Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Fourth shipment this year reaches the hospital.

I got confirmation from the hospital that the latest shipment, the fourth so far this year, reached them safely on Monday July 17th. This latest shipment contained 30 50-mg vials of doxorubicin and 40 2mg vials of vincristine.

The hospital also got a shipment this month of drugs from Kimadia (the government agency responsible for supplying them with drugs) that included 540 10-mg vials of doxorubicin. The hospital's calculated annual need for doxorubicin, what they requested from Kimadia at the start of the year, is 4000 50-mg vials and 3000 10-mg vials. The entire supply received from Kimadia, all 540 vials, has already been dispensed to patients. The meager amount in the shipment I sent will no doubt be also exhausted before my next shipment reaches them.

Doxorubicin is only one of many drugs in desperately short supply at the hospital. The hospital's calculated annual need for vincristine is 7500 1-mg vials and 250 5-mg vials. None has yet been furnished by Kimadia this year. The meager amount I managed to send will no doubt be exhausted before a month is out.

I remain resolved to do what I can. I remain frustrated that I am so unsuccessful in attracting others to assist this project.


Blogger Lynnette in Minnesota said...


I understand from the commenter formerly known as Strykerdad that the military was involved in an early shipment of drugs to TT's hospital. Are they still inolved in any way?

What kind of oversight is there by the charities or others on site?

11:58 AM  
Blogger waldschrat said...

The only way to get the stuff there without damage from the heat is to make sure it goes by air all the way, and Mosul Airport is fortified by US troops. It was totally necessary to enlist the assistance of personnel at the airport, military or civilian I prefer not to say, and I did so. Establishing communications with them initially was more difficult than persuading them to help - presented with an opportunity to participate in a humanitarian project and save Iraqi lives, they were totally willing to help.

You should understand that any apparent cooperation of personnel at the hospital with US personnel at the airport might be construed by ignorant people as collaboration with the "enemy" and place their lives at risk.

The shipments arrive in insulated packages full of drugs and icepacks. The helpers at the airport grab the package almost before it is off the plane and whisk it to a refrigerator. Later they repack it with fresh icepacks and hand it off at the gate to an Iraqi ambulance arranged by the hospital which delivers it to the hospital.

The drugs are unpacked at the hospital and stored in a refrigerator in a locked room. The refrigerator is served by the hospital's generator which is quite reliable. A log book is kept and two signatures are required for drugs withdrawn from the refrigerator (the prescribing doctor's signature and a second doctor's authorizing signature).

There is no such thing as a foolproof system, but this system is reasonable and businesslike and designed to ensure that the drugs get where they are intended to go and are used as they are intended to be used, to help the patients and save lives.

All of the people involved in Mosul, both at the hospital and at the airport, are there there because they chose to be there and are helping because they chose to help. All of their lives are on the line because of the choices they have made. I count every last one of them as heros helping the cancer patients of Mosul.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Thank you. You understand that I want to be cautious before donating money to any charity and especially one operating in Iraq. I will be sending something in soon. Although like you I am not wealthy and the amount will certainly not meet all of the needs.

I have a couple of suggestions for you. The competition for aid is always great. If you can get a little more media exposure you might have a chance of getting a little more help with this. So I have 2 things you may want to consider.

1. If you can get a blogger that is well liked and that people trust to endorse this project and blog about it, that might help. I would suggest someone like Sunshine. NOT Truth Teller. She is well liked, I think, by just about everyone and would have an interest in this. I haven't been to her site lately, so if she is already involved please excuse my redundancy.

2. You may want to contact a blogger who has connections with the media and may have an interest in helping his country's medical establishment. If he could get an article about this into his employers publication you would attract more attention that way. I suggest Baghdad Treasure or 24 Steps to Liberty.

The method of leaving links in peoples comments section is kind of iffy. If I had not recognized you I probably would not have stopped by. There are just too many scams out there.

11:57 AM  
Blogger waldschrat said...

Thanks, Lynnette. If you have any further questions you are welcome to contact me by email or phone and I will do anything I can to resolve them for you. I am perpetually handicapped in posting or commenting on this blog by the knowledge that if I say the wrong thing I could potentially put somebody's life in peril. Yet if I do not say enough I may find it impossible to reassure those who might help.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Lynnette in Minnesota said...

I understand. What you need is publicity, but publicity may get people killed.

It's a horrible catch-22.

And one has to be careful which comments sections to post in as well. You never know who is reading them. Anyway I will send off a contribution this morning.

7:04 AM  
Blogger waldschrat said...

Thank you, Lynnette! I can only wish there were thousands more like you!

1:22 AM  
Anonymous braamer said...

Trying Lynnette’s suggestion, will post dispatches from Waldschrat’s Mirror on communal blogs here in Illinois. Here’s a couple of examples, though depending on the timing you may have to scroll a bit. Hopefully these will get “promoted” and end up on the opening page:

2:07 PM  
Blogger waldschrat said...

Thanks Mr. Braamer, I know you're doing what you can to try to spread the message about this project and I appreciate it.

12:56 AM  

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