Project HOPE Airlifts Medical Supplies to Macedonia amid Massive Influx of Refugees to Europe

MILLWOOD, Va., Sept. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Project HOPE announced today that an airlift of medical supplies arrived in Macedonia and additional aid was en route to the country to assist Syrian refugees and others who have fled conflicts in the Middle East.



The donated medical supplies include splints, injection needles, syringes, stethoscopes, blood collection sets, anti-bacterial solution, gauze, examination gloves, alcohol swabs, casting tape, masks and catheters.

It's estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 refugees have been passing through Macedonia, which is not a member of the European Union, daily en route to Western European countries where they hope to settle.

"The hospital and transit centers established on the borders with Greece and Serbia are overwhelmed with people suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, fractures, vomiting, diarrhea and injuries sustained during often dangerous travels by sea and land. Others are suffering from complications due to existing health problems," said Dr. Dalibor Tasevski, Disaster Response Coordinator and Regional Manager of Gifts-In-Kind for Central and Eastern Europe at Project HOPE.

Project HOPE, a global health and humanitarian assistance organization, will continue to work with Macedonia's Ministry of Health to identify medical needs, and a shipment of additional supplies will arrive in Macedonia within a month.

"We are not just treating the symptoms of the crisis, we are treating the underlying cause – fragile health systems. We will focus our efforts on the northern border area where the need is growing," said Dr. Tasevski.

He said Project HOPE's goal in Macedonia in the weeks and months ahead is to help strengthen the health system by providing donated medicines, supplies and medical volunteers to assist in what is now known as the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II.

More than four million people have fled Syria to neighboring countries since the conflict began in 2011 and increasing numbers of refugees are attempting to reach Europe.

Project HOPE has a long history of engagement in Eastern Europe, including HOPE's response to the refugee crisis created by the war in Kosovo in 1999 when the organization provided critically needed medicines.

Project HOPE initiated its Strategic Medical Re-Supply Program (SMRP) in Macedonia in 2007, which provides donated medicines and medical supplies to the health system in order to improve the quality of care. Since 2007, Project HOPE has provided medicines and supplies to Macedonia valued at $67 million.

About Project HOPE

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, as well as conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 30 countries. Follow us on Twitter: @projecthopeorg.

A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=36276

CONTACT: Geraldine Carroll Tel.540-257-3746 gcarroll@projecthope.org

Source: Project HOPE