Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Planning next shipment, hopefully in August

The Mosul end of the logistics chain has morphed into a different form after six attempts to arrange for the drugs to be picked up at the airport failed, and it may change further in the near future. 24 vials of etoposide reached the hospital, and additional vials, the remainder of the shipment will hopefully get there this week.

I was extremely discouraged by the failure of six attempts to deliver the last shipment from the airport to the hospital, as were the folks who faced the chaos of Iraq to try to make the deliveries happen. Now, with an additional helper at the airport and a new way to get the drugs downtown to the hospital it seems that deliveries are again practical.

As I write this I am struck by the fact that what I feel it is safe to tell is so scanty. The everyday dangers of life in Iraq are inescapeable, and any interaction between Iraqis and people at the fortified airport in Mosul is even more dangerous, regardless of the goodwill of all concerned. I am drawn between the need to convey a reasonable amount of information about the project to anyone who might be willing to help and the need to conceal anything and everything that might place people at risk.

The shortages at the hospital continue. Patients continue to suffer because of them. I continue to try to do everything I can to get shipments of drugs, even though the shipments are pitifully small in comparison to the overall need.

The project continues, in hope that there will be a time that the need is gone.


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