Emergency airlift of primary care medicines arrives in Ecuador this week

Five skids containing enough essential medicines to provide up to 24,000 full courses of medical treatment are being airlifted to Guayaquil, Ecuador this week to help medical relief efforts following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake last month.

The medicines are packed into 40 Humanitarian Medical Kits for primary care and will be used by doctors and health workers going out to communities affected by the earthquake.

Over 200,000 people in Ecuador were impacted by the massive quake and its aftershocks. More than 650 people died, 33,000 are living in shelters and 73,000 are displaced. The needs are great and HPIC has been working to mobilize medical relief since the quake struck.

Our partner agency in Guayaquil is the largest NGO and has a network of hospitals, which treat over 5 million patients a year.

“The city of Guayaquil is about two hours away from the earthquake-affected areas where most health facilities have been badly damaged or destroyed,” says HPIC’s Maricarmen Raudales, Senior Director of Programs. “Many victims of the earthquake and their families have been coming to the hospitals managed by the Junta de Beneficencia de Guayaquil. They are providing medical care, psycho-social support, shelter and food.”

Medical staff at these hospitals are being deployed to the affected areas to do mobile clinics. “This is how this particular provision of medical relief will be used,” Maricarmen says. “The medicines are packed into kits, which can be hand carried and contain a standard assortment of medicines and medical supplies matching the needs identified by the Ministry of Health.”

More than a dozen companies donated the medicines and medical supplies in this airlift and donors of funding include CHP Canada, Innovative Medicines Canada and individual donors across Canada.