(PORTLAND, ORE. - Dec. 19, 2008) This Christmas, Medical Teams International is delivering critically needed medicines to Zimbabwe, an African country with one of the lowest life expectancies in the world.
More than $381,000 in cholera medicines, antibiotics and pain relievers will be airlifted from The Netherlands in partnership with Dorcas Aid on Dec. 23. Medical Teams International is collaborating with International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) in Zimbabwe to distribute the medicines to hospitals, clinics and camps for displaced people.
Once called an African success story and hailed as the breadbasket of southern Africa, Zimbabwe now has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world and a majority of the population is dependent on food aid. The United Nations estimates that 83 percent of Zimbabweans live on less than $2 a day.
“The devastating cholera epidemic continues to spread in Zimbabwe,” says David Beltz, director of commodity support at Medical Teams International. “More than 1,000 people have died from the disease and thousands more are contracting it each week. Without intervention, the potential for a pandemic disaster is imminent.”
Medical Teams International has shipped more than $8,333,677 in medicines to Zimbabwe and more than $1.2 billion in donated humanitarian supplies around the world since 1986. The agency has been working with IOCC for the past four years, supporting its hospital with lifesaving medical supplies and medicines.
“The people of Zimbabwe have endured incredible hardships—a severe drought, an escalation in HIV/AIDS and ongoing food and fuel shortages. They now face the anguish of cholera. They urgently need our help,” adds Beltz.
To make a year-end gift to Medical Teams International, please visit our secure donation page, call 1-800-959-4325; or mail funds to Medical Teams International, PO Box 10, Portland, OR 97207-0010.