76-Ton Airlift of Medicine and Medical Supplies Lands in Puerto Rico44 Companies Step Up to Address Severe ShortagesSAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, October 27, 2017 — Direct Relief today airlifted 152,604 lbs. of urgently needed medical resources to Puerto Rico, where medical shortages persist more than a month after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
The Direct Relief-chartered MD-11 cargo jet contained $21 million (wholesale) in donated medical resources from 44 companies (full list of companies below), including extensive quantities of intravenous solutions and prescription medications for acute conditions and chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension that can rapidly become medical emergencies if not managed.
“This airlift will go a long way towards helping our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, and I am eternally grateful to Direct Relief and all of the organizations involved,” said President Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, and founder and board chair of the Clinton Foundation. “Their efforts are a reminder that when so many people need our help, our common humanity matters even more.”
The Clinton Foundation has supported Direct Relief’s work for years, including the recovery efforts after the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014. In the response to the Caribbean hurricanes this year, the Clinton Foundation has helped to coordinate and advise the team at Direct Relief. Read a from-the-tarmac report from Clinton Foundation staff on the airlift here.
Businesses Step Up to Fill Resource Gap
Direct Relief works with dozens of healthcare companies' philanthropic arms on an ongoing basis to address public health needs and humanitarian crises across the globe and in all 50 U.S. states. This private philanthropic support from businesses, as well as philanthropic support from individuals, foundations, and organizations has enabled a massively stepped-up response to assist in Puerto Rico, where health services have been severely constricted by the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Maria.
44 companies joined in filling specific requests that Direct Relief received from nonprofit health centers, government facilities, and private hospitals in Puerto Rico – all of which have been struggling to restore and expand services to care for the island's more than 3 million residents.
“Direct Relief has been a wonderful partner for Eli Lilly and Company,” said Rob Smith, senior director of corporate responsibility and president of the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation. “We have worked together to get insulin to those impacted by the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. Lilly could not ask for a more capable, responsive, and compassionate partner. We are so grateful for all of the things Direct Relief is doing to help the great people of Puerto Rico recover from this terrible disaster.”
The medicines and supplies on the flight were donated by the following companies:
3M; Abbott; AbbVie; Alcon; Allergan plc; Amneal Pharmaceuticals; Apotex Inc.; AstraZeneca; Baxter International Inc.; Bayer; BD; Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation; Cares Foundation; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Cera Products, Inc.; Cipla; Coola Suncare; CVS; DayOne Response; Energy Equality For All; Ethicon; GSK; Henry Schein, Inc.; Integra LifeSciences; InTouch Health; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Kaléo; LifeScan; Magno-Humphries Labs; Medtronic; Merck & Co., Inc.; Mylan; Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Noble Laboratories, Inc.; Novartis; Pfizer Inc.; Prestige Brands; Sagent Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Sanofi Foundation for NA; Sappo Hill Soapworks; Starbucks; Teva Pharmaceuticals, USA; Trividia Health; Vaseline; Wisconsin Pharmacal Company.
Responding to an Unprecedented Hurricane Season
Today's airlift follows several weeks of smaller-scale airlifts and hand-carried medications and emergency medical resources to dozens of Puerto Rico's nonprofit health centers and medical teams organized by the Puerto Rico Department of Health.
Among the critical items has been 565 vials of blood-clotting factor for children with hemophilia, 15,600 vials of insulin, 35 pre-kitted emergency medical packs containing a broad range of Rx medications and supplies, as well as 1500 solar lights and over 4000 bottles of insect repellant to protect against Zika virus.
Direct Relief's response in Puerto Rico has been concurrent with extensive responses to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma that preceded Maria.
Since Hurricane Harvey's landfall on August 25, Direct Relief has sent 148 tons of medications, vaccines, and medical supplies valued at $64.7 million (wholesale) and including 19 million defined daily doses of Rx medications delivered via 560 emergency shipments to 143 partner organizations in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, USVI and seven Caribbean countries.
In addition, Direct Relief has provided and committed financial support in the form of grants totaling over $2.7 million to 43 nonprofit health centers and clinics and their primary care associations in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.
###About Direct Relief
Established in 1948 with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world – without regard to politics, religion, ethnic identities, or ability to pay. Direct Relief is the only charitable nonprofit to obtain Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor (VAWD) accreditation by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Among other distinctions, Direct Relief earns a perfect score of 100 from independent evaluator Charity Navigator, was listed among the world's most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company, and has received the CECP Directors' Award, the Drucker Prize for Nonprofit Innovation, and the President's Award from Esri for excellence in GIS mapping. For more information, please visit https://www.DirectRelief.org.
About the Clinton Foundation
The Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for girls and women, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change. Because of our work, nearly 35,000 American schools have provided kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; more than 150,000 farmers in Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania are benefiting from climate-smart agronomic training, higher yields, and increased market access; working with partners, more than 8.5 million trees and tree seedlings have been planted to strengthen ecosystems and livelihoods; over 600,000 people have been impacted through market opportunities created by social enterprises and health and wellbeing programs in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa; through the independent Clinton Health Access Initiative, over 11.5 million people in more than 70 countries have access to CHAI-negotiated prices for HIV/AIDS medications; an estimated 85 million people in the U.S. will be reached through strategic health partnerships developed across industry sectors at both the local and national level; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative community have made more than 3,600 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 435 million people in more than 180 countries.
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By Rebekah Curtis-Heald, Commitments Manager at the Clinton Global InitiativeThis post is part of a recurring series of perspectives on the impact of our work by staff and partners of the Clinton Foundation.Hurricane Maria has left a trail of devastation through several Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since making landfall in Dominica on September 19, Hurricane Maria has been responsible for at least 93 deaths and catastrophic damage across the region. Cell service outages and fuel shortages have made distribution of aid difficult. The number of Puerto Ricans with power is actually decreasing from just after the storm, with only 18 percent of the island’s residents having power.At the Clinton Foundation, I work as part of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) team which supports members of the CGI community — nonprofits, businesses, and others from civil society. In this role in the past two months, I’ve been working with a team here at the Foundation helping a wide range of organizations and individuals plug into hurricane relief efforts and organize work based on what’s needed on the ground.One member of the CGI community that has been particularly active is Direct Relief, a nonprofit that works in more than 70 countries and all 50 states to provide help to those affected by poverty or emergencies, delivering lifesaving medical resources. At CGI, we have a long history of working with Direct Relief to coordinate response efforts — from recovery from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, to a 2014 airlift of medical supplies for Ebola response in West Africa. Over the past few years I’ve worked personally with Direct Relief’s international emergency response team as we coordinated relief efforts after natural disasters, as well as their Haiti team as they’ve continued to support the recovery in the country, including in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in 2016.Read more >>>>