Zimbabwe Appeal: Help IOCC & Philoptochos
Speed Relief to Victims of Public Health Crisis

IOCC Airlifting Urgently Needed Medicines and Supplies
Tatenda carries water for domestic use that he fetched from a well. Unprotected wells have been a major source of disease in Harare, Zimbabwe. IOCC is responding to the health crisis by sending $380,000 in medical supplies to treat about 5,600 patients. The outbreak has claimed more than 1,000 lives so far, according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. (Photo credit: DESMOND KWANDE – AFP/Getty Images)
December 20, 2008

Baltimore, MD — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is responding to the rapidly deteriorating public health crisis in Zimbabwe which threatens to become a catastrophe unless urgently needed medicines and supplies are rushed to the growing numbers of victims. Over 16,000 people have already been stricken and over 1,000 have died since last August. Health experts are warning that half of the country’s population of 12 million is at risk.

IOCC is sending eight complete medical kits, valued at over $380,000 and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), for the treatment of approximately 5,600 patients. While the bulk of these supplies will be targeted to the outlying areas where the need is greatest, IOCC will also supply its partner in Harare that can treat victims in the capital.

IOCC’s shipment is made possible through a partnership with the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, Medical Teams International (MTI), Dorcas Aid International and IMRES.

Zimbabwe’s complete breakdown in water and sanitation systems has exacerbated this public health crisis. The country’s spiraling economic crisis has also contributed to the emergency situation. With salaries rendered useless by the nation’s hyperinflation, doctors and nurses have stopped going to work in Harare’s two leading hospitals. A medical professional is quoted as saying, “We are in Zimbabwe’s darkest hour and our need is now!”

IOCC has provided more than $5.5 million in medicines and medical supplies to Zimbabwe’s beleaguered hospitals and clinics since 2006 and is working in cooperation with the Orthodox Church in Zimbabwe and other local partners.

Help us speed relief to families in Zimbabwe suffering from disease and hunger. Visit www.iocc.org, call IOCC toll free at 1-877-803-4622, or mail a check or money order payable to “IOCC” and write “Zimbabwe Appeal” in the memo line to: IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, Md. 21297-0429.

IOCC, founded in 1992 as the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), has implemented over $275 million in relief and development programs in 33 countries around the world.

Media contact: Rada K. Tierney, IOCC Media Relations, 443-823-3489, rtierney@iocc.org

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