugenia Castillo, Medical Director for Fundacion Las Rosas.

MedShare was able to provide all the medical supplies they requested in the shipment, which includes items such as beds, mattresses, walkers, wheelchairs, gauze and surgical gloves.  The freight company, GearBulk, is donating the shipping freight to Chile.

We are excited to send medical supplies to aid the elderly effected by the powerful earthquake in Chile.

Haiti Earthquake: Two Months On

Hospitals wards made of anything available

It is said that the United States has streets paved with gold. However, you can only see the gold if you were not born here.  After a recent trip to Haiti with Chuck Haupt, MedShare West’s Executive Director,  I (Josh Kravitz, MedShare’s Program Director) can see the gold a little clearer.  The Haiti I saw had little commerce, chaotic streets, and an overwhelming amount of clean-up with a dearth of resources.  As Chuck and I toured hospitals in Port au Prince searching for potential medical aid recipients, we witnessed facilities cogged by international aid workers seeing patients in a maze of tents, hospitals desperately trying to prevent pilfering for the black-market, and medical operations surviving despite the very worst of sanitary conditions.  Outside the hospital grounds, we saw business returning in the form of women selling fruit, grains and charcoal on the street.  Sadly, many permanent structures are destroyed leaving stores almost absent from the urban landscape.  Further hindering the path to a normal existence are the mounds of rubble that fill edges and corners of streets like freshly plowed snow.  The traffic is at a near standstill as vehicles must maneuver these massive piles of rock and debris.  Most disheartening, many told us before the earthquake that Haiti had started on a slow path to prosperity.  Businesses were emerging, educational opportunities blossoming and planning being done for the future.  Now, many have given up hope that their country can overcome what looks like insurmountable circumstances.

Haitians seem to hope for a leader to rise that will put order back to life and fulfill their proud

Line of people waiting for medical attention in downtown Port au Prince

destiny as one of the first nations in the Americas to declare independence from colonial powers.  MedShare, like other NGOs, are standing with Haitians as they rebuild.  We have identified several hospitals with strong leaders, solid missions and needy patients.  Over the next several months, we will ship them medical supplies and equipment that will help strengthen healthcare and communities.  This aid is intended to increase the chances for success of rebuilding businesses, social services and government agencies.  In the end, though, this success must come from the Haitian people themselves.  They must develop their own solutions and work to implement them.  Those of us working in Haiti can give the tools, but lasting results will only work when haitians pick up these tools to form their own nonprofit organizations, nurture responsible leaders and build a nation fitting its true destiny.  Until this happens, the international community -and its supporters- must help in ways that will elevate suffering and stimulate domestically grown answers.

MedShare intends to be part of the effort to rebuild Haiti by working with our hospitals partners that will heal the haitian people and stand as examples of what is possible for their communities.  It is only through true partnerships that are lead by the hospitals and the people they serve will we see success.  MedShare will be part of the Haitian future one syringe, hemostat and pulse oximeter at a time.

Children and their parents waiting to be seen at a pediatric facility in Port au Prince