(PORTLAND, OR Jan 8, 2010 ) Medical Teams International is sending critically needed surgical kits, medicines and sutures to help families caught in the Middle East air and ground attacks. The supplies are valued at $1.8 million.
Partnering with agencies on the ground in the West Bank and Gaza, Medical Teams International will ship three separate containers to be distributed to clinics, hospitals, churches and schools.
Two of the shipments will be airlifted from Holland this week, arriving in the region within five days. The first shipment—arriving in the Port of Ashdod, Israel, and valued at $835,000—has been approved by Israeli Security for transport to Gaza. A second delivery of $500,000 in medicines is headed to Cairo where it will transported by the World Health Organization across the Gaza-Egyptian border and distributed by local partners.
A third container of medical supplies is scheduled to depart from Medical Teams International’s Tigard warehouse later this week. The 40-foot container will include more than $543,000 in urgently needed medicines, bandages and pain relievers.
“The request for medicines is urgent,” says Bill Essig, vice president of international programs for Medical Teams International. “Children and the elderly are caught in the crossfire during these attacks. Hospitals and clinics are flooded with patients and often don’t have the resources to respond. Medicines are the difference between life and death.”
Because of instability in the region, Medical Teams International has no plans to send medical volunteers at this time.
“We are watching the crisis carefully,” adds Essig.