Archive for June, 2011

A 40 foot container of medical humanitarian aid for Shirati KMT designated hospital in Rorya, Mara, TANZANIA was shipped out of MedShare’s distribution center in San Leandro, California.  Over one thousand individual pieces of equipment and supplies were selected by the hospital director Dr. Bwire Chirangi and included on the container, including ambulatory bags, hospital beds, surgical drapes, sterilization packing, an anesthesia machine, patient gowns, an ultrasound, stainless steel surgical tools, and much more.

In this photo, MedShare staff and volunteers and the local Shirati supporting group called AISCS stand in front of the container destined for Tanzania.  AISCS is a local group that helps African immigrants and has various projects with the Shirati Hospital including an improved water system. AISCS founder and president, Mrs. Christine Nyanda-Chacha, welcomed me to San Francisco and gave me the beautiful green shirt from her community.  It was a very exciting day and although I had hoped the fundraiser would be successful, I had no idea that it would have such a big impact.  Truly, the donations made are going to be well used and have served the double purpose of environmental conservation and providing healthcare supplies to those in need.

MedShare staff and AISCSFortunately, I was able to be present for the shipment ceremony at MedShare and have these photos to share.  Why was my kayak in the photo?  Well, I’m starting a new job in the Bay Area and was in the process of moving there.  While driving cross-country from Atlanta to San Francisco I learned about the ceremony and so I drove through the night so I could be there for this special event.  Since finding the recipient hospital, the coordinated efforts by MedShare and Shirati hospital to select and verify the supplies took only four weeks.  A job well done!

Ron loading the boxes.

The container will take about 6 weeks to cross the Pacific and Indian oceans by freight ship.  So stay tuned for delivery.

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MedShare found a well deserving recipient of the fundraised medical supplies: the Shirati KMT Hospital in northwest Tanzania. The hospital is in a rural region a few miles from Lake Victoria and has 200 beds serving an area of approximately 200,000 people.  The hospital has an inspiring story being formed with sustained support from Tanzanians and Mennonite missionaries. It has already overcome major hurdles training the Tanzanian staff via a nursing school and getting water and electricity to the hospital.

Shirati KMT is at the front line in the fight against malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, and the current AIDS catastrophe.  More history of the hospital can be found here and the location of Shirati can be seen here.  Their non-profit facility is chronically under-resourced and MedShare is helping bridge their need for medical equipment and supplies.  The container sponsored by the CauseToPaddle project will be a great start and future projects will continue to strengthen the Shirati Hospital.  Watch this excellent video where Dr. Chirangi describes his community.

Thank you all for helping support the Shirati Hospital and its community with your donations.  In the coming months, the Shirati Hospital and MedShare will prepare the list of supplies to be sent and go through some review processes.  MedShare does an excellent job of waste-reduction not only by bringing surplus medical supplies into their warehouse but they also have review processes with the recipient to ensure that the right supplies are sent and will be fully utilized.

I thank you all for supporting the CauseToPaddle project and making it a successful fundraiser.  It has been quite an adventure and I thank you all for joining me on it!

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