Save the Children Ships Medicine to Ivory Coast; Supplies Run Dangerously Low

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Lane Hartill, 202-640-6608 (W), 202-294-9700 (M)

WESTPORT, Conn. (April 19, 2011)As medicine runs low in Ivory Coast, Save the Children has chartered a plane to deliver six tons of life-saving medical supplies and equipment to the city of Man in the west of the country.

The medicine and medical supplies — enough for 40,000 people — will treat diseases such as malaria and other illnesses. Pregnant women and new mothers especially need the assistance. The shipment also contains post exposure prophylaxis for HIV, a drug that prevents HIV infection. Survivors of sexual violence can take the drug up to three days after possible exposure.

We know that sexual violence has been an issue in Ivory Coast in the past, and that women fleeing violence are at high risk,” said Guy Cave, Save the Children’s Country Director in Ivory Coast.

“We need to have drugs in place to help women and girls who have survived this and provide counseling to limit the long-term damage to those affected.”

The supplies, which will arrive on today, will replenish health centers and pharmacies that are still open. Many have been looted and are currently closed. Save the Children is supporting functioning health centers and refurbishing those that have been looted.

A pharmacist, whose pharmacy was looted, spoke to Save the Children staff on the outskirts of Duékoué earlier this week.

“We urgently need to restart our activities and get stock so that we can work properly. If we don’t have any medicine, the most vulnerable people won’t get treated. It’s dangerous.”

Save the Children is particularly concerned about the health of pregnant women and is flying in “safe delivery kits” including soap and gloves, which will reduce the chance of infection after birth.

Save the Children has launched an emergency appeal for $40 million. Money raised will be used to scale up work training midwives and providing care and support to survivors of sexual violence. It will also increase the number of health and education projects and aid Ivorians who need emotional and psychological support.

Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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