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MEMO Ships Container to Cuba, How You Can Help

MEMO Ships Container to Cuba, How You Can Help

For years tourists from Thunder Bay have enjoyed the white sand beaches and warm waters of Varadero Cuba during our harsh winters. The warm, friendly service of their Cuban hosts has made their time in Cuba unforgettable.

Now Cuba faces the collapse of its once vaunted medical system during the worst financial crisis in its history.

Hospitals lack even the most basic of supplies to care for patients. Routine surgeries are not being done due to lack of anaesthetics. This has been caused partially by the collapse of its tourist industry due to Covid among a variety of other reasons.

From 2004 to 2018 MEMO (Medical Equipment Modernization Opportunity) a local Thunder Bay charity,sponsored by Grace Church, sent containers of medical supplies and medical teams (23 in all) to upgrade hospitals in Villa Clara province. One example of this was the equipping and training of doctors in laparoscopic surgery.

The provincial Minister of Health at the time said, “Since MEMO has been helping us, healthcare in Villa Clara has taken a 180 degree turn for the better.” In 2018 because it took over 2 years to get permission to ship a container, MEMO ceased shipping containers and used tourists to carry essential medical supplies.

Recently a Villa Clara Ministry of Health official visited a local Santa Clara pastor associated with MEMO and went on and on about how wonderful it had been when MEMO was helping by sending containers of medical supplies and finished up with, “Do you think MEMO could send us a container of supplies?” When the pastor explained that it took 2 years to get permission to ship the last container the official said, “Leave it with me. I have got connections and can get approval in days!

So, MEMO has gone to work in the last month preparing a container load of basic medical supplies from local and district hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and individuals with leftover homecare supplies. Only one catch: MEMO does not have the funds ($12,000) to ship this container! So, the purpose of this story is to invite Thunder Bay community members to donate generously to a fund to pay for shipping.

MEMO has no paid employees so every cent goes for shipping costs. Donations are income tax receiptable. Go to www.memoministry.org “Donate” for ways to contribute. Include a note which says “Cuba shipping costs”.

Thank you, Thunder Bay, for giving back.

Submitted by

Jerome Harvey M.D

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