When everyone lends a hand –urgently needed donations in kind taken to Zimbabwe for a humedica support project

by Ruth Bücker, 2009/09/24

In several countries, after providing emergency relief, humedica has established a long-term support programme. This is also the case in Zimbabwe: At the beginning of the year, a humedica team had been present in the country to provide medical aid during a cholera epidemic and up to this day, further relief items have been sent to Zimbabwe.

The arrival of the relief items in the country was coordinated by the humedica staffers Heidi Nicklin and Rosalyn Hoppe, who had to face new challenges during this task.

Long-term support projects is one of the most important sectors of humedica in general. Medical drugs, bandage material, cleaning agents and care products, hospital equipment and food items: via plane, ship or truck transport the required goods are taken to the places where help is needed.

The needed drugs are being distributed with the aid of local helpers. Foto: humedica

In the respective countries, humedica staff members, together with local helpers, take charge of the reception of the deliveries, the sorting of the relief items and their distribution in hospitals, children’s and nursing homes. Sometimes, this does not take place without difficulties of some kind, Heidi Nicklin told us after her return to Germany. She had been working for humedica in Zimbabwe from April to September 2009.

The two female staff members of humedica had only spent few days in the country they had never visited before, when the first containers with relief goods already arrived in Zimbabwe and the women’s skills were challenged.

In Germany, the full containers had been loaded onto the transport ships without problems, with the aid of a crane. In Zimbabwe, things proved more difficult, for the fully-loaded containers were too heavy for the cranes they had there.

Originally, the arrival of the relief items had been scheduled for February 2009. Because of problems during transport, the arrival of the fully-loaded containers was delayed until April and therefore, represented a kind of welcome-greeting for the two women.

Fully-laden with donated drugs, clothes and medical equipment, the first relief items reached their destination intact, something that surely is also due to the good packing done by humedica-members in Kaufbeuren.

Hand in Hand, people work until late in the night in order to reload the drugs in the containers. Foto: humedica

For the reasons mentioned above, the whole content of the containers had to be unloaded first. The empty containers could then be lifted from the truck, reloaded with the goods and sorted. By the time this was completed with the aid of local workers, twilight had set in and the remaining works of sorting and unpacking were done in the dark.
This was a real challenge. But together we have managed well and it has been very exciting”, says Heidi Nicklin.

This first delivery of relief items had been transported in donated containers, which made it possible to keep using them as storage space after their arrival. In most cases, however, containers are only used for the transport and after being unloaded, serve for further deliveries. This has also been the case when Heidi and Rosalyn coordinated the arrival of a second delivery.

Apart from health care and hygiene products, the content of this container included a huge amount of medicaments for the treatment of gastro-intestinal diseases. Due to this kind of goods and the experience the women had already gained, the second delivery could be unloaded much faster.

In July, another container, filled with medical drugs and urgently-needed gifts in kind to the amount of more than 260.000 Euros, has been sent to Zimbabwe, which reached its destination safely in the middle of September and will change the situation of many people directly and immediately.

Help arrives where it is needed: a local helper is unloading relief items from a truck. Foto: humedica

This kind of targeted support is only possible due to generous donations. Almost all of the relief items are donated by companies and institutions. Above all, the German pharmaceutical industry has contributed to our aid measures with generous drug donations for 30 years. This is practiced, targeted support for which we at humedica and, even more, those who receive the aid, are very grateful.

Now we would like to ask you, dear friends and supporters, to continue helping us to finance the transport costs with a targeted donation.

       humedica e. V.
       Reference "Frachtkosten"
       Account 47 47
       Bank code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

or donate online via the following link. Thank you very much for any kind of support.

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