Partners for World Health Newsletter March/April 2021
Updated: Apr 15
What happens to a container after it is loaded in Portland?
The Journey to Syria.
Most people who have spent a little time at PWH know that donated equipment and supplies arrive here to be sorted, assessed, packed and prepared for shipment - many also have experienced the challenge of packing a 40 foot container early in the morning to travel to the dock to be loaded on the ship. As Elizabeth likes to say ‘we don’t ship air’ - any and every square inch of a container is filled to pack in everything we can.
But what happens to the container when it gets to its final destination. What does that mean when it is heading to an area of great strife and conflict like Syria? Here in her own words is Huda Alawa, Development Director of NuDay in Syria:
“NuDay works with a couple of trusted shipping companies to arrange the transportation of containers from the US to Syria. Our US shipping company ships the container via ocean freight to Mersin, Turkey, where NuDay's customs broker oversees the clearance process. Once the container has been cleared by the authorities, the shipment is transferred onto a truck that transports the entire container to the destination by way of Bab al Hawa. Bab al Hawa is one of the few remaining border crossings used for humanitarian aid.
Inside Syria, we have four warehouses in the Idlib region that are fully staffed and secure. NuDay's distributions are carried out exclusively by NuDay staff. In most cases, the containers are brought directly to each warehouse where we take inventory and receive the items and conduct the distributions accordingly. For medical items, we work with over 50 partner clinics to distribute items. Medical facilities are provided with incoming item lists and are able to submit requests to NuDay. We then distribute the items directly to the medical facilities, who verify the receipt at delivery. NuDay takes a variety of media to ensure that we can demonstrate the use of items and to share with our supporters.
I'm attaching a few images from a recent container we did together - container TCNU 9870959. This container was distributed to 6 hospitals across the Idlib governorate. In January, these hospitals saw a combined total of 90,000 patients, demonstrating the sheer scope of need in the region. One of the largest hospitals served with this distribution is the Salqin Hospital, which includes services in general surgery, OB/Gyn, orthopedics, intensive care, dialysis, oncology, ENT, laboratory, radiology, and ambulant care. The images attached include images from the NuDay Idlib warehouse and a few of the deliveries to Salqin Hospital.”
It is a powerful testimony to the vision of PWH and the dedication of staff and volunteers to ensure that thousands of miles away in war torn Syria our donated medical equipment and supplies are making a profound difference in the lives of thousands.
How the PWH Medical Supply Program Helps Mainers.
Simon, a Portland resident suffers from diabetes and a number of mental health issues that have severely impacted his ability to live a full and rewarding life. Recently his diabetes worsened and in order for Simon to receive a higher level of care he needed to be able to test his blood sugar 30 times a day. Under his current medical coverage he could not afford those tests. He felt trapped and abandoned. That’s where PWH was asked to help.
By providing Simon with testing equipment and supplies from our Medical Supply Program (MSP) he has been able to manage his diabetes, engage in his other treatment protocols, and focus on building a better life with support from his community based social worker. Had Simon known of the MSP earlier he could have accessed our supplies to help improve his health and it would have resulted in considerably less hospitalizations, visits to his PCP and other community impacts which likely cost the community around $30,000 over the preceding six months.
Not every case is this dramatic financially, but every person we help through MSP is afforded a better life whether they need a wheelchair, ways to manage chronic conditions, or simply reduce their monthly bills and not have to choose between food and medical supplies.
Most people know we change lives overseas - but we have been serving our local community by working with more than 120 community partners and improving the health and well being of our neighbors like Simon.
News In Brief
International Women's Day: Empowered Women, Empowering Women
On March 8, 2021 PWH celebrated International Women’s Day with a panel discussion moderated by Elizabeth McLellan, featuring Tara Sharafudeen and Ekhlas Ahmed. The event was attended by over 80 people from across the US and beyond. To learn more about the event, our panelists, sponsors and a chance to view the discussion please click here:
Medical Missions Update - 2021/2022
The challenges of COVID-19 over the past year and international travel restrictions meant that our Medical Missions program was postponed. On Tuesday March 9, 2021 Elizabeth McLellan gave an update and orientation on the Medical Missions for 2021/22. She outlined the plan to deliver more services abroad as the travel restrictions ease and give way to new hope. To learn more about Medical Missions please visit our website or click here to view the presentation.
Medical Supplies Containers Program Update
Earlier this year we saw four containers ship out to Honduras, Jamaica, Syria and Mongolia and we are already preparing for more including Syria, Liberia, Guatemala, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda. We are excited at the pace and thankful to the many partners who ensure we have supplies and equipment to fill each load - moreover we are thrilled that so many volunteers have been able to help us meet the demand by working to sort, pack and load our medical supplies. .
Volunteer Recognition Week - April 19 - 24, 2021
At the heart of all that we do here at PWH is the commitment and generosity of our volunteers. We are planning many ways to recognize and acknowledge their contributions. This last year has been a true challenge in so many ways and yet our volunteers found ways to stay safe and ensure we continued our vital work unimpeded. Thank you all so much whether you volunteer in our warehouses, offices, on the road doing collections, serving on committees or the Board - you all make a difference. It is heartening to see so many volunteers returning having received their COVID-19 vaccinations. I look forward to the time when we can all be together again. Thank you!
Tarlan Ahmadov is the State Refugee Coordinator at the Office of Maine Refugee Services Catholic Charities Maine, where he has worked since 2004. Prior to his immigration to the USA, Tarlan worked in the education field in Baku, Azerbaijan, and later joined the non-profit sector, combined with a consulting business to the Consulate of Azerbaijan in Tehran, Iran.
Tarlan had the privilege to work in various capacities with local and international NGOs, such as IFES (providing training to the newly established municipalities in Azerbaijan), and Social Research Center (by screening refugees from Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq).
He graduated from the Baku State University with a Masters in History and Social Sciences. He is the father of two children. Tarlan speaks several languages. Travel is one of his passions: during the last two decades, he has visited over 40 countries for business, training, and teaching purposes.
Thursday, April 29, 2021 6:00 - 8: PM to register please click here:https://bit.ly/3d7klis
On May 3 - 7, 2021 Partners for World Health will be the beneficiary of our first Virtual Art Auction. Elizabeth Moss Galleries will be hosting the art exhibition at the Falmouth location and you can visit to view the art in person but you can only bid on-line! The auction will go live on Monday May 3, 2021 and runs through Friday, May 7, 2021. This is a great way to support local artists and Partners for World Health.
With more than 135 items to choose from you will be sure to find something you love. You can preview some of the work here - be sure and check our website for the announcement that the auctions open for bidding! For a sneak peak at some of the works please click here: https://bit.ly/3fdQgQZ