Thursday, September 07, 2006

Interview on Chicago Public Radio

An interview about this project aired today (September 7, 2006) on Chicago Public Radio as a segment of their "Global Activism" series. I got a call from a nice guy in Chicago who heard it, and I found a link to it (and other recent segments in the series) on the station's website here: Link to Interview .

The interview was actually recorded several weeks ago and I was never sure exactly when or if it would air so it was a bit of a surprise to get a call about it today, a very welcome surprise. It is the first media coverage of this project I am aware of, and should bring word of the project to many people who may wish to help.

Folks who are interested in the project are welcome to contact me - I'll try to answer any questions they may have about it. My email is . My other contact info is in the blog description at the top of the page just below the title.

Folks who are interested in helping with this project can do so either by

(1) helping to call it to the attention of as many people as possible; or by

(2) donating funds to help pay for drugs and shipping costs. Please see my previous post Introducing LIFE for specific info on how to donate to the special earmarked "Mosul Hospital Fund" which Life for Relief and Development has established. Donations via LIFE will be tax deductible and all funds are being applied within a month to pay for shipments with the sole exception of a 10% reserve being held to cover LIFE's book keeping and overhead costs .


Blogger Albatroz said...

I think it is wonderful what you have been doing for cancer patients in Mosul, and it amazes me that so few people are helping you on this. The fact that only small shipments are beeing sent to Iraq is due to logistics, shortage of funds or burocracy?...

3:59 AM  
Blogger waldschrat said...

Right now the biggest limitation on shipment size and frequency for this project is shortage of funds. About $400/ month from others and about $3800 from my own account has been involved in each of the latest two shipments.

Assuming unlimited money was available the next limitation would be the size of the refrigerator at Mosl Airport where the stuff is kept temporarily, and possibly refrigerator capacity at the hospital. However, it would be fairly trivial to ship additional refrigerators, generators, etc with an unlimited budget.

As far as bureaucracy goes, shipping via the airbase bypasses customs but some unrefrigerated shipments have passed custom easily.

So, funding and decision processes are the biggest limitations. The US has reportedly put over 500 million dollars into the Iraqi healthcare system, but they seem to have spent it on building hospitals and clinics rather than stocking them with adequate supplies. A good doctor can practice medicine in a tent if he has adequate supplies, and the doctors of Iraq are good.

Obviously the Iraqi Ministry of Health and it's purchasing agency "Kimadia" are bureaucracies. Clearly they are operating in a chaotic environment, but clearly the job COULD be done if they were determined and diligent and had adequate funds. Tentatively I believe that thir budget rather than their competence or honesty are the most probable cause of the failure of Kimadia to deliver what's needed.

5:12 PM  
Blogger madtom said...

Great interview, I heard it the other night.
Have you got any results from the exposure?

I also noticed that you did not mention the blog by name, why? do the radio people want it that way or something.

8:39 PM  
Blogger waldschrat said...

The station put a link to the blog on their website. I aske dat the time if we should give a link to the blog and they said it would be done that way. I think it's better that way - not many folks are gonna spell "waldschrat" right on the first try!

1:30 AM  
Blogger waldschrat said...

Regarding responses to the interview, I got that one surprise call from a guy who'd just heard it but nothing since. It might be that folks cruising the station's website will follow the link as time goes by, and some folks might send in money to LIFE and I wouldn't know about that right away.

1:41 AM  
Blogger Albatroz said...

I don't know whether you will get any positive reactions, but I would try and contact the following:

Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
Av. de Berna, 45A
1067-001 Lisbon - Portugal
Telf: 21 782 3000
Fax: 21 782 3021

Address your mail to the President, and tell him what you are doing and the need you have for financial assistance. This Foundation was created by an Armenian citizen with strong links with Iraq, who came to live in Portugal and fell in love with the country. They have plenty of money and, I believe, some motivation for assistance to Iraq.

Let me know whether you get any response.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Albatroz said...

By the way, if you want send me a copy of whatever you send to them, and I will see whether I can get them to respond.

My e-mail is:

10:43 AM  
Blogger waldschrat said...

Thanks, albatroz!

I found that foundation on the web and they do indeed seem to have health care as part of their mission. I will send them an email with a cc to you as you suggest. Perhaps something will come of it!

6:23 AM  

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