First GlobalGiving Matching Day of 2016!

The first matching day of the year with GlobalGiving is tomorrow, March 16th! However, this time it will be a little different. This bonus day will be a pro-rated match day! GlobalGiving will have $75,000 in matching funds. Starting at 09:00:00 EST, all donations until midnight are eligible to be matched at the pro-rated percent.

The pro-rated percent is based on the total amount of funds raised on the matching day, the amount our organization has raised, and the amount of matching funds that are available. This means we don’t yet know what the matching percent will be but we will find out at the end of the day. By doing this, GlobalGiving is able to offer matching funds for every online donation during the day!

MedPLUS Connect is still fundraising to establish the first cervical cancer screening and treatment program in the Upper West Region in Ghana. Cervical cancer is highly preventable with early screening and detection and is also very treatable when caught early. However, women in the Upper West Region currently don’t have access to regular screenings and must travel significant distances to receive treatment. By fundraising to purchase the expensive equipment and supplies needed to provide both screening and treatment, we are enabling Dr. Fofie at the Wa Regional Hospital to provide the women of the Upper West Region with the care they need.

You can read more about our project here and consider making a donation: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/prevent-cancer-for-women-in-ghana/

This woman is one of many who would benefit from the establishment of the first cervical cancer and screening treatment program in the Upper West Region of Ghana

This woman is one of many who would benefit from the establishment of the first cervical cancer and screening treatment program in the Upper West Region of Ghana

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Holiday Giving

If you’re still finishing up last minute holiday shopping, you can also help earn money for MedPLUS Connect while you shop!

When you do your Holiday shopping at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Medplus Connect. Bookmark the link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/87-0790691 and support us every time you shop!

Another way to earn donations for MedPLUS while you shop is iGive, a search engine that that allows you to earn money for your chosen cause simply by searching and shopping on the internet. And its completely free to sign up! iGive helps make shopping a form of giving and makes every purchase count. Use this link to sign up and try it out: http://www.iGive.com/medplusconnect

If you’re still looking for gift ideas for loved ones, you can also consider a donation to MedPLUS Connect in their honor. You can make a general donation at www.medplusconnect.org/donate or a donation in support of our cervical cancer program at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/prevent-cancer-for-women-in-ghana/. If you want to donate as a gift or in honor of someone, we will gladly send your loved one a card letting them know of the donation. On Global Giving, when you sign up for a new monthly recurring donation between now and December 31st, a generous anonymous donor will match your initial gift 100%! Giving a gift that helps others may be the perfect gift for your loved ones!

Happy Holidays from all of us at MedPLUS Connect! Thank you for your continued support!

Gifts-Presents-Weblog

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#GivingTuesday

With Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday now behind us, what better way to get into the holiday spirit than by giving back? Tomorrow, December 1st, is #GivingTuesday, the fourth annual event held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving that celebrates generosity. #GivingTuesday is a special call to action to create a global day of giving that brings diverse organizations and communities around the world together to give back. It provides people everywhere with an opportunity to give more, give smarter, and give great.

As we have in the past, MedPLUS Connect is joining this year’s #GivingTuesday campaign to encourage everyone, everywhere to think of others and participate in a global philanthropic event. You can help spread the word, make a donation, or volunteer. If you choose to give to MedPLUS Connect this #GivingTuesday, you are helping provide life-saving medical supplies and equipment to rural hospitals and health centers throughout Ghana and to create the first cervical cancer screening and treatment program in the Upper West Region.

Last year, more than 30,000 organizations in 68 countries celebrated #GivingTuesday. Lets make this year even larger and give great!

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GlobalGiving Update and Donations Matched!

If you’ve been following our cervical cancer program on GlobalGiving you may have noticed some exciting changes. At the end of July, GlobalGiving unveiled their new website, which included many improvements to give you faster load times and easier navigation. They are continuing to make additional improvements that you may notice in the coming months, but we hope the new site makes it easier for you to keep track of the cervical cancer project!

Also, directly due to your continued support, our Partner Rewards Level has moved from “Partner” to “Leader!” This means MedPLUS Connect is now more likely to be recommended to a corporate partner, featured in GlobalGiving social media and donor communications, eligible for special trainings, matching campaigns, and other opportunities just for Leaders and able to post microprojects. This means more opportunities to support and extend the reach of the cervical cancer program- one of which is occurring right now.

Now, through Friday, September 25th, when you start a new monthly recurring donation for the cervical cancer program on GlobalGiving, a generous anonymous donor will match your initial gift 100%! This is a great way to make a large impact without having to donate a large amount. For example, just $12 purchases a speculum to help screen women for cervical cancer. This program will be the first cervical cancer screening and treatment in the Upper West Region and will help save the lives of many women in Ghana. You can always find out more information about this project at: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/prevent-cancer-for-women-in-ghana/

This woman is one of many who would benefit from the establishment of the first cervical cancer and screening treatment program in the Upper West Region of Ghana

This woman is one of many who would benefit from the establishment of the first cervical cancer and screening treatment program in the Upper West Region of Ghana

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Project Heal Visits the Lawra Nutrition Center!

Two members of Project Heal, an undergraduate student service group at UNC Chapel Hill, visited Ghana in June and were able to visit the Lawra Nutrition Center while they were there. Project Heal was founded by two of our three founders of MedPLUS Connect, while they were undergraduate students at UNC in 2009. We are grateful to have maintained our relationship with Project Heal and were excited to hear about their most recent service trip.

Project Heal is a completely student run group that fundraises and takes annual summer service trips to Ghana. The organization provides basic first aid and dental workshops and supplies and takes on a couple additional projects each trip. While in Lawra this summer, Rawley and Boya, past and present Presidents of Project Heal, delivered textbooks and diagnostic kits to the nutrition center. They also met with Patience and Dr. Sandaare and painted a large, beautiful flower mural outside the nutrition center, to help brighten the building and make it child friendly. Thank you so much to Rawley and Boya for all of your hard work this summer!

Patience with the supplies

Patience with the supplies delivered by Project Heal

Paitience and Dr. Sandaare

Paitience and Dr. Sandaare with Rawley (left) and Boya (right)

Mural

Children gathered in front of the mural Project Heal painted at the Lawra Nutrition Center

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An Update on the Nutrition Center!

In the first month of 2015, the nutrition center admitted 3 new patients to the center with  3 previous patients who returned for additional treatment. At the end of January, 4 children were rehabilitated and 2 remained in treatment. In February there were 5 new patients and 1 previous case, in addition to the 2 children who remained in treatment from January. This gave a total of 8 children being treated at the nutrition center during February, with 4 being rehabilitated by the end of the month!

The nutrition center continues to be a great source of health care and information for the Lawra community, focusing not just on malnutrition but also on certain chronic diseases, which are becoming increasingly more common throughout Ghana. Ms. Gaa and hospital staff recently started a weekly hypertension and diabetes clinic for adults in the Lawra District. The clinic provides counseling on a proper diet, monitoring of nutritional status and a variety of health talks to aid adults suffering from hypertension and/or diabetes. According to the International Diabetes Federation, there were approximately 450,000 cases of diabetes in Ghana in 2014, with an additional estimated 340,000 cases that remain undiagnosed.

When the nutrition center was constructed, we envisioned its primary benefactors to be children in the area who were suffering from malnutrition. And while treating malnutrition remains the principal function of the nutrition center, we are excited to see the resources of the center also being used to reach adults in need throughout Lawra and help combat chronic diseases. Below are a few pictures of one of the weekly diabetes clinics.

Hospital staff at one of the weekly diabetes and hypertension clinics

Hospital staff at one of the weekly diabetes and hypertension clinics

A health talk at one of the weekly clinics

A health talk at one of the weekly clinics

 

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Fire Devastates the Central Medical Stores in Ghana

On Tuesday, January 13th, the central medical store in Ghana caught fire, destroying thousands of medical supplies. The central medical store is located in Tema, Ghana, near the capital of Accra, and serves as the primary storage facility for many drugs and medical supplies for Ghana Health Services (GHS). The fire started between 9 and 10am that morning and was fought by several firefighters soon after. Members of staff were reportedly running back and forth from the blaze in an attempt to save documents and other supplies.

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, called the fire a “disaster” and stated that it will have a significant effect on the drug supply in Ghana. As the primary storage site for Ghana Health Services’ consumable supplies, the fire at the central medical store  means that the country will likely have shortages of drugs. GHS may attempt to purchase some of the drugs and equipment locally, and a smaller supply of drugs have previously been distributed to the different regions throughout Ghana. In addition to the consumable supplies such as malarial drugs, many pieces of medical equipment, such as hospital beds, were also destroyed. Its currently estimated that the fire damaged over GH¢273 million of supplies.

Four Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service officials have been fired while the Ghana National Fire Service and the Bureau for National Investigations determine the cause of the fire. This fire is truly devastating for the country of Ghana, having destroyed so many drugs and valuable medical equipment. We sincerely hope the cause of the fire is discovered soon and that an alternative means of securing these much needed medicine and supplies can be identified.

Scenes of the devastating fire at the Central Medical Store in Ghana

Scenes of the devastating fire at the Central Medical Store in Tema, Ghana

Below are a few links to coverage of the fire:

http://graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/36882-central-drug-storage-fire-outbreak-is-a-disaster-ghs.html

http://graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/36868-fire-guts-tema-medical-stores.html

http://www.dailyguideghana.com/4-fired-over-tema-fire/

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A Look Back on 2014

Now that we’re a little over one month into the New Year we wanted to take a look back on all that MedPLUS accomplished in the past year. In 2014 MedPLUS Connect celebrated five years  of incorporation and sending shipments of valuable medical supplies! We sent our first container in 2008 and became fully incorporated in 2009. Our story was featured in the Carolina Alumni Review (as our three founders are all UNC Chapel Hill alumni) and it was exciting to look back on all MedPLUS has accomplished since then. For a full look back on MedPLUS Connect’s five years in action, follow this link to our News and Updates page.  You can also see our blog post about our magazine article here.

Page 1 of our article in the Carolina Alumni Review

Page 1 of our article in the Carolina Alumni Review

In 2014 the Nutrition center also treated 50 new patients and rehabilitated 53 children! We also received a generous donation of a laptop and digital camera for the nutrition center. These items have already greatly improved the record keeping and documentation of each patient’s progress, enabling the nutrition center to better help children recover from the effects of malnutrition.

Ms. Gaa using the laptop computer recently donated to the nutrition center

Ms. Gaa using the donated laptop computer

In addition, the nutrition center also held a training on the Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) for Lawra District Hospital staff in April of this past year. This training was attended by 11 members from the various units of the Lawra District Hospital, including 9 nurses, a midwife and a medical assistant. They were instructed on the impact of malnutrition in children, how to identify and manage a child with malnutrition in addition to other medical conditions, how to prepare therapeutic food, and how to educate mothers on proper nutrition at home.

Training

Training at the Lawra Nutrition Center

In 2014 we also raised enough funds on Global Giving to be ready to purchase the first set of supplies and equipment for the cervical cancer screening and treatment program. We ended the year with $7,966.76 in donations for the program and are ready to purchase  1 diathermy machine, 1 cryotherapy set, 1 cryotherapy cylinder, 1 autoclave, 2 biopsy forceps, 10 tenaculums, 10 sponge forceps, and 25 speculums. We are so excited that the first stage of establishing the first cervical cancer screening and treatment program in the Upper West Region is underway and can’t wait to report back on the progress soon!

Women at the Wa Regional Hospital

Women at the Wa Regional Hospital

During the past year we also started participating in AmazonSmile, participated in our second Giving Tuesday, became Guidestar Certified, and attended a nonprofit conference in NYC. We also oversaw the distribution of the Upper East Regional container which held almost 16,000 pounds of medical supplies that were distributed to 51 different hospitals and health centers throughout the region!

2014 was an exciting year for MedPLUS and we look forward to what 2015 has in store!

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Nutrition Center Update

We just wanted to share a quick update on the nutrition center with you from the last month of 2014! During December the nutrition center admitted 3 new patients in addition the 3 children that were still being treated at the end of November. By the end of December, 3 children were rehabilitated to outpatient care! Three children were still being treated at the end of 2014 but we look forward to hearing good results for the month of January. We are so appreciative of all of the hard work the staff at the nutrition center is doing to combat malnutrition in the Lawra District and look forward to many more children recovering from malnutrition in 2015!

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Nutrition Center Update

We have another brief update on the Lawra Nutrition Center to share with you all! During the month of November, the center had three new patients admitted for treatment, in addition to four patients remaining in treatment from last month. By the end of the month, four children were rehabilitated and referred to outpatient treatment! We are also excited to have fully welcomed Ms. Gaa back after her maternity leave! She resumed her official duties in October and we are happy to have her back running the nutrition center (although her temporary replacement did an excellent job in her absence)!

Ms. Gaa treating children at the nutrition center

Ms. Gaa treating children at the nutrition center

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