MediSend International, a Dallas-based nonprofit that distributes medical supplies, is now focusing its attention on West Africa, the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak. The company is concerned for those fighting the outbreak and is trying to make sure they are able to replenish essential supplies they may have exhausted already.
Nick Hallack, CEO of MediSend International, says care for Ebola patients requires items many hospitals in developing countries are lacking such as specialized hazmat equipment along with basic medical supplies. MediSend is trying to alleviate some of the stress being put on the likely exhausted outbreak workers and strengthen their resolve in the best way they can. By sending essential supplies, MediSend is hoping to establish itself as a resource for the medical professionals at the heart of the Ebola outbreak.
Mark Luke, who works as a respiratory therapist at JFK Medical Center in Monrovia, Liberia, came to the United States a week ago to help MediSend prepare the shipments. Luke is working towards a certificate in biochemical engineering through MediSend’s Global Education Center, and says his native country, Liberia, is currently facing its first ever Ebola outbreak. When Luke left just a week ago, the medical center he works in had as many as 52 confirmed patients quarantined in a specialized camp. Of the outbreak, Luke has said that it is the worst thing he has seen in the twelve years he’s worked in the hospital, including HIV and even cancer.
“When people heard about Ebola first [time] in Liberia they couldn’t believe it,” Luke said. “They thought it was some rumors. But, when people start to die, everybody got panicked and didn’t know what to do.”
The panic, fear, and chaos the Ebola outbreak has caused in West Africa is likely making the outbreak even harder for the hospital staff to contain. With nonprofit organizations such as MediSend aiding the situation by sending supplies, there is hope that the outbreak will be more contained soon.