PLATTSBURGH — North Country Mission of Hope needs some medical equipment checked out before it is sent to Nicaragua to help patients there.
The equipment has been donated by local medical offices and hospitals, according to Mission of Hope Executive Director Sister Debbie Blow.
She’s seeking technicians willing to volunteer their expertise to make sure it is in good shape before sending it to the Central American country.
“It could save someone’s life,” she said.
Or some of the health-care-related items can just make treatment more comfortable.
Hospital beds and exam tables are among recent donations, Blow said.
‘TRADE-OFF WORTH IT’
On Tuesday, Nov. 12, Mission of Hope will be loading a shipping container with a substantial amount of medical equipment and other goods that will head out that day for Nicaragua.
Volunteers are needed to fill it, starting at 9 a.m. The Plattsburgh-based humanitarian-aid organization is still accepting donations to cover the $10,000 shipping cost.
That’s a lot of money, Blow said, but the trade-off is worth it.
“The estimated value of one of our recent containers was $250,000.”
Reports of a recent dengue-fever outbreak in Nicaragua emphasize the need to improve medical care, Blow said.
“It’s the worst it’s been in a very long time,” she said. “The hospitals are filled; the deaths from dengue have risen.”
The tropical disease, spread by mosquitoes, is particularly prevalent in the Managua and Chinandega regions of the country, where Mission of Hope’s work is centered.
“They can only treat the symptoms,” Blow said, and can’t stop the spread of it “until they kill the mosquitoes that carry dengue.”
The next contingent of more than 50 volunteers has been chosen for the annual February mission, Blow said.
Coming up is the Nov. 11 deadline for annual student sponsorships. The cost is $140 per year for tuition, school uniform and shoes; schoolbooks are $50. For $75, a child can be fed for a year.