A REMEDY For Saving Lives In Developing Countries

Each day, unused medical supplies are thrown away in hospitals across America. But thanks to the non-profit organization REMEDY (Recovered Medical Equipment for the Developing World) these supplies are now saving lives in developing countries
Apr 12, 2010 1:15 PM ET

A REMEDY For Saving Lives In Developing Countries

Millions of dollars worth of medical supplies get discarded in the United States each year. But in hospitals in developing nations — like  Bagundo Medical Center in Tanzania, medical personnel are forced to improvise.  Surgical gloves are often washed and reused, or foam packaging might be cut up and recycled to form a crib mattress. But REMEDY (Recovered Medical Equipment for the Developing World), is helping to change that.

REMEDY is a grass roots organization founded in 1991 by William H. Rosenblatt, MD, Professor of Anesthesiology at Yale University School of Medicine. REMEDY recovers and re-sterilizes unused, non-contaminated medical supplies and then redistributes them in developing nations.  

Originally conceived as a means to collect surgical supplies for use in volunteer medical mission trips, REMEDY has grown into a global outreach program. REMEDY currently includes more than 300 hospitals, helping 50 countries around the world, including Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The Yale University Hospital program alone has donated more than 50 tons of medical supplies to the cause. It is estimated that at least $200 million worth of supplies could be recovered from U.S. hospitals each year.  This would result in a 50% increase of the medical aid sent from the United States to the developing world.

In addition to promoting the nationwide practice of recovery of exposed-but-unused surgical supplies, REMEDY provides international medical relief while reducing solid medical waste from US hospitals.

REMEDY helps hospitals develop their own programs with the aid of an audiovisual teaching kit, which includes an explanation of the procedure, information for volunteers, and important protocol and policy guidelines. The comprehensive teaching packet, which is free to any hospital which requests it, also includes collection bags, enabling any hospital to start their own program right away.

REMEDY is an efficient way to fill a critical need in the developing world. But by also helping hospitals reduce solid waste here in the U.S., REMEDY is helping us have a cleaner world, too.

To find out more about REMEDY or to comment on this post, visit the original blog.

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