Students prepare supplies to help Ukraine

Students prepare supplies to help Ukraine
Drawings for Pangea donations included supplies such as face masks, gloves and face shields, along with some special items such as syringes and gauze for wound care. (Photo courtesy of Blueprints for Pangea USC)

Following the health emergency in Ukraine – where there is an urgent need for supplies and support for citizens and refugees – students from the USC branch of Blueprints for Pangea donated supplies from the USC Keck School of Medicine to help those affected by the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Collecting 45 pallets of personal protective equipment and special materials, the chapter plans to ship these 15 pallets on Monday.

The organization has partnered with Not Just Tourists, a non-USC affiliate, to organize and ship materials to Ukraine. Through the Net Just Tourists network, the club worked to provide supplies and find ways to get to Ukraine.

With the help of Not Just Tourists, the club was able to identify and connect with representatives from Hope2Ukraine, Nova Ukraine, Samaritan’s Purse and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who would help send supplies.

Founded in 2020, the organization’s chapter goal is to “redirect excess and unused medical supplies to needy areas,” according to Irene Lee, a senior in biomedical engineering and a member of the operations team. The club’s management team, which is run entirely by students, is responsible for coordinating these deliveries between donors and beneficiaries.

“When disasters happen in real time and humanitarian crises occur, it’s really important that we respond very quickly,” said Asana Tebsum, a sophomore in biomedical engineering and vice president of operations.

After inventorying the supplies available at Keck, the organization counted the 45 surfaces consisting of personal protective equipment, including face masks, gloves and face shields. The surfaces also included special materials such as syringes, HEPA filters, mouthwashes, gauze and treatment of burns and wounds. Pallets are four-by-four square wooden frames used to store stacked crates of supplies. Each surface can reach a height of six to eight meters.

Available supplies were over-purchased by KEK during the plague or donated from local organizations such as churches and associations. Some came from medical television shows, such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” which returned supplies to Keck Warehouse when production was halted due to the epidemic. The hospital was unable to use this supply for administrative reasons, so they were left unused and unavailable.

“A lot of companies just make a profit [of supplies] “Either hospitals may have surpluses that may expire soon or there are a lot of regulations as to whether he just goes into hospital rooms,” said operations team member Ivy Leven, an A student in the biological sciences major.[Supplies] We have to throw it out, so we basically take all this surplus supply and redistribute it to other organizations. “

According to strict guidelines of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, which include an outline and guidance on supplies that the country needs, a lot of personal protective equipment from international resources is not included. Expenditure on shipping supplies from abroad is much higher than buying from neighboring European countries and then shipping supplies directly through the borders.

Therefore, not all of Keck’s supplies will reach Ukraine, said Krishni Saatchi, a junior specialist in health promotion and disease prevention. Instead, Blueprints for Pangea is also working with Hope Beyond Borders to ship scrap supplies to Venezuela, where there is a high demand for personal protective equipment due to low medical access and low purchasing power.

Since 2020, the episode has donated 17,700 N95 masks and 800 sterile isolation dresses totaling more than $ 120,000 to eight nonprofits. Most of the groceries donated went to help the uninhabited community in Los Angeles, charity volunteers and even some clinics in Mexico.

“Drawings [for Pangaea] “There’s a really amazing mission, and our team has worked together superbly and is working on the go,” he told me. “I don’t think such initiatives can happen without the hard work ethic of the rest of the operations team.”

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