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Med Supplies List by N. Maxwell

Medical Missions Resources
created by Nicholas Maxwell

 

The following is a list of organizations that I have come across whose objective is to help those doing international and/or mission work. While I have not worked with many of them yet, I have spoken with representatives from all of them. I have added brief descriptions and notes from what I have learned about them but there is much more to these organizations than what I have listed here.

 

Some provide their support completely free of charge, some only request that you pay for shipping, and some simply offer a reduced price.

 

This a first draft of what I intend to be a ever-growing list. If you know of any organizations for me to add, or if you have any questions, please let me know!

 

I can be reached at:

Nicholas_maxwell@urmc.rochester.edu

 

I have broken this list up into a few ways:

  1. The top half is focused on sources of medications
  2. The bottom half is focused on sources of supplies and equipment
  3. Those that are bolded and underlined left me with the impression that they are likely to be of higher yield than the others.

 

1. Americares:

They provide both medications (prescription and OTC) and simple medical supplies free of charge. They will ship it to you within the US for free as well. Their primary focus is medical mission trips. You may request up to 300 pounds of supplies for each trip. Their inventory regularly changes in what they have and how much they have. It is updated on a daily basis.

Of note: they also have a program through Zimmer Biomet through which groups can get free surgical equipment. I do not know what this all includes and it is limited mission trips that stay within the US.

Home page: https://www.americares.org/

Request page: https://mop.americares.org/MOPHome/index.jsp

 

2. Direct Relief:

They provide a wide range of support completely free of charge. This is primarily focused on consumables like medications (prescription and OTC) and medical supplies. They will even ship it to the destination country for free. To partner with them, they recommend you start by reaching out to them through the “contact us” page on their website.

My impression is that this group would be great to partner with, especially if you are working on a large project.

Home page: https://www.directrelief.org/

 

3. Vitamin Angels:

            They provide free albendazole, vitamin A, and multivitamins for pregnant mothers and children under 5 years old free of charge. They will even ship it to the destination country for free. I think they do require that you serve at least 500 patients of this target population to be eligible though.

Home page: https://www.vitaminangels.org/

 

4. Kingsway Charities:

They are similar to Americares in that they provide medicine (prescription and OTC) for medical mission trips. However, they have a free inventory and a reduced cost inventory. They do not provide free shipping. I would use them in addition to what I can get from Americares.

Home page: https://www.kingswaycharities.org/

 

5. Map International:

            They provide medications for “free” but charge a small service fee. Usually you request “packs” from them. They have a few pre-made kinds that you can order or you can customize your own. The service fee for the customized packs depends on what you request. For example, 1,000 tabs of 10mg Lisinopril has a $9.75 service fee.

            Of note, they do have two special programs:

  1. Through Johnson and Johnson's Ethnicon program they provide free surgical equipment. A provider is allowed to request 50 units of surgical equipment. I believe this mostly includes things like sutures and surgical mesh. They charge a $100 service fee to ship internationally.
  2.  
  3. Through the Bausch Foundation providers can request various supplies. If I'm not mistaken, thins includes ophthalmologic​ supplies like lenses for surgery. However, I'm having difficulty finding more on it at this time since I am unable to re-find the webpage on it other than this link to their inventory: 
  4.  

This may indicate that they program has stopped. I do not know.

 

6. Blessings:

            They are a pharmaceutical wholesaler who seeks to serve medical mission groups. They claim to have low prices but I do not know how these stack up to other distributers. However, from time to time they do have useful campaigns. For example, they had one for malaria in which they provided 50 cases of the anti-malarial best suited for your mission’s region free of charge. They do charge for shipping.

            While they do charge, their inventory is likely more consistent and expansive than some of the previously mentioned groups.

Home page: https://www.blessing.org/

 

7. Crosslink Memphis:

            Like Blessings, they are a pharmaceutical wholesaler. However, I got the impression that Blessings might be better to utilize before this source.

Home page: https://www.crosslinkmemphis.org/

 

8. Christian Aid Ministries:

            They have a very wide range of programs including one called “Medicines for Multitudes”. This program seeks to provide medicines and supplies to low resource areas. In speaking with them, my impression was that they seek to have long term, sustained partnerships rather than to support mission trips.

Home page: https://christianaidministries.org/

 

9. Heart to Heart:

            They provide medications (prescription and OTC) and supplies for “free” but charge for shipping and “a small handling fee”. However, they said through their partnerships with organizations like FedEx, they pay reduced rates for shipping within the US.

Home page: https://www.hearttoheart.org/

 

10. Worm Project:

            They provide albendazole for free but ask that you pay for shipping. However, they only distribute in very large quantities (a minimum of 1,000,000 doses). They ship from the Netherlands and are one of Vitamin Angels’ suppliers.

Home page: https://wormproject.org/

 

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The following organizations primarily supply and/or equipment focused. They all provide the goods for free but request that you pay shipping. All of them ship predominantly via 40 foot shipping containers (it’s not cost effective to ship in smaller ones even to send less equipment). For perspective, it usually costs $10,000-$20,000 to ship a container to West Africa and they usually contain approximately $200,000-$250,000 worth of goods.

 

11. Intervol:

            Of note, they are based out of Rochester, NY and will help you fundraise to cover the cost of shipping. They have a long-standing partnership with the University of Rochester.

Home page: https://www.intervol.org/

 

12. Partners for World Health:

            Of note, they come across as better than most at getting some of the harder to come buy items (such as ultrasound, anesthesia, and EKG machines). In addition, they also frequently do medical mission trips to the location they are sending equipment to.

Home page: https://www.partnersforworldhealth.org/

 

13. Brother’s Brother:

            They also provide medications but per the representative that I spoke with, the medications they offer “are nothing special”.

Home page: https://www.brothersbrother.org/

 

14. Franciscan Mission Warehouse

Home page: http://franciscanmissionwarehouse.org/

 

15. Global Health Ministries:

            Of note, they intentionally avoid sending some of the higher end technologies that Partners for World Health seems notably good at acquiring.

Home page: http://globalhealthministries.org/

 

16. Fame World:

            In addition to supplies and equipment, they provide OTC medications.

            Of note, they only work with Christian Ministries.

Home page: https://www.fameworld.org/

 

17. Hands of Hope NW:

Home page: https://www.handsofhopenw.org/