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Andrew MacCalla
Andrew MacCalla is Director of International Programs and Emergency Response for Direct Relief. He has worked extensively responding to emergencies abroad and in the US.

Entries by Andrew MacCalla

Why You Only Send Stuff They Really Need After a Disaster

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2016 | 6:08 PM

I'm here in Manta, Ecuador helping assist people who were affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit two weeks ago. The organization I work for provides medical aid to local healthcare organizations in 70 countries. We specifically provide medicines, medical supplies, and equipment to vulnerable people on an ongoing...

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3 Lessons (Among Many) as a Result of Ebola in Sierra Leone

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 10:06 AM

There has obviously been a lot of consequences here in Sierra Leone that have resulted from the Ebola outbreak--many bad, but some, potentially, could be used to make some positive change. Prior to coming here, I assumed things like personal protective equipment (PPE) -- like gloves, gowns, masks, and boots...

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Apples and Oranges: Comparison of Life Events in Haiti and the US

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 4:04 PM

Five years ago, I got a call from my former boss asking if I would manage response efforts and open a medical supply depot in Haiti for Direct Relief, a humanitarian medical relief agency. He'd returned from an assessment trip and based on what he saw there, he...

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Christmas in Sierra Leone: a Long-Overdue Ebola Care Unit for Local Health Workers

(0) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 2:05 PM

Eight months into the outbreak, a dedicated Ebola treatment facility for Sierra Leonean health workers who contract the virus still does not exist. There is a dedicated center for foreign healthcare workers, but Sierra Leonean health workers are not admitted.

Sierra Leone is experiencing roughly 100 new cases of...

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The Ripple Effect of Ebola on Health Care in West Africa

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 2:46 PM

The unfolding Ebola crisis in Africa that has claimed 1,400 lives -- 80 of whom were health workers -- is a tragedy. That many of those who have died would be alive today but for the absence of items such as gloves and masks is unconscionable.

The solution to protecting...

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Ebola: 5 Questions for a Frontline Healthcare Worker in Sierra Leone

(0) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 4:52 PM

Like the cholera outbreak in Haiti that began four years ago, the current Ebola virus outbreak tells the tale of extreme poverty, a lack of health education, and a dearth of basic healthcare supplies to help treat the people affected and prevent the further spread.

When cholera broke out...

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Providing Critically-Needed Medical Aid to Tacloban Hospitals

(3) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 9:25 PM

All you have to know to understand the scale of the devastation in Tacloban is that the people of this area, families who have lived their entire lives here, are leaving by the thousands to go start their lives in entirely new cities. The destruction and loss makes...

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Haiti Earthquake One Year Anniversary: Have We Made Progress?

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2011 | 1:51 PM

Last night, I was talking to a reporter friend who had been with me one year ago when I came to Haiti to help respond to the earthquake that killed nearly 250,000 people and left over 1 million people displaced. He asked me if things had improved since he was...

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Building Hospitals For Haiti's Future

(1) Comments | Posted November 18, 2010 | 3:01 PM

An hour and a half after leaving the crowded streets of Port-au-Prince, we arrived at the gates of the new Camejo Hospital in Leogane, a town only 20 miles outside the capital city where the January 12 earthquake was centered.

After honking our car horn at the gate, an...

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Hope For Haiti's Future

(1) Comments | Posted June 28, 2010 | 4:59 PM

This article originally appeared in the Sacramento Bee.

Since the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti on Jan. 12, I've spent nearly three months in the Caribbean island nation conducting assessments of health care providers in order to deliver needed medical supplies. My time...

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Haiti: A Hard Country To Stereotype

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2010 | 5:22 PM

During the past four months that I've spent in Haiti, I've gotten lots of questions from friends and family about how safe it is for me to be staying in the outskirts of Cite Soleil in Port au Prince. And I've had a difficult time answering that...

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Fundraising In Haiti: Where Does The Money Go?

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2010 | 2:47 PM

The Chronicle of Philanthropy announced May 12th that over $1.1 billion has been donated to support relief efforts in Haiti. The largest recipients include the American Red Cross ($444 million), Catholic Relief Services ($135.7 million) and Oxfam International (over $100 million). This outpouring of generosity on the...

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Gas Shortages in Haiti: A Long Ranging Problem

(0) Comments | Posted April 26, 2010 | 11:58 AM

A few days ago, my colleague and I were scheduled to drive up to Hospital Albert Schweitzer to assess their medical supply needs and determine what more we could give them from our medical supply inventory. Unfortunately, we soon found out that we wouldn't be able to...

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Healthcare In Haiti: A Catch-22

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2010 | 11:47 AM

Since the devastating earthquake on January 12th, hospital services in Haiti have been provided to patients for free. No matter what your status or ability to pay, for three months after the earthquake you could feel certain that you could see a doctor and (hopefully acquire medications) for...

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The Role Of Outside Help In The Haiti Crisis

(4) Comments | Posted April 2, 2010 | 3:50 PM

Much has been made of the unintended consequences that have come about as a result of the large-scale relief efforts in Haiti. Local rice producers can't sell their products because it is being given out for free just down the road. Daily wages have gone up as a...

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After A Week Off, Haiti Seems More Dire

(2) Comments | Posted March 26, 2010 | 11:50 AM

I think taking a week off to get out of Haiti was a good idea. Without knowing it, I had started to get used to things down here and accepted circumstances as normal when they really shouldn't be.

Buildings -- this one being a school -- should not look like...

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Outlying Medical Centers Under Strain In Haiti

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2010 | 10:20 AM

Every so often, something happens down here that makes you think that some of the coordination efforts between the UN, aid organizations, and the government are actually working. The UN has the tremendously difficult task of trying to coordinate and oversee over 900 foreign NGOs in...

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