Mike and Dave load boxes for the shipment
Thank you for supporting Global Links' Amazon Heath Boat Project!
Please read on for an importation update on the project, new information on Phase 2 and Save-the-Date for a special GlobalGiving Match Day on May 7 (30% matching!!!).
On Friday, March 21st, friends, supporters, volunteers and staff gathered to send off the first shipment for the Amazon Health Boat. Weighing about 20,000 lbs, this shipment contained everything from scales, crutches, rescue stretchers and a dental chair to exam gloves, tongue depressors and, of course, 80 Global Links Medical Backpacks.
The shipment arrived in Chile this week and will begin the trip to La Paz, Boliva in a few days. Upon arrival in Bolivia, materials must wait for review by customs officials before making the long journey north to Guayaramerin. If everything is on schedule it should arrive by mid-June so workers and doctors can begin preparing the Amazon Health Boat.
Global Links program officer, Karina Zelaya, will arrive in Guayaramerin to ensure that all materials have arrived safely and that layout plans for the boat have been followed before setting out on the river.
In late January of this year the Pando and Beni regions of Bolivia suffered widespread flooding. With a reported death toll of 60 and 150,000 more affected by the flood, the need for services from Global Links' Amazon Health Boat have taken on an even greater sense of urgency.
This shipment also included ten hydraulic gurneys for the Hospital de Guayaramerin. This hospital in Beni is the reference hospital for the Amazon Health Boat and the focus of Phase 2 of this project - it's where patients will go when their needs cannot be met on the boat.
The mission of Guayaramerin is, in part, to provide all the specialties available in a second level hospital, including surgeries and other complex procedures, in addition to basic primary care. The hospital also serves as a referral center for disasters, such as the recent flooding in which 60 people died and 60,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. The hospital is in good physical condition, but lacks the furnishings and equipment necessary to provide complete health care to the people in the area.
Hospital de Guayaramerin serves a population of 116,000 in an area that suffers a high level of poverty and tropical disease. The health services provided by the boat can keep chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes in check. And when complications arise, or a mother needs a c-section, or child needs an x-ray, Guayaramerin will, after completion of Phase 2, be ready to meet them.
Please help us with this cost-effective and efficient system that provides care to a large and diverse population. Your financial support is needed to cover the costs of shipping two more containers filled with hospital furnishings and equipment – material deemed surplus by the US medical community, and life-saving when it reaches its destination.
Mark Wednesday, May 7 on your calendar. All donations to the Amazon Health Boat on that day will receive a 30% match. This is an opportunity for you to share this important work with friends and family to encourage them to join you in supporting Global Links.
Staff double-checking inventory before loading.
Bidding a fond farewell to our 500th shipment.
Karina w/ Hospital Director and Gov't Officials
Guayaramerin lab ready for Global Links materials