Direct Relief on Friday delivered 47 tons of medical supplies to Ecuador, the largest single shipment of emergency medical aid received by Ecuador since the country was struck by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on April 16.
Direct Relief chartered the 767 cargo aircraft to deliver a broad range of medications and medical supplies specifically requested and approved by Ecuador’s Ministry of Health, with which Direct Relief has worked closely to ensure that only such medications and medical and surgical instruments appropriate for the circumstances are delivered to the country as it manages a large-scale humanitarian response involving difficult logistical challenges.
The shipment contains extensive inventories of specifically requested items, including surgical instruments, wound care supplies, IV solutions, sterilization equipment, nutritionals, and prescription anti-infective medications.
The more than 95,000 lbs. of medications and supplies, with a wholesale value of more than $2 million, was available in Direct Relief’s inventories because of donations from leading healthcare and consumer health companies that support Direct Relief’s humanitarian health programs. Included in the emergency airlift are products donated by Baxter International Inc., BD (Becton, Dickinson and Co.), Ethicon Inc., Integra LifeSciences Corp., Johnson & Johnson, Midmark Corp., Sappo Hill Soapworks, and Unilever; Abbott Labs is arranging additional contributions of nutritional products to Direct Relief for the emergency response from its inventories in Ecuador.
“Direct Relief has been privileged to work since 1969 with deeply committed people and groups in Ecuador, and our hearts are with all those who have experienced the tragic loss of loved ones,” said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe. “As thousands of people now face extraordinary hardship and significant threats to their health in the earthquake’s aftermath, Direct Relief is thankful to be able to assist and committed to doing everything possible to support the critical efforts being led by the Government of Ecuador and local Ecuadorian groups.”
The flight departed at 7:00 a.m. Friday, April 29, from LA/Ontario International Airport bound for Quito, where its contents are being distributed to hospitals throughout the country by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Public Health. Direct Relief staff members are in Ecuador, working with Ecuadorian government and nongovernmental leaders to coordinate activities and plans for further assistance.