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Medical Support Ongoing for Maui Fire, Training for Doctors in Turkey and Syria, and More

Direct Relief's Humanitarian Activity for the week of 09/01/2023 - 09/08/2023


Operational Update

A Direct Relief donation of diabetes supplies and other medical products arrived at the HEALing Community Center in Atlanta, Georgia, on September 1, 2023. (Photo by Sean Collier for Direct Relief)

Over the past seven days, Direct Relief has delivered 278 shipments of requested medical aid to 27 U.S. states and territories and 12 countries worldwide.

The shipments contained 12.1 million defined daily doses of medication, including first aid kits, insulin, vitamins, PPE, antibiotics, and more.

One Month After Fires Erupt, Direct Relief’s Response in Maui Continues

One month after fires tore through Maui, Direct Relief continues to field and respond to requests for medicines and medical supplies from clinics and emergency responders on the island. Alycia Clark, Direct Relief’s Senior Director of Pharmacy and Clinical Affairs, was in Maui last week, where she and other Direct Relief staff met with local healthcare providers, including Mauliola Pharmacy. See the post below for her video update describing how Direct Relief is supporting these organizations and plans to do so in the near- and long-term recovery phases.

Since the fires began on August 8, Direct Relief has sent 51 shipments of requested medicines and medical supplies, including first aid kits, emergency medical backpacks, insulin, inhalers, and naloxone, to 12 nonprofit health providers on the island.

Direct Relief is also supporting residents of Lahaina with critical protective gear as they return to their homes to begin clean-up. In coordination with local volunteers, the Maui County Emergency Management Agency, and Hawaii State Emergency Management will provide Direct Relief-donated protective gear for residents returning to retrieve belongings and assess damage to their property.

Direct Relief is providing 20,000 N95 masks, 5,000 P100 respirators, coveralls, safety goggles, work gloves, boot covers, and drawstring bags for the effort. The last shipment of these supplies, 60 pallets in total, shipped from Direct Relief’s Santa Barbara warehouse today and will arrive in Maui next week.

Doctor Training Takes Place in Istanbul

In partnership with the Society of Critical Care Medicine, Direct Relief funded the attendance of 182 Turkish and Syrian ICU health professionals at the World Intensive and Critical Care Congress in Istanbul, August 26-30, 2023. (Photo by Ali Saltan for Direct Relief)

The health system in northwestern Syria was fragile even before February earthquakes rocked the region, exacerbating the situation. More than 50,000 people were killed in Turkey and Syria, and more than 100,000 were injured, and hundreds of thousands were displaced by dangerous and uninhabitable buildings and forced into temporary shelters. The ongoing medical training of the doctors and the healthcare providers became a regional priority to strengthen healthcare services.

To help meet the urgent needs in the region, Direct Relief has, among other activities, been supporting the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), Independent Doctors Association (IDA) and Syrian Relief Development (SRD). Most recently, doctors from these three societies were invited to the 16th World Intensive and Critical Care Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, to be equipped with new skills and professional support as they face tough conditions.

Turkish doctors from various professional societies, including those in earthquake-affected cities, also attended with Direct Relief’s assistance. In total, Direct Relief provided funding for 182 doctors, including 29 from northwest Syria and 153 from Turkey, to attend the training, where hundreds of healthcare professionals from various countries gathered.

The training focused on emergency and essential critical care, an approach that helps decrease mortality by detecting patients who are critically ill.

Doctors and health providers learn techniques for providing emergency care. (Ali Saltan for Direct Relief)
In partnership with the Society of Critical Care Medicine, Direct Relief funded the attendance of 182 Turkish and Syrian ICU health professionals at the World Intensive and Critical Care Congress in Istanbul, August 26-30, 2023. (Ali Sultan for Direct Relief)

The Fundamental Critical Care Support Course, led by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and supported by Direct Relief, was provided for two groups: one for Turkish doctors and the other for Syrian doctors, conducted in Arabic. This two-day intense course covered detecting critically ill patients, management of critically ill patients, mechanical ventilator management, electrolyte and fluid treatment management and case discussions.



This week, Direct Relief shipped 10.7 million defined daily doses of medication outside the U.S.

Countries that received medical aid over the past week included:

  • Yemen
  • Ukraine
  • Ethiopia
  • Tanzania
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Sudan
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Iraq
  • Tunisia
  • Malawi


Direct Relief delivered 265 shipments containing more than 8.5 tons of medications over the past week to organizations, including the following:

  • HEALing Community Center, Georgia
  • Light of the World Clinic, Florida
  • J.C. Lewis Health Care Center, Georgia
  • Icna Relief USA Programs Inc dba Shifa Free Clinic, South Carolina
  • Rapha Clinic of West Georgia, Georgia
  • Samaritan Health and Wellness Center, Florida
  • Open Arms Clinic, Georgia
  • Grace Medical Home, Florida
  • Family Health Services Burley Pharmacy, Idaho
  • Tree Of Life Healthcare, Georgia


Since January 1, 2023, Direct Relief has delivered 14,000 shipments to 2,157 healthcare providers in 55 U.S. states and territories and 82 countries.

These shipments contained 34.8 million defined daily doses of medication valued at $1.4 billion (wholesale), totaling 4.6 million lbs.

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