Biggest shipment of medical supplies arrive in Cebu

IMG_2958Governor Hilario P. Davide III welcomed the largest emergency airlift of 200,000 pounds of medical supplies from a US-based medical aid organization on Monday, November 25.

The medications are valued at $10 million, according to Rhicke Jennings, managing director for Indonesia and Philippines of FedEx Corporation, the owner of cargo plane that transported the goods from the US to the Mactan Cebu International Airport. This is on top of the $4 million worth of medical materials that the organization delivered earlier.

In his message, Direct Relief President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Tighe said he was grateful for the FedEx humanitarian plane “that enabled them to respond in a big way in the midst of this terrible tragedy.”

Tighe added that health officials and non-government organizations in the Philippines, through Direct Relief’s emergency response team in the country, requested for the medical supplies.

The Philippine Red Cross, chaired by former Senator Richard Gordon is the conduit for most of these donations. Gordon, who was present during the arrival of the shipment, revealed that the medicines will be distributed to the badly affected areas in Cebu, Leyte and Samar.

Direct Relief also worked with Asia America Initiative, International Pharmaceuticals Incorparated Foundation, and Ayala Foundation in ensuring the proper coordination with the Philippine government in relief efforts.

In behalf of Gov. Davide, Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera thanked Direct Relief for the assistance and assured that it will reach to its intended beneficiaries in northern Cebu.

The donations include antibiotics, I.V. fluids, oral dehydration formula, would care supplies, pain relievers, surgical instruments, nutritional supplements, hygiene kits, and chronic disease medicines.

The organization, rated 99 percent fundraising efficiency by Forbes Magazine, also provided $150,000 in emergency cash grants to support relief operations launched immediately by trusted Filipino and colleague organizations.

Andrew Macalla, Direct Relief Emergency Response manager, thanked their donors back in the US. He said they assessed the damage in the hospitals in the affected areas immediately after super typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan (its international name), hit Central Philippines.

Aside from the medicines and medical supplies, Direct Relief assured the Provincial government that they are here for the long term and in the rehabilitation efforts for Cebu and Leyte. Xerxes Alkuino