2016 Mission Relief Services Activity Report

Dr. Michael Johnson MD, “Give sacrificially as God your father has done”

Dr. Michael Johnson sends stories, reflections, devotions, musings, criticisms, poems, quotations, and other Christian messages daily over e-mail. He can be found at peculiarjohnson@gmail. He has worked extensively in Kenya, and he and his wife (with others) have founded the Miriam Clinic in NE Philadelphia to serve the poor. He is the William Carlos Williams of Philadelphia, and a longtime friend of Mission Relief Services. We are grateful for his work, and his daily messages that continue to feed the soul.

Mission Relief Services is having a very exciting year. In February we med our warehouse operations a few miles west to the former Medical Ministry International (MMI) warehouse on Rt 372 in Parkesburg. We have shipped out twelve 40′ containers since February 1st, 2016. This facility under the leadership of Matt Bonk is designed to produce and expedite our specialized cargoes of medical humanitarian aid to mission projects.

We are also grateful for all the hospitals, and our other product donors for their constant and growing participation in our outreach. The quality of materials that we ship continues to create a demand out in the field, as people and groups develop projects for their homelands. In 2016 we have shipped containers to Haiti, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Ghana, Benin, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon. Panama and Gambia are next.

We would also like to thank St. Elizabeth’s Parish of Chester Springs for their “day of service” in April, and twenty-seven people worked. Also a group came on July 8th from the First Presbyterian church in Phoenixville, and we packed linens and sorted medical supplies. Thank you volunteers!

Every project and shipment has a story, so let’s start in January:

Mali, Africa. It took 9 men about 7 hours to completely load a 53ft tractor trailer out of our Coatesville warehouse for Balla Sissoko of Valley Stream, New York for his projects in Mali. Balla took the products back to New York, sorted and added computers for his native Mali. We are always  ready to help out Balla, and we know that our items will be well utilized.

February 16, 2016, container#GCNU4722863, seal#0720060, Benin, Africa. Seal of Hope ministries of Silver Spring, MD developed this shipment for their projects in Benin: a small country on the West Coast of Africa. Over 500 items were in this 40′ container that shipped out through Baltimore to Cotonou. The logistics are handled by Cotonou Direct, so the containers arrive rather quickly. Also physicians and hospitals from northern Nigeria, and other neighboring countries benefit from Seal of Hope’s warehousing facilities in Benin. Action Sociale of Porto Novo Benin distributed the goods.

March 8, 2016, container #TCKU 9655484, seal# 0720024, PIH, Haiti.

Partners in Health is a large Boston based charity with operations in Haiti and Rwanda. The Hospital Universitaire de Mirebalais is a 300-bed hospital that Partners in Heath built, and this modern facility resembles a hospital that one would see in this country. We received a large request for furnishings such as patient recliners, bedside cabinets, and exam room furniture. Stackable chairs from White Horse Village, and exam tables and patient room cabinetry from Holy Spirit Hospital completed this container.

March 23, 2016, container#TGHU 75905921,seal# 0720025, Sierra Leone, Africa. The Healey International Relief Foundation of Lumberton, NJ is very active in Freetown Sierra Leone where they have developed community medicine projects, and supported the rebuilding of the Seruba Hospital complex. We developed this container to match their needs list of pediatric items. Wheelchairs, infant scales, stretchers, cribs, furniture, linens and medical supplies were shipped in the container. Local priests and nuns help manage the project in Freetown, and the recipients are receiving the finest in care. HIRF just received a grant from the Conrad Hilton Foundation, so we are excited about the future, and this is the third project that we shipped for the Healey International Relief Foundation of New Jersey.

April 5, 2016, container #PONU 7445755, seal# 0720026, Pakistan.

Helping Hand for Relief and Development is large charity with offices throughout the midwest. Nadia Zeeshan of HHRD contacted us over a year ago about shipping hospital supplies to their projects, and especially the refugee crisis in Syria. We were able to develop a container of beds and hospital equipment for their offices in Islamabad, Pakistan, and this container supported remote clinics with general surgical needs. We were grateful for the feedback that we received from such a remote location.

April 26, 2016, container #MSKU 9833826, seal#0720059, Cameroon, Africa. Viviane Dicoum is originally from Cameroon, and now she lives in Laurel Maryland, and works as a nurse in a hospital near Baltimore. She is married to a Senegalese, so French is the language spoken at home. Like many African-Americans from Africa, she wanted to do something for her homeland and develop a humanitarian shipment for a clinic and hospital. Cameroon is not an easy place to ship to, and our last container there was in 2012 for the Newark Delaware Rotary. But Viviane was determined to support her homeland, so we loaded a container with all types of basics, and we even included a Nissan Altima automobile in the shipment to offset the costs. Even individuals are able to participate in humanitarian aid with MRS.

May 4, 2016, container# MRKU 2276455, seal#0720027, Pakistan.

The Chicago office of Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) wanted an entire container of mattresses. Between The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Pinnacle Health of Harrisburg, we were able to ship over 200 mattresses in a container to Islamabad. These mattresses are for the refugee projects that HHRD manages, and the quality of this bedding was top shelf. Mattress projects are always well received with no complaints. One shipment can accommodate hundreds of people!

May 13, 2016, container #CMAU 4072261, seal#0720028 Haiti.

Partners in Health of Boston gave us a lengthy needs list for medical clinics in the Artibonite Valley in northern Haiti. Exam tables, recliners, stretchers, IV poles and other furnishing requests were loaded into a container for the remote part of Haiti. More than one container would be needed to fulfill the initial request, but Mission Relief has a vast inventory, and containers hold an enormous amount of material, so this first container provided a fast start to their rural clinical development. The Artibonite Valley is the home of the famous Hospital Albert Schweitzer founded by the Mellon family decades ago, and the needs in the area are great. Thank you PIH for allowing us to work in this area of Haiti again after nearly 20 years.

June 3, 2106, container #UASU 1076463, Seal#0720029, BurkinaFaso, Africa.

Saidou Nana of Nana Super Computer Center is originally from Burkina-Faso, and we have shipped for Nana before. The requests for surgical kits, linens and diagnostic equipment are lengthy, and it is expensive to ship there as the containers travel through Ghana and then travel 1,800 miles inland.

June 7, 2016, container #TEMU 6441966, seal#0720030 Haiti.

Thank you Temple University for the 500 mattresses that you donated to Mission Relief. It took us seven full days to collect all the mattresses, and we were grateful for the condition of the bedding. Often college items are fully used, but these mattresses were in fine condition and some like new. We were able to load 218 single foam mattresses on the June shipment for Partners in Health clinics in rural Haiti. With lower fuel costs, the prices to ship containers has come down significantly. Many charities are able to ship more than one container to their projects and we have the inventory to really make a difference in their ability to practice meaningful medicine a world away. Temple University and Temple Health System are great donors to Mission Relief Services!

June 21, 2016, container #TCNU 4217411, seal#0720031, Ghana, Africa.

This container was originally for the Equity Health Center in Accra, but was later directed to the Minister of Health for Ghana. Dr. Kwaku Amexo is a physician at the Brandywine Hospital. He was born in Ghana, and studied medicine in Russia. He now lives in Exton, PA and frequently visits the new Mission Relief warehouse in Parkesburg. He is also helping to develop container projects for Ghana. After a July visit to Ghana, Dr. K came to Mission Relief with an order for three containers for Ghana. Their needs are great, and with the help of the Ministry of Health, our projects should go smoothly. We are grateful for his participation in our outreach, and we should be shipping one to two containers in August for Ghana. Ghana is the size of Oregon with 30 million people.

June 24, 2016, container #ACLU 9705623, seal#0720032, Benin, Africa.

Seal of Hope ministries developed another container for Benin. This project included several pieces of eye instruments and Alcon equipment, and some very fine recovery room beds that matched the photos of what was requested. Also two surgical microscopes were included with all the linens and hospital supplies. Centurion Hospital Supply company has 23 warehouses nationwide, and we are grateful for the donations from the huge Lansdale PA warehouse right off the PA turnpike. The dressing change kits were very expensive, and highly useful. We ship to Benin through the Baltimore ports, and it only takes three weeks for delivery!

August 12, 2016, container #TGHU 9126893, seal#0720033, Ghana, Africa.  This container was for Dr. David Appiah and the Aid Trust Foundation in Koforidua, Ghana. In January 2016 – just prior to MRS taking over the former Medical Ministry International (MMI) warehouse in Parkesburg PA, that warehouse shipped two container loads to Dr. Appiah’s MMI-associated project in Ghana.  MRS is excited about the prospects of continuing support of the Aid Trust Foundation’s mission of compassion to the poor and needy in Ghana and its environs.

August 29, 2016, 53’ trailer #18036, seal #0720034.  This trailer transported a valuable assortment of medical-surgical supplies and equipment to a warehouse in New Jersey, where the load was to be processed for further shipment to Mali, Africa.

August 29, 2016, container #TCLU 1525970, seal #0720035, Ghana, Africa.  This was another 40’ High Cube container load coordinated by Dr. Kwaku Amexo for his associates in Ghana.  The Minister of Health of Ghana is helping to clear this load through Ghanaian Customs.

September 22, 2016, container #CMAU 5679331, seal #0720036, Gambia, Africa.  This container was coordinated by Lynn McConville, the Executive Director of Power Up Gambia, for the Sulayman Junkung Hospital and its satellite clinics in Gambia.  The contents included aluminum racking and accessories provided by Power Up Gambia to outfit the hospital with solar power.  In cooperation with Lois Davidson (Executive Director of the First Light Project), LED lighting fixtures for the hospital were also included.  Of course, MRS supplied a plethora of urgently-needed medical-surgical equipment and supplies as well.

October 15, 2016, container #TCLU 9627520, seal #0720037, Mali, Africa.  The Association of the Nationals of the Republic of Mali in USA, Inc., arranged for the shipment of this 40’ High Cube container to an associated clinic in Bamako, Republic of Mali.  The contents included hospital beds, mattresses, examination tables, an infant incubator and radiant warmer, wheelchairs, linens and a large variety of other essential medical-surgical equipment and supplies.

October 26, 2016.  An 18-foot box truck was loaded with hospital beds, mattresses, IV poles, crutches, electric wheelchairs and a variety of valuable medical-surgical supplies.  The truck shipment was sponsored by Child Aid Africa, Inc., for consolidation and forwarding to its affiliates in Kenya, East Africa.

November 7, 2016, container #CMAU 4584144, seal #0720038, Haiti.  Mission Relief Services was able to provide 429 cases of disposable surgical masks, an assortment of office furniture, hospital bed mattresses, 135 oak cafeteria dining chairs and 28 matching dining tables in this container.  Partners in Health of Boston MA sponsored this shipment to Zanmi Lasante, its sister organization that operates out of Cange in the central plateau of Haiti.

November 14, 2016, container #TCLU 5297820, seal #0720039, Ghana, Africa.  Ghanaian expatriate Akosua Joyce Oppong coordinated this shipment for her medical associates in Accra, Ghana.  Hospital beds, mattresses, examination tables, an incubator, an infant radiant warmer and a host of other valuable medical-surgical equipment/supplies filled up this container.

November 22, 2016, container #TCLU 6578118, seal #0720040, Haiti.  A second container load this month for Boston-based Partners in Health was shipped to Zanmi Lasante, its affiliate in Port au Prince, Haiti.  Another 197 cases of disposable surgical masks, 18 hospital beds, 30+ hospital bed mattresses, 24 bedside tables and a plethora of other medical-surgical equipment were included.  Zanmi Lasante is the largest non-government healthcare provider in Haiti.

December 15, 2016, container #DFSU 7754773, seal #0720042, Mali, Africa.  Seal of Hope developed this valuable container load of assorted pieces of hospital equipment and 8 pallets of medical-surgical supplies for its associates in Bamako, Mali.

December 30, 2016, container #TCLU 9324436, seal #0720041, Cameroon, Africa.  Roots to Glory Tours of Stevenson MD coordinated this final container shipment of the year to the Mpuma Nwet Medical Center in Kribi, Cameroon.  Major pieces of equipment included in this shipment were 11 hospital beds, a chemistry analyzer, 4 patient recliner chairs, an infant incubator, an infant radiant warmer, 7 examination tables and a host of other critical hospital furnishings and supplies.