Côte d'Ivoire

Medical supplies head toward war-torn Ivory Coast

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As the U.N. calls for the evacuation of foreigners in the Ivory Coast, Northwest Medical Teams is preparing to ship its first container of critically needed medical supplies to the small, embattled West African country.
Partnering with the Ivory Coast Medical Relief Fund, Northwest Medical Teams hopes to send 10 containers worth more than $5 million during the next 12 months. The first one, valued at $600,000, is slated for departure from Northwest Medical Teams' headquarters on Feb. 17.

Narcisse Douhou, an Ivorian who heads up the Relief Fund, will return to his native country next week Douhou, whose family still lives in the war-torn region, will work with in-country organizations to oversee distribution of the supplies.

"The need is so great for these life-saving medicines," says Douhou. "Many innocent people are suffering because of the violence and fighting. The conflict has resulted in the starvation and death of thousands. It will be a long road to recovery. "

The 40-foot container will include syringes, bandages, antibiotics, respiratory medications and IV start-up catheters. It should arrive in the Ivory Coast in late March. It costs about $6,000 to ship each container. The Ivory Coast Medical Relief Fund is helping to cover the costs of shipping and distribution.

Contributions can be made to the Ivory Coast Medical Relief Fund/Northwest Medical Teams at any Bank of America branch. Financial gifts can also be made by calling Northwest Medical Teams at 1-800-959-4325, online at www.nwmedicalteams.org, or by mail at PO Box 10, Portland, OR 97207.