Friday, March 24, 2006

What works, what doesn't.

It's March, 2006 now. I spent quite a bit of effort in recent months trying to contact drug manufacturers and get them to donate supplies for Mosul.

I found that drug manufacturers do make charitable donations of drugs BUT they are largely oriented toward donating only to officially recognized tax-exempt charities.

Interestingly, the US tax laws preclude individuals like myself from being recognized as a tax-exempt charity, and also preclude foreign organizations like the hospital or any organization in Mosul. The reason for this is not 100% explicit in the tax laws, but I think it has to with accounting intricacies rather than xenophobia - the exclusion is not applicable to Mexico and Canada because they apparently have some sort of tax treaties with the US.

I contacted a couple of charities that claim to serve the middle east and Iraq. One has subsequently been accused by the FBI of aiding terrorists. Another reported that they generally ship stuff only in huge cargo containers, a practice which would be extremely detrimental to chemotherapy drugs that need refrigeration.

Anyway, I have a new shipment of chemotherapy drugs in progress, the order was placed today and I hope for delivery in early April. I have not told my wife yet, I hope she will understand that the expense is something I believe we can afford and the cause is worthy.

If anybody has ideas for a charity or organization that might be able to channel funds toward this ongoing project I hope they will let me know. My resources are simply not sufficient to fill the hospitals overall needs, what I am able to send is only a drop in the bucket compared to what they need.

I do not find it encouraging that Kimadia's website and that of the Iraqi Ministry of Health have vanished from the web. The hospital is also apparently without email service at this time.