DENVER (AP/CBS4) – A Colorado-based charity that provides donated medical equipment to developing countries is shipping supplies like exam gloves, gowns and duct tape to West Africa to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus.
High school students at Project C.U.R.E’s warehouse in Centennial were packing up $400,000 worth of donated exam gloves as well as gowns, goggles, duct tape and other supplies Tuesday to be shipped to Sierra Leone. The duct tape can be used to seal the protective suits worn by health care workers, who have been hit hard by the outbreak.
The group, founded in 1997, normally ships used equipment like hospital beds and exam tables to hospitals around the world. But for the past month, it has been using its supply network and relationships with clinics to ship basic protective supplies for health care workers, as well as stretchers and mattresses for patients, president Doug Jackson said.
“Since Ebola we’ve had huge requests and response to get those basic medical supplies to those doctors and nurses and hospitals overseas,” Jan Mazotti with Project C.U.R.E. said. “Everyone seems to be extracting out. We are going straight in, full force because we have those partners on the ground. We have those hospitals and doctors and nurses who we’ve worked with for almost 30 years, and they’re taking that equipment and they’re using it every day to save lives.”
Corrine Domahidy returned from working in mobile clinics in Congo recently, just before Ebola spread there. She said she was shocked to see doctors and nurses hand-washing and air-drying gloves the group donated last year. But she noted the clinics don’t even have electricity or running water, let alone extra boxes of gloves.
“They know that they have to wear protection. … They just don’t have the equipment and supplies needed to do their jobs,” said Domahidy, Project C.U.R.E.’s director of clinics.
The group will accept donations from anyone who wants to chip in to cover shipping or pick up boxes of gloves at the drug store. It also is getting help from large companies, including Medline Industries, a Chicago-area company that donated over 330,000 pairs of gloves, Jackson said.
The supplies being prepared Tuesday will be part of Project C.U.R.E’s seventh shipment in response to the Ebola outbreak. They will be sent by ship, most likely through Houston, because flights have been halted. Once they arrive in West Africa, they will be hauled directly to hospitals in Sierra Leone.
They should arrive in 30 to 40 days. A previous shipment is set to arrive in the country in about 10 days, Mazotti said.
Late this week or next week, a shipment of emergency gear kits will be sent to Congo that doctors and nurses can grab if a potential Ebola patient seeks help from them.
LINK: Project C.U.R.E.
– By Colleen Slevin, AP Writer
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