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 Health  Cuba Project #12012

Hurricane Sandy Relief for Santiago, Cuba

by Global Links
Hurricane Sandy Relief for Santiago, Cuba
Hurricane Sandy Relief for Santiago, Cuba
Hurricane Sandy Relief for Santiago, Cuba
Hurricane Sandy Relief for Santiago, Cuba
Hurricane Sandy Relief for Santiago, Cuba
Hurricane Sandy Relief for Santiago, Cuba
Global Links Bed Donation
Global Links Bed Donation

Since November 2012, YOU allowed Global Links to ramp up our efforts to help the hospitals and clinics in the second largest city in Cuba recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.  Your support allowed us to quickly respond in the beginning with large shipments of healthworker protective gear, soap and key medical supplies essential to daily hospital services.Your support allowed us to help the Gustavo Machin Psychiatric Hospital re-open after the evacuation and resulting damage due to the storm.  Your support allowed us to provide hundreds of beds and mattresses to replace those damaged in the storm, or the makeshift mattresses that were in use. By helping in this way, risk of infections were lowered and patients had safer and more appropriate surfaces on which to heal.  Your support allowed us to furnish primary care examination rooms that had been closed due to the damage incurred, upgrade a dialysis center, support continued medical studies with medical journals and other printed material, and more.

As we close this project, we wanted to recognize each of you for all you have contributed that allowed us to do so much in the past 2 years.  Global Links continues to work in Cuba, in Santiago, and in other areas of the country. We hope you'll consider supporting a new project we will be launching on Global Giving in the second quarter of this year. The project, being developed in conjunction with Cuban health authorities, is called Breathe Hope, and it seeks to improve asthma treatment options through the provision of nebulizers (or breathing machines) for use by children and seniors.  Read more about Breathe Hope on our website: http://www.globallinks.org/breathe_hope.php

Global Links recognized by Cuban health authority
Global Links recognized by Cuban health authority
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Dra. Rafaela, Vice-Director of Psy. Hospital
Dra. Rafaela, Vice-Director of Psy. Hospital

Two more shipments to Santiago de Cuba left the Global Links warehouse the week of Thanksgiving.  Our Hurricane Sandy Relief Project continues and we need your support to achieve 5 key objectives by the end of 2015:

These objectives are:

1)  Replacing 25% of the adult beds in 6 main hospitals in the province.  Providing improved mattresses made of materials that reduce bed sores and with proper linings to lessen infection spread through contaminated surfaces.

2)  Increase the number of functioning operating rooms in the 6 main hospitals that are our focus.  Many ORs have been rebuilt but need anesthesia machines, OR tables, and other key medical components to before they can open.

3)  Improve the basic laboratory microscopes so the province can increase the number of clinical diagnostics it provides on a daily basis.

4)  Strengthen the bibliographic material at the province Universidad de Ciencias Medicas which lost key bibliographical books and journals following Hurricane Sandy.

5)  Provide dialysis chairs to replace outdated equipment in the dialysis rooms.

With these last two shipments, we were able to accomplish goal #5 by providing Hospital General Dr. Juan Bruno Zayas and Hospital Provincial Saturnino Lora with 18 dialysis chairs, new wheelchair scales, and over 100 boxes of nephrology supplies that will allow the hospitals to improve patient comfort and improve processes.  Special thanks to Davita / Bridge of Life Foundation for their support of this project.

We also began work on goal #4 with the shipment of the first batch of books to the Universidad de Ciencias Medicas in Santiago.  Books sent focused on neonatal care, gynecology and obstetrics and structural and physical pathology.

Furnishings and supplies were also included to help the main Psychiatric Hospital, Gustavo Machin (which was heavily damaged),update and strengthen its capacity.  

Prior shipments have almost completed goal #1.  With 13 containers of medical aid (valued at $1,306,062.30) shipped since the start of the project, your support has made a profound and measurable difference in the recovery efforts of all of the hospitals in Santiago.

Can you make a tax-deductible donation at the end of 2014 so we can kick-off 2015 by making progress on goals #2 and #3?  We will be closing this project in March of 2015 so we ask that you please consider one last donation to the important and very successful project.  

Together we have accomplished so much since the start of this project, let's work together again to make sure it has a strong end. Thank you for your generous support.

Thank you,

Marisol Wandiga Valentin
Global Links Program Manger for the Caribbean Region

Hospital Juan Bruno Zayas
Hospital Juan Bruno Zayas
New Beds at Hospital Saturnino Lora
New Beds at Hospital Saturnino Lora
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Dialysis nurse in Saturnino
Dialysis nurse in Saturnino

Our most recent shipments to Cuba continue Global Links’ project to support the healthcare infrastructure in Santiago as it continues to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Because of your generosity, Global Links has been able to provide 11 containers of aid materials with a value of US$1,120,680.40.

Our financial goal to complete this project is $50,000 and we're happy to say that we are half way toward meeting it! Raising the remaining $25,000 will enable us to accomplish key objectives by the end of 2015.

These objectives are:

1)       Replacing 25% of the adult beds in the 6* main hospitals that are our focus.  Providing improved mattresses made of materials that reduce bed sores and with proper linings to lessen infection spread through contaminated surfaces.

2)      Increase the number of functioning operating rooms in the 6 main hospitals that are our focus.  Many ORs have been rebuilt but need anesthesia machines, OR tables, and other key medical components to before they can open.

3)      Improve the basic laboratory microscopes so the province can increase the number of clinical diagnostics it provides on a daily basis.

4)      Strengthen the bibliographic material at the province Universidad de Ciencias Medicas which lost key bibliographical books and journals following Hurricane Sandy.

5)      Provide Dialysis Chairs to replace outdated equipment in the dialysis rooms (pic of outdated equipment attached)

Much of the materials needed to meet these objectives must be purchased by Global Links some items are not commonly available through our recovery process.  We must work with vendors who focus on equipment for low-resource settings and partner with hospitals outside of our normal catchment area to ensure that the equipment and materials will be put into use immediately and that they can have a long life of service in the hospitals.

Your continued support is needed now more than ever. When you give to help us meet these long-term objectives you’re helping to strengthen the entire health system. Your support at the beginning of this project set the stage for real, sustained relief and rebuilding in Santiago.

Please let the caring and concern that fueled your first gift for Santiago be the foundation for another donation. Join us in taking the long view on this project by making a gift today. Invest in this proven process of Sharing Surplus and Saving Lives.

Thank you.

 

* Focus hospitals: 
Hospital Juan Bruno Zayas
Hospital Saturnino Lora y Cardiocentro Provincial
Hospital Psiquiátrico Gustavo Machín
Hospital Ambrosio Grillo
Hospital Pediatrico Sur
Hospital Pediátrico Juan de la Cruz

Life goes on in Santiago
Life goes on in Santiago
Mattresses for Cuba
Mattresses for Cuba
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Repairs continue in Santiago
Repairs continue in Santiago

“The Health Care Worker Kits you sent us were invaluable,” said the Provincial Vice-Director of the Ministry of Health in Santiago de Cuba at the closing meeting of Global Links’ site evaluation visit. For four days in April, Global Links staff visited hospitals affected by Hurricane Sandy, evaluating the impact of our support and assessing potential projects. At each hospital, the staff would thank us for the support we had provided and mention the Health Care Worker Kits as one of the key items they appreciated receiving.  “Yes.” I responded to the Vice-Director, “Everyone we spoke to highlighted those kits.”  The Vice-Director sat down, took off her glasses and quietly responded “They were very valuable; allow me to share my personal story.”

Hurricane Sandy was the strongest Hurricane to impact Santiago de Cuba.  A category 2 hurricane, Sandy entered Santiago with winds of up to 220 km per hour, tidal waves of 9 to 10 meters and hours upon hours of rain.  The difficult task of cleanup and rebuilding started immediately after the storm had cleared, but the magnitude of damage to the local infrastructure led to a rise in infectious diseases in the area.  Cholera, brought back to the Caribbean region through poor sanitary conditions at humanitarian response camps following the 2010 Haitian earthquake, is now one of the epidemiological risks following any disaster in the region. For months after Hurricane Sandy, healthcare workers in Santiago de Cuba canvassed the communities in the province identifying at-risk individuals and transporting patients with cholera to one of the main hospitals for treatment.

“We were at the point where we felt the situation was under control, and we were providing educational visits to the community about basic hygiene to prevent cholera.” explained the Vice-Director.  “We were visiting a community in the Sierras – the mountains – when a young doctor stopped at the home of an elderly man whom the neighbors believed was suffering from cholera.”  There was only one problem: the doctor had no protective gear with her.  They stood outside the house pondering possibilities that would allow the doctor to enter the house without putting her life at risk.  Did they assess the situation from the outside, go to the closest hospital for the protective gear and then come back?  But this was an area of difficult access, so it would be hours before they could come back and cholera patients cannot spare hours.  Then the Vice-Director remembered that she had one of the Health Worker kits we had sent in the trunk of her car. She was able to give the doctor a gown, gloves, and face mask, enabling the doctor to care for the patient with minimal risk to herself.

When we think about medical resources, we sometimes forget to include personnel – and yet of all the resources, they are the most precious.  This was brought home to me several times on my recent trip to Cuba. I also saw a lab technician washing microscope slides, a potential biohazard, thankfully wearing gloves from Global Links. Reusing single-use materials is common in the countries where we work and I was glad to see the staff taking precautions to protect themselves.

The health care worker kits were donated to Global Links by a local corporation who had them as preventive measures for a season in which H1N1 was on the rise.  Thankfully, there was no pandemic in Pittsburgh and the surplus materials served their purpose protecting Cuban Health care workers battling cholera.

Our project to help Santiago de Cuba recover and rebuild from Hurricane Sandy is now in phase two.   In 2014 and 2015, Global Links will be working on strengthening their ORs with anesthesia machines and surgical beds, their patient wards with beds and mattresses, their laboratories with microscopes and testing equipment. And as we worked during that closing meeting on the list of consumable supplies to prioritize during this phase, the Vice-Director smiled and said “And don’t forget to send more Healthcare Worker Kits.”

Washing microscope slides in Global Links gloves
Washing microscope slides in Global Links gloves
New mattresses needed in Hospital Saturino Lora
New mattresses needed in Hospital Saturino Lora
New OR table needed at Hospital Ambrosio Grillo
New OR table needed at Hospital Ambrosio Grillo
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Our most recent shipment to Cuba continues Global Links’ project to support the healthcare infrastructure in Santiago as it continues to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. On January 30, 2014 Global Links staff packed a container that will furnish12 medical examination rooms in Hospital Saturnino Lora.  

From exam tables, stools, desks, chairs, scales and beds to literally hundreds of boxes of  supplies, this shipment will provide healthcare professionals with much-needed materials to better serve the population. Thank you for making this important part of the project possible. 

As we work to help increase the capacity of the hospitals in and around Santiago we need your continued support to properly finish this phase of the project. Between now and the end of 2015 we have at least 8 more shipments planned. 

On Wednesday, February 12 at 9 a.m.(EST) 30% of all gifts to the Huricane Sandy Relief for Santiago, Cuba will be matched. Please take advantage of this generous matching opportunity this Wednesday. It's a way to maximize your support and help Global Links increase its capacity to help those in need.

Thank you for all you do to support Global Links' work in Cuba.

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Organization Information

Global Links

Location: Pittsburgh, PA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @GlobalLinks3
Project Leader:
Angela Garcia
Deputy Director
Pittsburgh, PA United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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