South Sudan will receive 10,000 pounds in medical supplies from local non-profit group

Posted: September 25, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Economy

CLEVELAND, Ohio

The newly liberated people of South Sudan will be receiving a 10,000-pound care package from their friends in Cleveland.

MedWish International is a Cleveland-based nonprofit organization formed in 1993. The organization retrieves what would normally be discarded and unused medical supplies and recycles them by sending the supplies to developing countries. The organization obtains the items from hospitals across the country and through private donations.

At 7 a.m. Friday, 15 people will meet at the MedWish International Supply Depot in Cleveland to load up a 40-foot cargo container with medical supplies, including bandages, masks, beds and hospital furnishings, that will be sent to South Sudan. The country declared its independence on July 9.

The cargo should arrive in South Sudan in about 30 days. Once there, the supplies will be distributed to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, a humanitarian group formed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1956, according to a MedWish representative. The group helps with the creation of health clinics, community development, disaster relief and food distribution worldwide.

About half a dozen of the so-called Lost Boys of Sudan will be on hand to help load the cargo at the MedWish depot. The Lost Boys started fleeing Sudan in 1983 to escape their homeland’s civil war. The young boys ended up in refugee camps in Ethiopia, and when war broke out there, they headed for Kenya. By 1999, about 4,000 Sudanese youths had come to the United States, with about 40 arriving in Northeast Ohio.

MedWish is also working with the G-Team, the philanthropic branch of the daily deal consumer website Groupon, for the Save South Sudan Campaign. Groupon users in Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown can log on to their Groupon pages and donate money in increments of $10 or more from Tuesday to Thursday. Every $10 donation adds up to $260 of medical items and equipment for the ADRA Clinics in South Sudan.

“South Sudan is in desperate need of life-saving medical supplies and equipment that we have readily available in the United States,” Dr. Lee Ponsky, founder of MedWish International, said in a news release.

“As the first organization in Northeast Ohio to ship aid to South Sudan, we feel privileged to partner with Groupon’s G-Team to fill this container knowing the powerful impact it is sure to make in the lives of these people in need,” he said.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: tsams@plaind.com216-999-4014

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