Global Links

Global Links is a medical relief and development organization dedicated to supporting health improvement initiatives in resource-poor communities and promoting environmental stewardship in the US healthcare system. Global Links' collaborative efforts include: Redirecting still-useful materials away from US landfills to support public health programs in targeted communities throughout the Western Hemisphere Sharing expertise and technical knowledge with international and domestic partners Educating partners, volunteers, and the community on issues of global health and environmental stewardship
Aug 21, 2015

Final Report: Medical Supplies for Nepal

Children with cotton bandages
Children with cotton bandages

Global Links appreciates your support of our project “Medical Supplies for Healthcare Workers in Nepal.”  Without your help, we would not have been able provide medical teams from across the US with critically needed medical supplies. With your help we were able to provide over $165,000 of specialized medical and surgical supplies to support these responder teams.

 

We supported Dr. Emily, a doctor that volunteered with CardioStart, who spent her time in Nepal assisting the doctors and nurses of Kathmandu University Hospital in Dhulikhel as they completed over 1,300 surgical procedures and treated over 2,000 patients for other injuries.

 

In her own words:  “We were there during the second 7.3 earthquake on 5/12 which was much closer to us and collapsed many structures weakened by the first… We moved the entire hospital, except ventilated patients and the O.R., outdoors again under makeshift tents and tarpaulins…  It was best described as a war zone without enemies.”

 

Dr. Emily and CardioStart were also assigned to focus on outreach to 2 remote villages, a few hours away from the university hospital.  These villages had not yet been reached by medical teams from the first earthquake.  The team assisted with medical checkups and, with the support of Kathmandu University School of Engineering, the construction of emergency shelters and a temporary school.

 

After the emergency response phase concluded, Global Links turned to working with the Pittsburgh Nepali diaspora.  To launch this collaboration, Global Links hosted a Lunch+Learn presentation in July during in which Dr. Evan Miller, a recipient of Global Links supplies, and Bibhuti Aryal from the Rukmini Foundation spoke about their work in Nepal since the earthquake.  

 

Dr. Miller gave a very moving presentation about his experiences on the ground in Nepal and his work with various medical clinics in the area to assist patients. In regards to the medical supplies Global Links provided, he shared that it was “fantastic the things [Global Links] had.”  Many of those supplies, like skin staple removers, are not available in Nepal.  He shared a poignant story about a young Nepali man that he encountered. This individual had had a wound closed by a visiting medical team with skin staples.  However, skin staples are not commonly used in rural Nepal, meaning the community health workers were unfamiliar with how they should be removed. Not only was Evan able to remove the staples with supplies provided by Global Links, he was also able to teach the community health worker how to use the instruments before leaving the items with him. Evan was able to prevent complications for the young man and empower a health worker with a small “surplus” instrument.

 

Bibhuti shared with us the work that his organization, the Rukmini Foundation, has done in Nepal in the months following the earthquake.  The Rukmini Foundation works in Nepal to eliminate the barriers to education that girls face.  While their mission is not specifically medical related, they shared with us the work they have been able to accomplish by building temporary schools in the villages where they work and to ensure the safety of their students after the earthquakes.  


Your support has been invaluable in allowing Global Links to assist individuals and organizations responding to the desperate needs in Nepal after two massive earthquakes and dozens of aftershocks rocked the area earlier this year.  While we cannot begin to express how thankful we are for your help, Dr. Emily said it best, “Needless to say, the support from colleagues, friends, family, strangers and every gracious individual involved meant so much.  All of whom had a part in this from home helped us as integrally as we did on the ground in Nepal.”

Outdoor clinic in Nepal
Outdoor clinic in Nepal
Thank you from Nepal
Thank you from Nepal
Dr. Miller removing staples
Dr. Miller removing staples
Jun 22, 2015

Final report: Protecting Ebola Healthcare Workers

Thanks to help from donors like yourself Global Links was able to respond to the Ebola outbreaks in Africa by provided much-needed personal protective equipment. Many of our donations through the duration of this project were concentrated in Sierra Leone, the second hardest hit country.

Global Links worked diligently with our volunteers and partners to prep and send thousands of items of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the healthcare workers responding to the outbreaks. These items included gloves, masks, gowns, goggles, and disinfectant. Upon arrival in country, the supplies were reviewed for quality and then distributed to outlying areas based on the communities’ needs. This allowed our donations to get to the people that needed them the most. These boxes of PPE, especially the medical gloves, were one of the “most coveted” items by the medical professionals treating patients.

In addition to basic PPE gear, we also sent several pallets of medical scrub uniforms this year. These 2,200+ scrub sets (tops and bottoms) provided an additional layer of protection for the responding healthcare workers. The scrubs allowed the workers to change out of their normal street clothes upon arrival at work. Scrubs help reduce the spread of infections as there are few places for microbes to hide, and are very easy to clean. This also means the potential spread of infection to the healthcare workers’ families was reduced.

Global Links was also able to supply several pallets of post-mortem bags and plastic trash bags to help contain contaminated materials to further reduce the spread of the virus. Lastly, we were also able to send IV supplies which were used to keep patients hydrated and to improve their chances of recovering.

Because your generous support, we were able to assist during several phases of the Ebola response, from protecting healthcare workers and patients to helping to curb the spread of the infection. We would not have been able to accomplish this work without your generous and thoughtful help. Thank you so much for your support and confidence in our ability to deliver appropriate supplies in the time of crisis.

If you would like to continuing helping a Global Links project, please consider donating to our Nepal Earthquake Relief project.

Links:

May 18, 2015

May 15 Update on Relief Efforts to Nepal

Donated medical supplies in use in Kathmandu
Donated medical supplies in use in Kathmandu

The last several weeks have been a busy time at Global Links as we have been assisting with the Nepal earthquake relief efforts.  We have been able to provide nearly $130,000 of specialized medical and surgical materials to support 3 main effots in Nepal:

  1. Global Links has equipped 9 first responder medical teams that are providing care in Kathmandu as well as remote communities in Nepal.
  2. We worked with Team Rubicon to support their medical and surgical response teams with specialized materials for use by their volunteer medics, nurses, and disaster specialists.
  3. We are also collaborating with several other organizations and hospitals with teams on the ground in Kathmandu to provide needed medical supplies to treat patients. 

We are working with the Nepali diaspora on how Global Links can best support long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts in Nepal.

Dr. Evan Miller, a Pittsburgh doctor that we supported, had these words to say about his experiences so far in Nepal:

"Can't even explain this trip so far. We went to the remote villages to treat. These villages were completely destroyed with almost complete loss of all structures. We were the only provider group to set up camp in the area. We deployed as one provider, 3 assistants / translators, and two motorbike scouts. ...The group worked incredibly well together. Two ran the pharmacy and three worked nonstop translator and help dress wounds. We treated over one hundred patients a day. We were close to the epicenter of the new quake 6 people in the village died yesterday. We treated 30 to 40 casualties immediately after. Everyone stayed out in open spaces all night due to 23 aftershocks through out the night. Largest being 5.9. ... We will head to a different area tomorrow. A majority of the patients were in big need of treatment. Multiple awful wound infections, abscesses, sprains fractures concussions. We utilized all of the medical supplies we brought. They didn't have basic aids or antibiotics besides the large supply we fundraised for.  Thanks for helping I can't explain how much I learned on this trip."

We would not be able to accomplish any of this work without your help, and responders like Dr. Miller would not be able to provide this life-saving care without appropriate medical supplies and equipment.  Thank you for supporting our relief efforts in Nepal. Please consider a recurring donation to support our ongoing efforts.

Team Rubicon
Team Rubicon's medical clinic in a remote village
Volunteers & staff prepping medical materials
Volunteers & staff prepping medical materials
Dr. Miller before heading to Sindupalchok district
Dr. Miller before heading to Sindupalchok district
Dr. Miller treating patient in Sindupalchok
Dr. Miller treating patient in Sindupalchok
 
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