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New Canaan, CT, January 24 2003 – A Russian-built Antonov 12 aircraft leaves Amsterdam for strife-torn Kosovo Jan. 27 carrying a relief team from the Dartmouth Medical School and the humanitarian aid organization AmeriCares with 34,000 pounds of medical supplies and other emergency aid.
The shipment is destined for the Prishtina University Hospital and contains more than $2 million worth of antibiotics, anesthesia, heart medication, multivitamins and surgical apparatus and training equipment.
Two orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth Medical School, Dr. John Nutting and Dr. Michael Sparks, and a surgical nurse, Julie Christian, plan a week of surgery at the hospital using the supplies accompanying them.
At the same time, the AmeriCares personnel intend to evaluate conditions so as to direct additional assistance most effectively. In the group are Curt Welling, the president and CEO, Dr. Kim Pham, medical director, and Aimee Gilbert, director of humanitarian projects.
Said Dr. Nutting: “The physicians in Kosovo are a dedicated and educated group of professionals but the hospital is a fiscally destitute institution. It is a privilege to be able to return to Prishtina better equipped to help thanks to the generosity of AmeriCares. Our intention is to continue to provide care, equipment and training until these unfortunate people are capable of self-sustaining care.”
Curt Welling, the AmeriCares president/CEO, said: “Other parts of the world are the focus of attention today but it’s important that we are not distracted from the dire conditions that continue to threaten the lives of the people of Kosovo.”
AmeriCares has delivered 27 major shipments by air and nine by sea since 1998 to assist the ailing and needy refugees of Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia. They total more than 325 tons with a value in excess of $12.3 million.
The assistance covers food, nutritional supplements, multivitamins, infant formula, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, orthopedics, clothing, winter gloves, sleeping bags, hygienic products, cleaning supplies, educational material and toys.
(Eds note: To arrange for an interview with any of the individuals on this mission call Elizabeth Griffin at 1 800 486-HELP)