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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University Health System is donating a truckload of medical supplies to help hospitals and health centers in China in their ongoing efforts to treat earthquake victims.

Hundreds of thousands of people were injured or developed illnesses as a result of the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan province.

The equipment and supplies, gathered through Duke's Global Health PLUS (Placement of Life-changing Usable Surplus) program, include a portable operating table, anesthesia machines, patient monitors, dialysis machines, ECG monitors, exam tables and thousands of isolation gowns, latex gloves and face masks.

The outreach effort was coordinated through the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., which provided Duke with a list of the most-needed medical supplies at this stage of the crisis. Armstrong Relocation, Duke's contracted relocation company, is donating its services to transport the equipment to a central distribution point. The equipment then will be shipped to China through Gifts in Kind International (, which has partnered with UPS to deliver relief donations from many corporations to China.

"It is important to realize that the stress to the health care system in China as a result of the earthquake continues to be a major issue in that recovery effort," said Victor J. Dzau, MD, chancellor for health affairs and CEO of Duke University Health System (DUHS). "My hope is that the supplies we are providing will, in some small way, help support the health care system in China as it deals with the large numbers of ill and injured. I also hope that the Chinese people receive the message that people around the world continue to be concerned about their well-being."

The massive quake struck China's southern Sichuan province, killing nearly 70,000 and injuring almost 400,000.

The Duke Global Health PLUS program makes surplus medical equipment and supplies from DUHS available to educational, research and service projects overseas sponsored by Duke faculty members. In the past year, GH PLUS has coordinated the donation of materials to Duke faculty-led projects in Uganda and Haiti, and provided equipment for the Duke chapter of Engineering World Health.

While DUHS is coordinating the donation of medical equipment to China, Duke students have created a website with links to organizations where individuals can make financial contributions to the Chinese relief efforts (

"The earthquakes in China present a real humanitarian crisis for all of us," said Michael Merson, MD, director of the Duke Global Health Institute. "I'm glad that Duke has a program like Global Health PLUS that allows us to respond to the urgent needs of our colleagues overseas in a way that will help strengthen the country's health system long after another disaster captures the world's attention."

Steve Seymour, vice president of business development for Armstrong Relocation, a Durham-based agent for United Van Lines, said the firm is honored to be a partner in providing assistance for the earthquake victims in China.


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