Partners for World Health is an organization based in Portland, Maine that collects discarded, but still usable, medical equipment from local hospitals and ships it overseas to underdeveloped or war-torn countries that can use it. They just shipped out 40,000 pounds of medical supplies which will be loaded on a ship and sent to Turkey, where NuDay Sryria, a New Jersey based non-profit, will see that the equipment get split up and sent to underground hospitals in the war-ravaged country.
The situation in Syria has degraded quickly as ISIL and the Syrian government wages an all out war. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the country, seeking refuge in Europe. President Obama has vowed to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States next year. The Syrian conflict was back in the headlines recently when ISIL launched a terror attack against Paris, France where they killed more than 120 people. Previously they had attacked Beirut, Lebanon, where over 40 people were killed.
Elizabeth McLellan, who founded and runs Partners for World Health, has been helping underserved populations in other countries for years. She says that the material they collect would otherwise sit in landfills, but thanks to her group, they can find a new life elsewhere. Her organization has reduced landfill costs for local hospitals, helped the environment, and is helping people in desperate need.
She suggests that other states set up similar programs, in order to reduce waste and to help others. She also points out that that overwhelming majority of Syrians, especially among the refugees, are simply people trying to survive, and not terrorists. Following the Paris attacks there was an outpouring of support both for Paris and for the refugees, who haven’t even been able to escape ISIL by leaving the country. But there has also been an expected, and disgusting, amount of hatred pointed at those refugees as well. Luckily, the actions of groups like Partners for World Health speak louder than words.