Sewa International distributing PPE and other critical supplies to the Caribbean and India
Columbia, MD – As COVID-19 hospitalizations remain low in the United States, MedStar Health is donating a significant amount of surplus PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and clinical equipment to several countries still working to contain the virus.
The donation is being fulfilled through a partnership with Sewa International, a not-for-profit organization that has been distributing disaster relief around the world since 2003. Following the hand-off of six truckloads of equipment to Sewa, the supplies are now on their way to facilities in Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, the Bahamas, and India where frontline healthcare workers, patients, and the public are in need of as much protection as possible.
Siva Subramanian, MD, chief of Neonatology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, spearheaded the effort with support from MedStar Health leadership.
“This is something that is going to be a tremendous help in containing this very contagious COVID-19,” Subramanian said. “As someone who takes care of patients, I know this type of protective equipment is so important and it makes me very proud that we are able to share this from MedStar Health.”
The donation includes KN-95 masks, reusable surgeon masks, cannisters of disinfecting wipes, packages of hand sanitizer for Caribbean nations and two CPAP machines to be distributed in India. MedStar Health successfully maintained its primary supply of N-95 masks throughout the pandemic, which made its emergency surplus of KN-95 masks available for donation.
“We bought a lot of these masks because the supply of N-95 masks was very uncertain and we weren’t going to take any chances,” said Ed Robinson, vice president of Integrated Support Operations for MedStar Health. “Fortunately, we are in a position now where we can support this very noble humanitarian effort by Sewa International to provide much needed support to other parts of the world that are in great need right now.”
Representatives from Sewa International graciously accepted the donation in person at a MedStar Health supply facility in Prince George’s County, Maryland where the equipment was officially transferred.
“In this COVID situation, the entire world is one. There is no discrimination. It does not discriminate based on economy. It doesn’t discriminate on anything,” said Shree Sreenath, PhD, MBA of SEWA International. “We at SEWA International are really happy to receive this from MedStar Health so that we are able to help our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean and in India, where supplies are extraordinarily needed.”