AFYA sends its rescued medical supplies and equipment to 70 different countries around the globe. Danielle Butin, the Founder of AFYA, says, “we ask people what they need.” Some supplies are shipped to disaster areas after a breakout of a disease like Ebola or a natural climate disaster like an Earthquake; or for refugees who are fleeing war and living in camps in places like Lesvos and Syria. Many supplies are sent to ongoing missions and health centers offering access to care for people who are living in poverty in Africa and the Caribbean. Assessing needs and delivering supplies for these two groups is very different. Meet some of the people on the ground who are receiving and delivering the needed aide…
Tilly Amissah Arthur, the wife of a former Vice President of Ghana met Danielle Butin at a health conference in 2013. In the rural areas of Ghana, the clinics and hospitals were very far apart and it was difficult to get medical supplies and equipment to them. Tilly would send wishlists she received to AFYA. The requests included hospital beds and stretchers as well as disposable supplies like needles and syringes, bandages, etc. One hospital can serve as many as 20,000 people. In 2015, Tilly asked AFYA for 10,000 birth kits to encourage the women in rural areas to deliver in the hospital rather than in their remote villages without medical care. From one container a year to two containers a year, the wishlist has grown and each year the wishlist changes. This year the containers are filled with dental equipment, incubators and x-ray machines.
Novlet Davus is a nurse practitioner at St. Francis Hospital in New York. She started a foundation, LJDR Davus Foundation, to honor her 4 siblings who died in Jamaica due to a poor medical system. Every July, Novlet organizes an annual medical mission with a team of 84 recruited doctors and nurses, dentists and support staff to treat people who have limited or no access to medical care in Jamaica. Since 2013, the annual mission has treated 4,000 patients of all ages using the lab equipment and medical supplies from the AFYA warehouse. As a nurse practitioner, Novlet wants to encourage the young people in Jamaica to have wellness visits so they are not waiting until they get sick to seek out medical care.
Pete Johnston is an MD training at a global surgery fellowship at Rutgers University. He volunteers at an NGO, International Surgical Health Initiative (ISHI). ISHI runs medical missions in 6 developing countries: Peru, Ghana, Sierre Leone, Philippines, Guatemala and Haiti. The doctors’ mission is to work in district hospitals in the rural areas that are poorly supplied and under staffed. Pete goes to AFYA’s warehouse with his wishlist and finds the supplies that he needs to perform routine surgeries. Typically, there is a backlog where people have waited a year or two for a general surgery. These one week medical missions serve over 50 patients.
AFYA needs funding support and sponsors for these shipments. Corporations, family foundations and schools have been helpful. AFYA’s ‘Luggage for Life’ program is for families who want to deliver a bag of supplies and have a meaningful moment when they go on vacation. Don’t forget to sign the Pictition, #ACT4REFUGEES to show your support and for more information and to donate, go to the AFYA’s web site, http://www.afyafoundation.org.