International Medical Corp, a global, nonprofit aid organization, has been providing emergency medical services and healthcare training to underserved populations for nearly 40 years. They have a proven track record of prompt, thorough response during disaster relief and during humanitarian crises. However, as a nonprofit, they rely heavily on global campaigns, grants, and donations to keep them staffed and supplied in order to help those who need it.
Recently, U.S.- and Ireland-based Medtronic donated $1 million of PPE to the organization to help facilitate its COVID-19 relief efforts. The donations include 1.1 million surgical masks and 408,000 KN95 respirators. These much-needed supplies will be donated to 15 hospitals or dispersed amongst individuals in COVID-19 hotspots across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The chosen locations not only represent areas with high numbers of cases, but also communities with an underserved and underrepresented population, who also are considered most at-risk.
As the global pandemic continues, mounting research shows that racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. have experienced disproportionally high numbers of infection and hospitalization. For example, non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan people have a hospitalization rate 5.3 times higher than non-Hispanic white populations. Similarly, Black and Latino populations experience hospitalization rates 4.7 times higher than their white counterparts. Medtronic and International Medical Corp are working hard to narrow the gap of these disparities.
"When an emergency strikes, Medtronic and the Medtronic Foundation are among the first to be there, helping to ensure that first responders have the resources they need," said Erica Tavares, Vice President of Institutional Partnerships and Philanthropy at International Medical Corps. "With their donation, frontline health workers across the country will be able to safely provide healthcare to communities most in need."
While researchers are still working hard to understand the virus, and many companies are pushing vaccines and treatment plans through Phase III trials, prevention methods like social distancing, hand washing, and wearing a mask are still the primary methods of combating the Coronavirus’ spread. Until a vaccine is universally available to all demographics across the globe, individuals must rely on PPE, like the supplies distributed by International Medical Corp, to avoid contracting the illness.