Global Links & Volunteers Pack & Ship Medical Supplies To Cuba

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The people of Pittsburgh once again showed their generosity.

Much needed medical kits are now on their way to Cuba, thanks to some local students.

It was a busy day at the Global Links international headquarters in Green Tree.

About 30 volunteers – all students from the University of Pittsburgh – spent the day filling backpacks with medical supplies.

“We are hoping to pack up 1,240 backpacks, which by my calculations, these guys got to pack up about three back packs a minute,” Matt Fuller said.

The volunteers set up a giant assembly line and item by item, they managed to get the job done.

“Every backpack will have two reference manuals, which is a medical dictionary and an infectious disease manual, both in Spanish, as well as a minor surgery kit. So, doctors will be able to perform sutures and other minor tasks,” Fuller said.

“In Pittsburgh, with all the hospitals, we have a lot of medical surplus and a lot of it usually goes to waste and I think it’s important to understand that a lot of other places don’t really have the same privileges that we have here,” Pitt student Tristan Horan said.

Global Links is a medical recovery organization that sends medical items to Latin America and the Caribbean.

These particular kits are going to a medical school in Cuba and they’ll be used in underprivileged rural communities.

Employees at Global Links say volunteers are the life blood of their effort.

“We’re a staff of about 14 people, but we process about 300 tons of medical supplies every year. So, we have a volunteer core of about 60 regular volunteers plus groups like these who come in pretty regularly,” Fuller said.

Global Links also supplies medical gear to local free care clinics.

By Sarah Arbogast, CBS Pittsburgh

February 9, 2015


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