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Hurricane María

Direct Relief brings $21M in meds, medical goods to PR

Shipments of critical medicines and supplies bound for Puerto Rico via airlift leave Direct Relief’s warehouse. (Credit: Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

Direct Relief, which for the past eight years has been supporting a network of nonprofit community health centers in Puerto Rico, delivered $21 million in medicines and medical products to the island over the weekend, the company confirmed.

A Direct Relief-chartered MD-11 cargo jet departed Miami with 152,604 lbs. of urgently needed medical resources to the Department of Health, hospitals, and community health centers in Puerto Rico, where severe medical shortages persist one month after the devastation of Hurricane María.

The delivery included medications and supplies, including extensive quantities of intravenous solutions, nutritionals, insect repellant, and prescription medications for a range of acute conditions and chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

Forty-four healthcare companies donated the medicine and supplies. Each of the 300 items in the shipment has been specifically requested by 19 tertiary hospitals and emergency centers, 20 nonprofit community health centers, and the Puerto Rico Department of Health, Direct Relief said.

Prior to Hurricane María, the organization had been coordinating with the Department of Health to assist with the medical evacuees from neighboring islands after Hurricane Irma two weeks prior.

Over the past month, Direct Relief’s emergency response in Puerto Rico has included 54 shipments to 27 facilities totaling $3.6 million, wholesale.

Direct Relief also has committed an initial $300,000 in financial assistance to Puerto Rico’s primary care association and its 20 nonprofit members that collectively operate 62 clinical sites in 53 municipalities throughout Puerto Rico.

Established in 1948 with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world — without regard to politics, religion, ethnic identities, or ability to pay, the company stated.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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