January 3, 2005: Update to work done by Direct Relief International

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Thailand: Special Report: 2004 - Tsunami hits Southeast Asia: December 30, 2004: Headlines: COS - Thailand: COS - Sri Lanka: NGO's Service: Tsunami: Direct Relief International: Direct Relief International headed by Thailand RPCV Thomas Tighe responds to Earthquake and Tsunami : January 3, 2005: Update to work done by Direct Relief International

By Admin1 (admin) (151.196.43.253) on Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - 11:42 am: Edit Post

Update to work done by Direct Relief International

Update to work done by Direct Relief International

Update to work done by Direct Relief International

1/3/2005

Direct Reliefís CEO and other representatives of the the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD) (www.pqmd.org) conferenced today to ensure coordinated efforts among member nonprofit organizations and companies responding to the tsunami. PQMDís website contains information about and links to the World Health Organization-developed standards that exist for medical donations. PQMD executive director James B. Russo reported on his consultations with and offers of assistance to WHO officials and U.S. Government officials involved in the relief effort.

Sri Lanka: An emergency air shipment of 7 tons of medical supplies and medicines was picked up today by FedEx, which has donated ground and air transportation to deliver the material to Columbo, Sri Lanka. Vice President of Programs Chris Brady and Program Officer Kelly Darnell will oversee the distribution of these items on-site.

The shipment contained specific products and in the specific amounts requested by the Ministry of Health. Among the items were 200,000 needles and syringes donated by BD; 5 pallets of the antibiotics loracarbef, amoxicillin, and cephalexin; suction catheters and urine catheters of various sizes that were requested; Motrin and metronidazole; 28 kits of instruments for minor surgical procedures and surgical sponges; and general supplies including sterile gauze and bandages. To see photos of the FedEx pick-up at Direct Relief's warehouse, click here.

An additional 6 pallets of erythromycin furnished by World Vision will be consolidated with Direct Relief-furnished material. This was among the specifically requested items from Sri Lanka that Direct Relief did not possess in its current inventory.

Additional shipments are being prepared based on medical-items needs lists prepared by the Order of St. John Ambulance Brigade in Sri Lanka.

India: A shipment containing over $1.3 million in medicines, equipment, and supplies will depart Tuesday for the coalition of four Indian nongovernmental organizations working in Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh. The shipment is destined for Chenai.

Assessment reports today from the affected coastal areas indicated that regional hospitals have depleted their staff and supplies to respond to large numbers of the injured and sick. Direct Relief today received request lists from 4 hospitals for surgical supplies and equipment, including defibrillators, electrocardiogram machines, and ambu bags.

Reports also noted that approximately 80 percent of the fishing villages sustained tremendous damage, including the loss of fishing boats and equipment used by fisher folk who had their entire life savings invested in their equipment.

Direct Relief also allocated $20,000 from funds received for tsunami relief to purchase urgently needed oral rehydration solution, high protein biscuits, fortified milk powder, and other nutritional supplements for persons left homeless by the tsunami. These items meet UN recommended specifications and will be procured in the local Indian market by Sheshedri Iyer, Direct Reliefís local representative, and distributed by the Indian NGOs.

Indonesia: Direct Relief is awaiting approval of medical needs lists before sending aid shipments to Indonesia.

Maldives: The Government of the Maldives, which had previously requested assistance, today contacted Direct Relief and advised that medical needs were being adequately addressed for the next few months.

Somalia: Program officer Christienne Durbin spoke with the Kenya-based UN representative of the Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) responsible for Somalia. OCHA has formed a Task Force to assess the need for aid for the victims of the tsunami and conducted four ground and aerial assessment missions to evaluate the magnitude of damage, identify needs, and propose action. A UN Flash Appeal for Somalia is anticipated, and Direct Relief offered assistance with regard to specific medical requirements.

Other Activities: Johnson & Johnson today delivered an extensive donation of Levaquin, a quinolone antibiotic that according to many is the drug of choice for acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis and also community acquired pneumonia Ė conditions anticipated in tsunami-affected areas.



1/2/2005

Significant logistics challenges exist in many tsunami-affected regions. Direct Reliefís efforts over the past two days have focused on responding to immediate urgent needs for medical items and preparing inventories and arrangements for anticipated medical needs in the near term. Governments and in-country organizations mobilizing relief efforts face concurrent urgent priorities of shelter, food, water, sanitation, as well as medical personnel and medical material, which Direct Relief furnishes. Direct Relief is coordinating with public and other private NGO responders to minimize logjams through narrow delivery channels.

Bangladesh: Today, we received reassuring news from Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha (SSS), a partner organization in Bangladesh, advising that although the country experienced the December 26th earthquake, medical problems have not resulted. Direct Relief has not received requests for assistance from Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka: In preparation for a Monday pickup of a large shipment to Sri Lanka via donated FedEx aircraft, Direct Relief staff and teams of volunteers completed assembly of 26 pallets of materials requested by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health. The Sri Lanka shipment via FedEx also will include six pallets of erythromycin furnished by Seattle-based World Vision (www.worldvision.org), another member of the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (www.pqmd.org).

The Order of St. Johnís Ambulance Brigade, which operates ambulance services in Sri Lanka and throughout the world, has conveyed its list of needed medical items to Direct Relief. Direct Relief has supported the humanitarian work of the St. Johnís Eye Hospital in Jerusalem for several years, and the Order of St. John has provided financial support to Direct Relief. In Sri Lanka, the Ambulance Service is coordinating with Sarvodaya, with which Direct Relief is also working.

Direct Relief Vice President of Programs Chris G. Brady and Program Officer Kelly Darnell will travel to Sri Lanka later this week. Mr. Brady will also travel to Indonesia to assess how Direct Relief may best assist with the medical material needs, which initial reports indicate will be extensive.

India: Direct Relief staff also has completed assembly of a shipment to support the health efforts of a coalition of Indian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in the region. These organizations, including the Sanghamitra Service Society, joined together at the behest of American Jewish World Service, which has worked closely and provided funding support to each of them. The Sanghamitra Service Society has particular expertise in disaster response in India. This emergency shipment will be booked tomorrow, January 3rd, and depart the following day via commercial air cargo.

The consignee and another member of the coalition group is RIDE (Rural Institute for Development Education). RIDE works extensively in the area of child labor issues but also is member of the District and National Disaster Management Committee with broad experience responding to disaster situations. They mobilized immediately to provide food, clothing, and basic non-medical items for affected villages in Tamil Nadu and also sent physicians to the area for assessment and to provide a medical-items needs list, which we used to assemble the shipment. The shipment is 10 pallets, 7,100 lbs., and contains the following items: antibiotics, antiparasitics, analgesics, oral rehydration solution, adult, childrenís and infant multivitamins, and first aid, surgical, and orthopedic supplies (gauze, tape, dressings, orthopedic soft goods, IV administration kits, dressing change trays, antiseptics, gloves, irrigation syringes, etc.). The wholesale value of the items contained in this shipment is $1,518,322.

In Gujarat India, which suffered a tremendous earthquake four years ago in January 2001, Direct Relief has continued to support the health efforts. An extensive medical camp administered by the Shree Bidada Sarvodaya Trust will begin this week and continue through January 23. The site is the Bidada Hospital in Gujarat, and more than 100 doctors and volunteers from the US and India will participate. 20,000 patients will receive treatment and over 1,000 patients will be operated on using an extensive supply of surgical instruments and supplies that Direct Relief recently furnished. Direct Relief has supplied the hospital with general supplies and provided essential items for the medical camp every year since the earthquake. We expect similar long-term support will be required in the months and years following the current emergency in tsunami affected areas.

Somalia: Program Officer Christienne Durbin has contacted Direct Relief-supported health facilities in Somalia and is awaiting an assessment and needs list.

Other Activities: PQMD Executive Director Jim Russo has consulted with the Word Health Organization (www.who.org) and offered PQMDís support to the significant challenges in providing medicines to people in affected countries. WHO plays a leading role in international health issues and developed a list of essential drugs that serves as the guideline for pharmaceutical donations to developing countries and in disaster-response situations. PQMD was the first international organization to endorse the WHO guidelines, and Direct Relief and other PQMD members adhere to the guidelines in our respective activities.

The response of individuals and corporations wishing to assist in this tragedy has been extraordinary. The following companies have stepped forward and have provided or offered extensive product contributions: Anonymous, Amsino International, Auburn Pharmaceuticals, BD, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ethicon Inc., FedEx, Green Meadow Mission, Henry Schein, Johnson & Johnson, J&J Consumer, McNeil Consumer, Medline Industries, Inc., Merck & Company, Inc., Microflex, North Safety Products, TEVA, Pharmaceuticals, Tyco Healthcare, Kendall, Vitamin Angel, Watson Pharmaceuticals.





When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Direct Relief International

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Thailand; NGO's; Tsunami

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