Medtronic Aiding Japan’s Tsunami Victims

by Elizabeth Snouffer on 03/21/2011

It’s inspiring to see so many organizations around the world offering relief and support to the nation of Japan and all the people affected by the recent devastation caused by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.

Medtronic is the only globally recognized insulin pump manufacturer authorized to do business in Asia, and for this reason, I contacted the Director of Greater China who sent me information related to Medtronic’s relief efforts in Japan.

Medtronic Chairman and CEO, Bill Hawkins initiated a special fund of $100,000 (U.S.) to assist affected Medtronic employees and their families (54 in total), and directed the Medtronic Foundation to offer much needed support in the region.  In broader relief efforts, Medtronic and the Medtronic Foundation are committing $1,000,000 (one million US) to support near- and long-term relief efforts.  The US headquartered medical technology company has also pledged to donate in-kind relief efforts through product donations.  Medtronic employees have been given the opportunity to take a week’s worth of paid time off to volunteer with a non-profit organization and assist with disaster relief specific to Japan.  In case you weren’t aware, diabetes isn’t the only therapeutic health care sector Medtronic focuses on — the company also provides medical technology products for Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management, Spinal and Biologics, CardioVascular, Neuromodulation, Diabetes, and Surgical Technologies.

Save the Children

For many of us, it would be meaningful to help the suffering population on the North-east coast of Japan as it was hardest hit by the tsunami (see video below).  It’s hard to imagine how matters can get any worse especially after watching Japan’s coastline change forever on Friday, 11 March 2011.  But here we are 10 days later, and now along with food shortages, radiation from the problematic Fukushima Nuclear Reactor is being found in manufacturing food plants nearby.  Drinking water may also be affected near the plant.  (CNN Reports, 21 March 10:36 PM Asia).

If you would like to help the people of Japan, please see the following links for the most authentic charities who offer direct assistance. Also listed is a source to help those in need of medical supplies in Libya.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

A shattered community struggles to survive

Give2Asia has identified several local Japanese organizations that are responding to the disaster, such as Second Harvest Japan, Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN), Saigai Volunteer Katsudo Shien Project Kaigi, Shanti Volunteer Association, Rescue Stock Yard, and Niigata Saigai (Disaster Volunteer Network). These organizations have the knowledge and relationships to provide appropriate assistance that respects and involves the survivors. We are working with these organizations to obtain more information about their relief operations and how Give2Asia can help.

Save the Children
Relief efforts for the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami continue to be hampered by the ongoing nuclear crisis, supply shortages and frigid temperatures. Save the Children carried out an exploratory mission north of hard-hit Sendai and found children living in desperate conditions.
Save the Children has opened the first child-friendly space in Japan, protective environments where children can gather to play and share their experiences under the supervision of trained, caring adults.

Not only assisting Japan, but also assisting with Libya’s need for Medical supplies, too.
International Medical Corp
International Medical Corps’ emergency response teams in Libya and at the Libya border in Egypt and Tunisia are conducting ongoing assessments of health needs and providing critical medical supplies. The teams have found an increase in the number of women and families fleeing the crisis on the Libya-Tunisia border.  They have also found that a shortage of nurses is a key concern in eastern Libya, and water/sanitation/hygiene services and psychosocial support are needed in camps on the Libya-Tunisia border.
After days of air strikes, Qadaffi forces have renewed their attacks on parts of eastern Libya, including Benghazi, where International Medical Corps is working to support health facilities.

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