This morning, we began loading boxes for our tornado relief shipment to Alabama. It will go out this afternoon! For more information, read this post.
MedShare’s volunteers are incredible, and they continually impress us. This morning, they did it again.
Our Southeast Region‘s regular Friday morning volunteers sorted and packed an impressive 102 boxes of Kimberly-Clark donated exam gloves. That’s 35,700 gloves! These will be included on our upcoming shipment to Liberia in early June where they’ll be going to a hospital where they’re desperately needed.
Thanks to our volunteers for their hard work and Kimberly-Clark for the donation!
If you’d like to learn more about volunteering in either our Atlanta or San Leandro warehouse, click here.
Every quarter, MedShare staff vote to elect an “Employee of the Quarter” in both the Southeast and Western Region. This award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated strength in the following areas:
- Exemplary service provided during daily work
- Notable contribution to department and/or overall organization
- Projects an attitude of teamwork
- Commitment toward excellence
- Contributes to high staff morale
Tesfah first came to MedShare as a student at DeVry University. He volunteered under our Senior Biomedical Engineer, Eben Amstrong, in MedShare’s biomedical department, and made such an impression that he was hired full-time after graduating. Tesfah is incredibly hard-working, talented and always has a positive attitude. We consider ourselves lucky to have him on staff!
In addition to the wonderful recognition, Employees of the Quarter receive an extra day off and a prime parking spot. Congratulations on this well-deserved award, Tesfah!
On Monday, April 18, MedShare’s Southeast Region welcomed two new faces to our Data Entry team, Crystal Money and Jacqueline Crowther. Crystal is our Inventory Management Associate and Jacqueline is our Pharmaceutical & Inventory Associate.
Both have done a wonderful job thus far, and we’re lucky to have them on board. In the month they’ve been at MedShare, they’ve collectively entered 9,000 boxes of medical supplies into MedShare’s inventory, and we had cake this morning to celebrate that accomplishment.
On average, each container shipment that MedShare sends out contains 1,000 boxes of supplies. That means that these ladies have, in effect, readied 9 containers of supplies to be sent, and also made available these boxes to be ordered by recipient hospitals via our online ordering system. In doing this, they’ve freed up a significant amount of space in our warehouse that had been designated to hold these boxes.
Welcome to MedShare, Crystal and Jacqueline, and thanks for your great work so far!
On May 6th, a 40-foot container carrying medical humanitarian aid for Armenia was loaded and shipped out of MedShare’s Southeastern Regional Distribution Center. These items will be received in Armenia by the NGO Greek Medical Fund, Hippocrates of Hellenicare, and distributed to eight local under-resourced hospitals, including the Alaverdi City Hospital, Vanadzar Hospital N1, Spitak Hospital, and Tashir Hospital.
The container holds over 11,000 lbs of donated medical supplies and equipment, such as:
- urinary catheters
- exam gloves
- sterile gauze
- oral swabs
- an electrosurgical unit
- and much more!
Hellenicare is an NGO that delivers humanitarian assistance programs in Georgia, Ukraine, and Armenia in a wide variety of areas, including human rights advocacy, infrastructure restoration, economic development, and of course, healthcare. Please visit their website for more information.
We are looking forward to collaborating with Hellenicare again on an upcoming container shipment to Ukraine!
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.
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.
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.
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!