Direct Relief International today committed $500,000 in cash to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Myanmar and sent an initial airlift of $200,000 in essential medical aid.
The cash commitment, enabled in part by donations from over 7,500 individual contributors who contributed via Google Checkout, will be used to furnish essential medical material to health facilities in Myanmar and partner organizations providing health services to people affected by the cyclone that struck last week.
The intial infusion of medical resources includes supplies to provide 21,300 courses of treatment for patients with bacterial and upper respiratory infections, dehydration, diarrhea, cholera and other water-borne diseases, as well as basic instruments and materials for wound care and other trauma needs. The materials were specifically requested by in-country facilities run by a colleague nonprofit organization, which obtained clearance to receive and distribute the materials.
Direct Relief is working with international organizations with Myanmar-based health programs and regional organizations with community-based programs inside Myanmar.
“Because of our experiences responding to other emergencies involving surges of water in the region – particularly the 2004 Asian tsunami and Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh last year we know what types of needs arise, and consequently keep the supplies to fulfill those needs on hand,” said Direct Relief’s Emergency Response Coordinator Brett Williams.
In addition to the thousands of individual contributions, Direct Relief has received substantial support from healthcare companies. The initial aid sent today containes medicines and other materials donated by long-time Direct Relief supporters, including Abbott, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cera Products Inc., the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, MedVantx, Midmark, Sappo Hill Soapworks, and Sunnight Solar. Henry Schein Inc. also has responded generously with donations of essential medical items for this emergency.