All across Central and South America, nebulizers are in short supply, but asthma is on the rise. Dust from unpaved roads, smoke from cooking fires, and environmental deterioration contribute to the problem. In Bolivia, parents often have to walk miles over mountainous terrain, carrying their child, to reach the community clinic where the single nebulizer is housed. And then they have to wait, listening as their child fights for breath, until it is their turn for a breathing treatment.
Global Links is shipping 40-foot containers of medical aid - recovered surplus furnishings and equipment from hospitals in the US to hospitals and health centers in Bolivia. Our Breathe Hope campaign collects household nebulizers - breathing machines for asthma - for inclusion in most of our donations. Bolivia's challenging terrain means that having functional, well-supplied community health centers is essential.
Children are especially vulnerable to respiratory diseases. Having a nebulizer is essential to treat asthma attacks. In Global Links' other program countries, hospitals that have an adequate supply of nebulizers have been able to reduce use of oxygen tanks by 30%, and save the oxygen for ICU and surgical patients. These nebulizers would end up in landfills if Global Links was not collecting them. Breathe Hope saves lives, and safeguards the environment.