IOCC Delivers Major Shipment of Medical Supplies and Medicines to Albania

Dr. Mati Pepa (left), director of Mother Teresa Hospital and Dr. Charles Linderman (right), Chief Medical Advisor with Medical Response for the Diplomatic Corps, speak to Albanian media after receiving a major shipment of medical supplies and over-the-counter medicines from IOCC. This is the fourth shipment of medical supplies by IOCC to Albania whose struggling health sector lacks basic supplies. (photo credit: Medical Response for the Diplomatic Corps)

Tirana, Albania (October 6, 2008) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has delivered 25 pallets of medical supplies and over-the-counter drugs to Tirana, Albania. The shipment, worth $1 million, included over-the-counter cough and cold medicines that are not available in Albania and hundreds of gloves, bandages, syringes, needles, catheters, tracheotomy tubes, and ankle and knee supports.

“This heroic donation descends on a country that has slowly spiraled into a health disaster that is not matched in recollection,” says Dr. Charles Linderman, Chief Medical Advisor with Medical Response for the Diplomatic Corps, which helped to facilitate the delivery of the supplies to Mother Teresa Hospital in Tirana.

Albania’s medical infrastructure is poorly developed with many of its hospitals struggling to maintain the barest of necessities, says Linderman. Consumable drugs and supplies such as sutures, gloves, dressings and surgical equipment are in extremely short supply or not available. Although Albania ended 46 years of Communist rule in the early 1990s and established a multiparty democracy, the country has struggled with high unemployment, widespread corruption and a decaying infrastructure.

This is IOCC’s fourth shipment of medicines and medical supplies to Albania. The supplies were provided by Medical Teams International (MTI), IOCC’s long time partner for such medical shipments, and made possible through a donation by the Roberto Bazzoni Onlus Foundation.

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.