US Organization Sending Unwanted Medical Supplies to Philippines

Healthcare Training Resource
November 13, 2013 — 1,038 views  
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The recent typhoon in the Philippines has caused a lot of damage to property and has already claimed thousands of lives. Most of the people in the Philippines need help and they are getting it from international organizations such as the Red Cross and many others. However, many organizations in the US are taking advantage of this situation by sending unwanted medical supplies to the Philippines. The medical supplies that are being sent there are mostly unwanted and expired drugs that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.

Background

Many medical supplies in US hospitals and clinics remain unused sometimes. This is because patients do not need them or there is an oversupply of medicines in hospitals and clinics. When medicines remain unused for a long time they become hazardous and must be disposed. Using these medicines can be harmful because they are mostly expired. It is advisable to safely dispose of such medicines rather than using them.

Many organizations in the US are taking advantage of this situation in the Philippines and exploiting it for their own benefit. They are posing as charitable organizations and sending these medicines to them. While it is true that people in the Philippines need medicines right now, the medicines must be safe and should be of an acceptable quality for consumption.

Situation in the Philippines

Right now the people in the Philippines need basic essentials like water, food, clothing, and tents; Only some need medicines. But, only pure and quality medicines need to be sent to Philippines. Sending old and expired medicines that would have otherwise be sent to the landfill may cause more harm than good.

Many international organizations such as the United Nations and Red Cross have made note of this situation. They have advised that it is best to send cash or food to the Philippines right now. Sending medicines in bulk is not advisable because the right medicines will not reach those who need them in time. In any case, the medicines will not be useful and this will result in an unnecessary waste anyways.

Overall, while sending medicines to those affected by the typhoon is helpful, it should only be done by experts and professionals only. Sending unsolicited medicines in bulk is actually more harmful than most people think. Most professionals are of the opinion that medicines are less important than other necessities like food, water, clothing, and shelter.

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