As the Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment (Project C.U.R.E.) brings much-needed medical supplies and equipment into Liberia to treat Ebola survivors, Kate Kynvin, Program Manager, Clinical Monitoring Research Program (CMRP), Leidos Biomed, is there to help receive and distribute supplies.
Kynvin is part of a collaborative effort between Project C.U.R.E., the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) that began in early 2016. The collaboration was formed in response to the 2014–15 Ebola outbreak to benefit hospitals and patients in Liberia, West Africa.
Project C.U.R.E. committed to sending seven 40-foot cargo containers to Liberia on behalf of the Partnership for Research on Ebola Vaccines in Liberia (PREVAIL). All seven have now been shipped, with five unloaded and distributed in country. The sixth is scheduled to be unloaded the week of December 19, with the seventh and final container scheduled to arrive in late December.
Leidos Biomed is covering the shipping costs of the containers through NIAID’s support, as well as managing the receiving and distributing logistics. CMRP made arrangements for shipments from the U.S. to Liberia, cleared the donations with transportation authorities, located secure and sufficient warehouse space, and matched the donations with facility needs.
As the shipping containers arrived, PREVAIL team members and Ebola survivors worked together to receive, unpack, sort, and distribute the donations. In addition to Kynvin, other CMRP staff assisting with the offloading include Marty Edeline, Patricia Boison, Nikki Gettinger, Nadeeka Randunu, Jestina Doe-Anderson, Kevin Newell, Ken Low, Tammy Burnette, Jiwan Giri, and Wissedi Njoh, who also helped connect CMRP with hospitals in need.
Eleven hospitals, clinics, and health centers treating Ebola survivors in Monrovia, Kakata, Bong County, and Grand Kru have received critical equipment and supplies, including the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) hospital in Paynesville City, Monrovia, Liberia.
For the past five years, ELWA has been building a new facility—but the hospital, which had enough funds to cover only construction costs, was without necessary equipment and supplies. Thanks to Project C.U.R.E, ELWA received 21 new hospital beds. The DuPort Road Health Center, also in Paynesville, received its first ultrasound machine, as well as replacement beds for the delivery and examination rooms.
Project C.U.R.E. gathers used medical supplies and equipment donated by U.S. hospitals and distributes the items to hospitals and clinics in resource-limited countries around the globe. Items include supplies such as catheters, syringes, and surgical gloves and equipment such as beds, cardiac monitors, and wheelchairs serviceable equipment that the hospitals are either replacing with newer models or supplies that are in a surplus status/overstocked. Rather than simply destroy these items, hospitals can put them to good use, with Project C.U.R.E. taking care of collecting, storing, sorting, and shipping the donated goods.
The organization was founded in 1987 by James Jackson, an economic consultant in developing countries. After witnessing instances where patients were sometimes turned away from clinics due to a lack of medical supplies, Jackson decided to start Project C.U.R.E. From initially using his garage as a storage site, the project is now a nationwide effort with distribution centers in six states.
On what she enjoys most about assisting with Project C.U.R.E., Kynvin said, "To me, supporting clinical research is about being part of a long-term effort you hope will bring accessible health benefits to at-risk and vulnerable populations. Project C.U.R.E. has been a wonderful, compartmentalized project that provides some immediate relief to a few of the problems hospitals in Liberia face. It has been a privilege to be able to match the supplies with some of the demands."
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