Medical Shipment To Albania Critical to Country's Declining Healthcare

Monday, November 13, 2006


The Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas
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For immediate release

November 8, 2006

IOCC Continues Its Humanitarian Outreach to Albania Through Shipment of Medical Supplies Valued at $435,000

Baltimore, Md. (IOCC) — With only one percent of the national budget spent on healthcare in Albania, and with 25% of the population living below the poverty level, IOCC’s recent shipment of medical supplies valued at over $435,000 is welcome aid indeed.

The supplies, which include among other items, bandages, bed sheets, wheelchairs, anesthesia equipment and neonatal materials, have arrived in the capital city of Tirana at Central Military University Hospital, the only trauma and orthopedic hospital in the country.

“With the present medical situation slowly deteriorating every year, these aid shipments are having a greater and greater impact on the medical needs of this country,” says Dr. Charles G. Linderman, Chief Medical Advisor for the hospital, which services over 70% of the country’s population. Linderman, who has worked in Albania for seven years, says he has never seen a shipment as large as this one, and that its value was equal to the hospital’s entire annual budget.

The medical shipment, whose acquisition was made possible by Northwest Medical Teams and the Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation, is part of IOCC’s continuing commitment to provide humanitarian aid to Albania. Since 2001, IOCC has delivered medical supplies and vitamins, rehabilitated womens’ health clinics, and staged public health campaigns for young people. In 2005, IOCC distributed a shipment of $440,000 worth of vitamins and protein supplements to pediatric hospitals, soup kitchens and orphanages throughout Albania. That shipment was also made possible through the support of the Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation.

IOCC was founded in 1992 as the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). Since then, it has implemented over $226 million in relief and development programs in 30 countries around the world.