Feb 24, 2012

Donate Gently Used Medical Supplies

Here in the U.S., we may complain about our slow and expensive healthcare system, but you know what... at least we have a health care system.  Most of us can get to a doctor in an emergency or a serious health situation, even if we don't have any insurance.  There are large portions of the globe where access to quality medical care and supplies is not possible.  There are free medical clinics in sub-saharan Africa where the doctors are forced to wash bloody bandages with soap and water and re-use them on other patients.  They simply don't have enough bandages, so they make do with what they have.   I cringe every time I am in the hospital here in NY and they throw out so many supplies that haven't even been used.  America is the land of plenty, but where there is plenty, there is waste.

Thankfully, there are groups like the Afya Foundation working to change that.  "Afya" means "good health" in Swahili.  The Afya Foundation, based out of NYC, collects surplus medical goods, exam tables, mobility devices, CT machines, and other supplies and equipment needed to run medical clinics in remote areas across the globe.  They also provide medical equipment to areas devastated by tragedy, like Japan during the 2011 earthquake and Haiti during the 2010 earthquake.

Over the past two years I have been sick with POTS, I have accumulated a few large boxes of saline bags, IV tubing, exam gloves, alcohol wipes, gauze and IV dressing kits.  I no longer need IV saline, so I will be dropping off my surplus supplies at one of the many churches and temples in NYC that serves as a drop off point for the Afya Foundation.

I encourage everyone to check out the Afya Foundation website and see if there are any supplies in your house you don't need that could possibly save a life in a far away place.  And for those of you who work in a health care setting, next time your office is throwing out an old exam table or other surplus equipment, please contact Afya to see if they can use it.  Your company may even get a tax deduction for donating.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully said. Thank you so much for letting everyone know about Afya, and we wish you all "AFya."