The Problem: A Medical Shortage of Epidemic Proportions
Imagine the challenge of obtaining medical care where just a few thousand physicians serve millions of people. Where hospitals are so overcrowded that patients share the spaces under the beds.
Imagine living where endless civil wars have created massive shortages of crutches and wheelchairs. Where infectious diseases like Bubonic Plague - long extinct in North America - run unchecked. And where virulent diseases like AIDS are decimating young and old alike.
Imagine trying to cope with these and other overwhelming medical needs without even the most basic equipment and supplies.
This grim portrait is the reality in many parts of the world, a reality witnessed first-hand by visiting Rotarians from Wisconsin's Fox River Valley. Their compassion and commitment led to the formation of Rotary's Southern Africa Medical Project (SAMP). A realization that the problem extended beyond Southern Africa spurred the club to rename the project Sharing Around (the World) Medical Project.
The Sharing Around (the World) Medical Project today is a recycling program for the salvage of reusable medical equipment, blankets and supplies. These materials are being collected by Rotary District 6220 in northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. The Rotary Clubs in District 6220 who collect medical supplies inlcude: Appleton Downtown, Marquette, Sturgeon Bay and Shawano. Supplies are being sent to Rotarians in many parts of the world, including southern Africa, Russia, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Honduras and other locations. A list of shipments and their locations is available here.
The challenge of the world's medical shortage is bigger than any one person or any one organization. Rotary has set the wheels in motion, but your help is critical to continuing the momentum. We invite you to learn more about the volunteer opportunities available, and how you, your business, church, school, or civic organization can help. There are dozens of ways to become part of the solution, from organizing a blanket drive to packing supplies to soliciting donations of equipment and goods.
It takes all of us to keep the wheel turning.