(PRWEB) June 7, 2002
For Immediate Release CONTACT: Chris Davis 805/962-5792
Los Angeles, June 5, 2002--Direct Relief International today announced that Johnson & Johnson has committed $10 million in medical product contributions in response to urgent needs in Afghanistan. This commitment is the largest single product contribution that the California-based charity has received for a single country in its 54-year history.
The materials will be delivered in quarterly disbursements from Johnson & JohnsonÂs production facilities in South Asia, and the first delivery Â valued at more than $2.5 million wholesale Â has been released.
ÂWe are deeply thankful for Johnson & JohnsonÂs unprecedented commitment to help us address the severe human needs in Afghanistan,Â said Direct Relief International President and CEO Thomas Tighe. ÂTheir extraordinary response to our request has been innovative, extensive, and efficient.Â
The first shipment of pharmaceutical products, including anti-fungal and anti-parasitic medicines, sutures, and basic consumer products such as soaps, shampoos, and bandages will be provided to two ÂMother and ChildÂ Health Clinics and the Kart-e-Seh Hospital in Kabul as well as the Aryen Medical Clinic in Peshawar, Pakistan which serves Afghan refugee populations. These facilities are operated by Hope Worldwide, another U.S.-based nonprofit organization. The Afghan Institute for Learning, which provides health services to Afghan women in Afghanistan and in refugee sites in Pakistan, will also receive needed product support.
Additional shipments will be allocated among these and other facilities that have been established or reestablished in recent months. Direct Relief has provided more than 17 tons of medical material assistance valued at more than $2.7 million wholesale to facilities Afghanistan and Pakistan in the last 9 months.
Tighe noted the leadership of senior Johnson & Johnson officials, who were both personally involved in approving Direct ReliefÂs request and offered delivery and distribution strategies to reduce costs. ÂThey asked how they could help us assist people in Afghanistan and provided everything we asked for, and more,Â said Tighe.
ÂIt is a wonderful example of leadership, and shows how private people, businesses, and organizations can and do engage on their own initiative in a complex humanitarian crisis,Â Tighe said.
Additionally, last month Direct Relief International and Johnson & Johnson teamed to provide a disaster module via air to Red Cross/Red Crescent ambulance teams working in West Bank/Gaza. The module includes a large assortment of sutures, bandages, splinting devices, children's and adult Tylenol. Direct Relief International has arranged this assistance in partnership with American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), which has worked in West Bank/Gaza for many years.
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Together with ANERA, Direct Relief also provided a 20-foot container of medical supplies donated by Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers to support health efforts in West Bank/Gaza. The St. John's Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, which provides charitable ophthalmic services to Palestinian and Israeli
patients will receive IV sets, ophthalmic medications, antibiotics, stethoscopes, otoscopes, sutures and surgical blades. Other material aid has been furnished to ambulance teams and the Razi Hospital and includes one Johnson & Johnson module as well as stretchers, oxygen masks, ambu-bags, needles, syringes, blood pressure cuffs and exam gloves.
Founded in 1948 by two immigrant businessmen, Direct Relief International is a non-profit, non-sectarian medical relief organization based in Santa Barbara, California. For 54 years, Direct Relief has provided medical support with pharmaceuticals, supplies, and new and refurbished medical equipment to over 3,000 charitable health facilities worldwide. In 2001, the organization provided more than $81.5 million (wholesale value) in medical aid to 60 countries, enough provisions to keep hundreds of local health professionals and clinics productively engaged and treat millions of patients. Worth Magazine and The Chronicle of Philanthropy have recently named Direct Relief International among the top national non-profits.
Note to Editors: For more information, please visit the Direct Relief International website at http://www.directrelief.org. To arrange for an interview with Thomas Tighe, for photos, or information on Direct Relief International relief efforts call 805/962-5792.