Church medical group receives large donation

November 01, 1995

Merck and Co. Inc., a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company, has donated hepatitis B vaccines worth more than $1.3 million to Interchurch Medical Assistance in New Windsor for distribution in Haiti by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International.

The shipment is part of a $4.7 million donation of hepatitis B vaccine to the agency by Merck.

"ADRA/Haiti will administer the highly potent, three-dose hepatitis B vaccines first to medical and health personnel in virtually every medical institution in Haiti," said Dr. Ariel Henry, medical director of ADRA/Haiti.

Once the health risk has been reduced among the medical personnel, the vaccine will be distributed to adults who are in the greatest danger and least able to pay for medical help.

Those underprivileged persons will be identified by health experts already in Haiti through the ADRA/Haiti health programs throughout the countryside.

"This generous donation by Merck and Co. Inc. has made it possible to help thousands of Haitians," said Paul Derstine, executive director of IMA.

Interchurch Medical Assistance Inc. is a nonprofit association of 13 relief and development agencies representing a widespread constituency of churches in the United States and around the world.

In the past five years, IMA has received, packed and shipped $75 million in medical materials to more than 120 countries.

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