We finally managed to send our long awaited container to El Salvador!
Originally scheduled to be loaded last March, the container had to be cancelled when the beds slated to be included were recalled by Winnipeg Regional Health Authority hours before loading was to begin. Unfortunately, we had to vacate our warehouse space and we couldn’t reschedule the container until we were offered short-term use of warehouse space. Luckily for us, our partner hospitals had continued to collect supplies while we were closed so on Saturday, October 17th, we finally began loading this long overdue container. Thanks to our wonderful loadmasters Wayne and Paul and 11 members of the our local El Salvadorian community, the container was packed and secured by one o’clock!
We usually are able to offer a decent number of beds, but with the closure we had fewer than usual, but we did have two birthing beds, three exam tables, OR table and stretchers to which we were able to add bassinettes, an incubator and an infant warmer. We also included a selection of mobility aids – wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and canes. Along with our usual selection of boxed supplies, there was also a set of scales and a microscope. What wasn’t usual in one of our shipments was the large collection of decommissioned fire-fighting gear (helmets, boots, jackets and pants) donated by the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.
Claudia spearheaded this loading effort and the container was financed by Fundacion Jerusalem who will be coordinating the distribution of supplies between two hospitals and six clinics once the container arrives in San Salvador. The birthing tables are destined for two of the clinics and all but three of the wheelchairs will be divided up between the hospitals. The three “set-aside” wheelchairs are to be given to seniors who are in need and can’t afford them. The firefighting gear will be distributed among 15 fire stations.
Note from the Loading Team:
We would like to sincerely thank everyone who helped us under the exceptional conditions brought on by Covid-19. We know that there were many more volunteers who would normally have turned out to help, and while we missed seeing everyone, we are glad you are staying safe and we could feel your socially-distanced support!