Emergency Medical Supplies Reach Ethiopian Partners

Before patients can experience the joy of sight restoration at a high-volume surgical outreach, the right tools and sufficient materials need to be in place — from microscopes and medicines to the artificial lenses that replace a cataract. Even for an organization that is known for bringing eye care to some of the most remote places on the planet, getting the right supplies to the right place is no small undertaking.

HCP’s Technology & Procurement team excels at sourcing specialized eye care equipment and navigating the often complex customs clearance process. While the work often happens behind the scenes, it is essential to our ability to deliver high quality eye care.

The outbreak of COVID-19 sparked a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). In under-resourced countries like Ethiopia, that protective gear is now even harder to come by. Decreases in the frequency of global travel and transportation, along with social distancing measures create additional obstacles for Africa where items like masks, gloves and sanitizer are already scarce.

"We have been reaching out to all our partner institutions since mid-March to assess their individual needs. It quickly became very clear that there was an urgent need for PPE - most partners reported not having any," Pamela Clapp, HCP’s Chief of Program Administration, said.

With the help of the Struggle to Save Ethiopian Jewry, a New York-based nonprofit, HCP located a supply of available PPE and shipped the gear to Ethiopia, where 1,500 N95 masks, 2,500 surgical masks, 2,500 pairs of latex gloves and 20 face shields were distributed to nine implementing partners.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to HCP for the donation,” Dr. Tiliksew Teshome, an ophthalmologist at Biruh Vision and Addis Ababa University said. “It means a lot for our team at BV and the patients we take care of. We sincerely appreciate the morale and material support we are getting from HCP in these difficult times.”

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