Pre-Positioning Product for Rapid Deployment by Abbott and DRI
Abbott and Direct Relief International (DRI) have worked together to expand pre-positioning of supplies closer to those who need them—helping to stockpile supplies first in relief organization warehouses, then in free clinics, and now for local relief partners in high-risk regions of the world.
When Hurricane Rita hit Texas and Louisiana in September 2005, the country was still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Katrina had demonstrated that the community was not adequately prepared for a disaster of such magnitude, and that early preparation to enable rapid relief was essential. In anticipation of Hurricane Rita, Abbott initiated a plan with Direct Relief to pre-position highly needed medications and medical supplies to be deployed on an urgent basis.
As a result, Direct Relief was able to deliver these medical resources on a specific-request basis to 38 partner frontline clinics within weeks. To date, Abbott has contributed more than $573,000 (wholesale) worth of products to support the work of these critical yet vulnerable safety-net facilities in partnership with Direct Relief. Abbott’s contributions have helped to provide 15,000 courses of treatment for patients displaced from and/or being sheltered in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. In addition to product donations, the Abbott Fund provided a generous grant of $150,000.
The need to prepare for natural calamity is scarcely limited to the United States. Abbott, DRI, and Food for the Poor have expanded pre-positioning efforts to regions of the Caribbean considered to be at high risk of destructive storms. DRI has also created strong partnerships with community clinics throughout the world to address structural gaps in health care exposed during Katrina and other disasters. In the first tumultuous days of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake in 2010, the Direct Relief caches provided enough antibiotics, sterile gauze, disinfectant, pain medications and prescription drugs — courtesy of Abbott Laboratories — to treat 3,000 people.