MedShare is excited to announce that The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation
has awarded a $400,000 grant to sponsor shipments to Zimbabwe and Swaziland in 2009. This is the largest single grant designated for programs that MedShare has ever received.
“The Coca Cola Africa – MedShare Flagship Partnership explored and executed actions which clearly linked international business with poverty reduction and improved healthcare for thousands in Africa. The 40-foot containers of medical supplies and equipment were shipped to recipient hospitals serving Africa’s neediest citizens who remain at the bottom of the global pyramid. This partnership is a Win- Win”, expressed Nell Diallo, Executive Director of International and Corporate Relations at MedShare.
In an effort to make a more concentrated long-term impact on health care, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation will focus the grant on shipments to Zimbabwe and Swaziland. Zimbabwe faces a number of health challenges, such as cholera outbreaks, underfunded hospitals and staff while 75% of its population lives in poverty. The Foundation is headquartered in Swaziland and according to USAID, Swaziland has the world’s most severe HIV/AIDS epidemic, which poses a serious challenge to the country’s economic development.
Two 40-foot containers of vitally-needed medical supplies and equipment have already been shipped to Zimbabwe. In August, the grant also funded the shipment of a mobile CT scanner to Zimbabwe as there was only one working CT scanner in the country’s entire public health system.
By the end of 2009, three more containers are scheduled for shipment to Zimbabwe and six containers will be sent to Swaziland. Along with the delivery of medical supplies and equipment, the grant will pay travel expenses for MedShare’s biomedical engineer, Eben Amstrong. He will visit the various recipient hospitals in Zimbabwe and Swaziland to evaluate the donated biomedical equipment and to train hospital doctors and staff on their operation and maintenance.
The relationship between MedShare and The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation began in 2004 when MedShare was awarded a five-year grant of $400,000. During that period, The Foundation sponsored 20 forty-foot containers of medical supplies and equipment to 13 countries in Africa. These included:Angola, Cameron, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The impact the shipments have made on health care in these countries has been substantial. In war-torn countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone, the donated supplies and equipment made it possible for hospitals to treat the influx of patients traveling from rural areas. In 2008, MedShare delivered supplies to one of the major hospitals in Zimbabwe which had been denying treatment to 200-300 pregnant women each month because it lacked the needed medical supplies and equipment as well as running water.
“MedShare is grateful for the ongoing relationship with The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. This substantial financial commitment demonstrates their dedication to improving the lives of people in Africa, and they recognize the benefit of sending medical supplies that are in abundance in the U.S. to health facilities in Africa that desperately need them,” expressed A.B. Short, CEO and Co-Founder of MedShare.