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Tsunami - specific requests for equipment - can you help?

(19 Posts)
Carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 11-Jan-05 11:16:07

Hi All

My church is sending out a party of engineers and medics as well as pastors trained in berevement counselling to Sri Lanka - we have links with a College there and they have asked for our help. The help and aid they are giving is not restricted to Christians - it's across all religions and none. They are looking for large quantities of very specific items and I just wondered if anyone out there might work for companies that could help. I'll post the whole leaflet which has all the info on what they will be doing. Please, as the leaflet says, contact Emma before sending anything or making final arrangements to make sure there's still room for more freight. I hope noone minds me posting this. Thanks in advance.

Here's the Church leaflet:
St Mary Islington has been partnered with the Lanka Bible College for a number of years. The college has links into many communities across Sri Lanka, not least the worst hit and affected areas. Ben Mackinam, the principal, issued an invitation for some specific medical, counselling and engineering help. The help they need is specific and the areas of most need identified.

In conjunction with the Sri Lankan authorities, Wind Sand and Stars and Emma’s networks, Emma Loveridge, honorary curate, has been able to pull together a small professional relief team along with curate Jessica Swift. Therefore a partnership between the Lanka Bible College, Wind Sand and Stars and St Mary Islington seemed a natural relationship to be able to offer the much needed help.

This team will travel to Sri Lanka for ten days, bringing not only the skills of the team but medical, food and shelter supplies. Everyone’s desire to help and offer the resources they can has been a true demonstration of generosity. However, the need in Sri Lanka continues to be huge.

We have been given unlimited freight space and therefore if you can offer any further financial assistance, more supplies can be bought. However, the list of what is needed is very specific and therefore aside from financial help they need:

· Medical supplies

· Tents

· Tarpaulins

· Dried food (e.g., rice, flour, formula milk)

· Water purification

· Torches

· Batteries and portable generators.

*If you have access to any of these things in large quantity* please contact Emma

*We have packaging and transport issues alongside an already overstretched team agenda therefore please touch base with Emma via e-mail before providing anything.*

If you wish to donate money, please make cheques payable to St. Mary Islington World Mission and send them to St Mary’s Parish Office, Upper Street, London N1 2TX, indicating if you wish to Gift Aid the money.

If you can't do anything else prayers are always welcome.
Thank You

suzywong Tue 11-Jan-05 11:19:06

Blimey Carrie, do you think you own the place or something?????

JOKING, sorry couldn't resist it

I'll have a look at the leaflet but as I live in Oz I don't know how much help I could be

Carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 11-Jan-05 14:35:21

Oh and they're going on Weds 19th - so it's relatively urgent....

JanH Tue 11-Jan-05 14:52:58


JulieF Tue 11-Jan-05 15:02:07

I'm a bit uncomfortable with the request for formula milk as there are strict WHO guidelines on infant feeding in emergency situations and issues regarding language, instructions etc. Most of the major charities OXFAM etc source all such products locally, they are non generic and distributed by health professionals who can ensure thy are being used properly and that water supplies are safe.

Please don't take this as criticism of these wonderful efforts but it is something I fell is important.

Wishing you well with this.

lou33 Tue 11-Jan-05 16:13:40

Carrie, I have some sterile needles, lines etc, that were given to me by a paramedic before we went to thailand. I couldn't find anywhere to leave them before we came home. WOuld they be any good?

moondog Tue 11-Jan-05 16:16:50

Glad you mentioned this v important point JulieF.

batters Wed 12-Jan-05 09:13:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 12-Jan-05 20:07:29

Lou -think they're hoping for bulk stuff, but I'd be happy to pass them on if you wanted to send. Cat me if you need an address. Re formula, I'm sure noone in the team will be plugging it over breastmilk, with the water situation as it is it wouldn't make any sense. As far as I understand it was to give to children whose mothers will sadly no longer be there to provide breastmilk - something almost too sad to type, hence the need for formula. However, I'm helping pack the stuff on Saturday so I'll make sure your point is made to them all the same.


SoupDragon Wed 12-Jan-05 20:13:07

Carrie, the main problem is that the instructions should be in the native language according to WHO guidelines. This is to stop any misunderstandings about how to mix the formula up safely. It's best to take money to buy the formula out in Sri Lanka

JanH Wed 12-Jan-05 20:15:40

If the babies are going to be mostly orphans then I would think the professionals taking care of them will be up to speed on mixing formula? Hope wishes to all concerned, Carrie.

SoupDragon Wed 12-Jan-05 20:25:52

Are all infant formulas the same though? Also, not all the babies will be looked after my professionals, some will be being cared for by family.

It's just something that needs to be born in mind when considering whether it is more appropriate to take dontions of omey to purchase infant formula from a local supply.

Good luck with it though, Carrie

SoupDragon Wed 12-Jan-05 20:30:45

Apparently, member states should "exercise extreme caution when planning, implementing or supporting emergency relief operations, by protecting, promoting and supporting breast-feeding for infants, and ensuring that donated supplies of breast-milk substitutes or other products covered by the scope of the International Code be given only if all the following conditions apply:

(a)infants have to be fed on breast-milk substitutes, as outlined in the guidelines concerning the main health and socioeconomic circumstances in which infants have to be fed on breast- milk substitutes;
(b)the supply is continued for as long as the infants concerned need it;
(c)the supply is not used as a sales inducement;

WestCountryLass Wed 12-Jan-05 21:02:13

I see Ds point, even if health professionals are caring for the orphans and capable of mixing formula they still may be unable to read English.

SoupDragon Wed 12-Jan-05 21:43:04

Actually, something that I've just thought of is that you should check that the healthcare professionals/relief workers are allowed to accept donations of infant formula from abroad. It would be a terrible waste if you got there with it and they were not allowed to use it

JulieF Wed 12-Jan-05 22:25:38

Carrie, the following link is a copy of the guidelines and an explanation of why this is so vital. If at all possible wetnurses should be found for orphaned children.

There will be babies who need formula, but it is very important that the guidelines are followed. It can do more harm than good I'm afraid.


JulieF Wed 12-Jan-05 22:27:51

Also this link, which also details the triage based system for distributing formula.


JulieF Wed 12-Jan-05 22:32:32

And finally, if it is found by workers in the field that formula is needed, BabyMilkAction can provide details of companies who produce generically labelled formula.

Patti Rundall / Tessa Martyn
Baby Milk Action
23 St Andrew's Street
Cambridge, CB2 3AX
Tel 01223 464420
Fax 01223 464417

JulieF Fri 14-Jan-05 11:38:55


I received this email today. Could you forward it to your Church please.

*Responses to the Tsunami disaster and infant feeding*

13 January 2005 (see on-line version at for
links to supporting information).

It is against UK law (see Article 7 at and EU directives
to export baby milk with labels in the wrong language for the destination
country - with good reason.

Baby Milk Action is concerned to hear of well-meaning individuals organising
collection of baby milk to send to the areas affected by the Tsunami
disaster. Such donations are not being sought by experienced disaster relief
organisations. Widespread distribution of donations of baby milk in the past
have undermined breastfeeding rates and in situations of poor access to safe
water and sanitation, breastfeeding becomes even more important in
preventing infection to infants. Where water is unsafe an artificially-fed
child is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhoea than a
breastfed child. Orphans and infants separated from their mothers who may
need baby milk are better served by sourcing this locally, so that labels
are in the correct language, and distributing this with appropriate training
on safe use.

Baby Milk Action's partners in the International Baby Food Action Network
(IBFAN) work in disasters in providing such training as well as supporting
mothers with breastfeeding and helping mothers to re-lactate should this be
necessary (for example, the Breastfeeding Protection Network of India is
supporting activity in the affected area, with financial support from our
German IBFAN partner, field operation modules developed by IBFAN and the
Emergency Nutrition Network are being used across the region and the
International Code Documentation Centre in Penang is distributing
information in the region - see notes). Baby Milk Action joins other
humanitarian organisations in calling for people wishing to help to do so by
providing money through organisations such as the Disaster Emergency
Committee or UNICEF so that appropriate support can be given and any
required supplies sourced locally.

It is essential that distribution of powdered whole milk is handled
carefully by government and non-governmental organisations so that it is not
used inappropriately as a breast milk substitute.

As well as working to ensure donations in emergency situations are
appropriate, Baby Milk Action and IBFAN have worked to ensure products are
labelled in the appropriate language for the country where they are sold. In
the case of Sri Lanka, Baby Milk Action ran a successful campaign supporting
a government requirement that baby milk be labelled in three languages
(click here for details).

For more information

Mike Brady: (UK) 07986 736179 (International) +44 7986 736179 or
Patti Rundall: (UK) 07786 523493 (International) +44 7786 523493 at Baby
Milk Action.

Notes to Editors:

1. Article 7 of UK baby milk regulations clearly states the requirement for
instructions to be in local languages. See

2. The Indian IBFAN-Group BPNI (Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India) is
directly involved on the ground helping to ensure the victims of the
seaquake can benefit from the state of the art knowledge on infant feeding
in situations like this one. The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Freier Stillgruppen
(AFS) is also a member of IBFAN and it supports the work of BPNI with

3. A breastfed child is less likely to suffer from gastro-enteritis,
respiratory and ear infections, diabetes, allergies and other illnesses.
Reversing the decline in breastfeeding could save 1.5 million lives around
the world every year. Breastfeeding helps fulfil the Millennium Development
Goals and has the potential to reduce under- 5 mortality by 13%.

4. IBFAN has produced a booklet on Infant Feeding in Emergencies and has
worked with the Emergency Nutrition Network on training modules for field
staff (see Two training Modules for humanitarian aid
workers are now available(Module 1 and 2 at

5. The International Code Documentation Centre in Penang is distributing
information on infant feeding in the region (click here to download).

6. Donations can be made to the UK Disaster Emergency Committee at or to UNICEF at

KEY POINTS from the Operational Guidance on IFE

Every agency should develop or endorse a policy relating to infant and young
child feeding in emergencies (that should be institutionalised); the policy
should be widely disseminated to all staff and agency procedures adapted
accordingly (Section 1).

Agencies need to ensure the training and orientation of their technical and
non-technical staff, using available training materials (Section 2).

There must be a designated body responsible for co-ordination of infant and
young child feeding for each emergency; that body must be resourced and
supported in order to carry out specific tasks (Section 3).

Key information on infant and young child feeding needs to be integrated
into routine rapid assessment procedures; if necessary, more systematic
assessment using recommended methodologies can be conducted (Section 4).

Simple measures should be put in place to ensure the needs of mothers and
infants are addressed in the early stages of an emergency (Section 5).

Breastfeeding and Infant and young child feeding support should be
integrated into other services for mothers, infants and young children
(Section 5).

Foods suitable to meet the nutrient needs of older infants and young
children must be included in the general ration for food aid dependent
populations (Section 5).

Donations of breast-milk substitutes, bottles and teats should be refused in
emergency situations (Section 6).

Any well-meant but ill-advised donations should be under the control of a
single designated agency (Section 6).

Breast-milk substitutes, other milks, bottles or teats must never be
included in a general ration distribution; these products must only be
distributed according to recognised strict criteria and only provided to
mothers or caregivers for those infants who need them (Section 6).

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