March 20, 2015 –
MAP International (MAP.org) is a faith based NGO headquartered in Atlanta and Brunswick, Ga. ports, and MAP has a large logistics warehouse there to accumulate pharmacy products and ship them all around the world. They have been in existence 60 years and their mission is to collect good pharmacy products, like various antibiotics, heart medications, vitamins, and immunizations, and distribute them to countries around the world that need them. Much of their aid goes to Africa. MAP also has acted as a logistics partner for USAID shipments.
Large pharmaceutical companies give MAP medications as a part of their global social responsibility efforts. These are big companies like Johnson and Johnson.
MAP operates two ways: 1) they will send out small packs of medications and supplies like the ones they are delivering to us, or 2) they ship containers full of all kinds of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. Each container as I understand it, is worth an average of $2.7 million in value of products. MAP only asks for a small donation to cover their handling and shipping costs to provide the goods. As I understand it, that is usually around $10-15,000 per container. Very little compared to the value.
In some cases, countries need medications that are not available to MAP for free from the manufacturers, and for that reason MAP has special relationships with suppliers in the US, Canada, and Europe to buy drugs at discounted prices. If a receiving partner (i.e. hospital or government) wants to work with MAP to buy these at lower prices they can do so, but the cost of that has to be paid to MAP for these special purchases.
MAP has sent over $100,000,000 in medications to Honduras over the past five years they tell me. The value of the medications they are giving to HOI for use in our clinics in this ceremony will represent the point at which MAP has given away $5 billion in medications value since they were formed. A big number! HOI is contributing a small fee to MAP for these shipments, which is a fraction of their value.
Steve Stirling, the CEO of MAP, met the President and First Lady when they came to Atlatna for our 25 year anniversary event. Steve told Ana Garcia that he would like to work with Honduras to provide more medications they might need, and she stated she was interested in learning more. MAP has other partners in Honduras they have been shipping through, and they want to add a partnership with HOI to do more.This is a new relationship for us. I have told Steve we are beginning to work in southern Honduras (Choluteca and San Lorenzo) in partnership with Agrolibano and LUFUSSA, and that there a big needs there, particularly in the hospitals and clinics. Our experience is that the clinics all over Honduras are short on the medications they need and this would be a way to help reduce that shortfall.
What Steve has told me he wants to visit about with the President and First Lady, and other governmental leaders, is the possibility of increasing their focus on Honduras, and some of this aid would come through a partnership with HOI. MAP, as a faith based organization themselves, likes to partner with other Christian organizations.
Steve has only been with MAP for 8 months, coming to them from World Vision. He wants to use this symbolic $5 billion gift to raise the awareness of his organization so he can get more donations of medications to distribute to those in need around the world. On this trip he wants to accomplish the following:
- Come to the HOI ranch to see our work and meet our people.
- Visit our clinic to see where the medications get distributed and to visit with actual end users of the meds (our patients).
- Learn more about Honduras, especially the rules on expiration dates and specific med needs.
- Visit a village to see how the people actually live and observe their environment.
- Meet with the President and First Lady to express his desire to target Honduras as a primary recipient of MAP products.
- Discuss with them the MAP model, what they have to offer, and determine the level of desire and need in Honduras for their products.
- If MAP and the government decide they want to work together for the greater good, one of the challenges Steve has is determining who would pay the base contribution cost to MAP (the $10-15,000 per container). This could be the government, local hospitals, private companies or foundations that want to help the people of Honduras. For example I have visited with Foundation Agrolibano and LUFUSSA about helping fund medications for the two hospitals in our work area in San Lorenzo and Choluteca and I believe they are interested in this idea. We hope to have a follow up meeting with Pamela Molina this Friday to discuss in more detail.
- Steve is not bringing any agreement for the President to consider, but he wants to have the meeting to explain what MAP can do, how they work, and to see if the government is interested in supporting this effort. It is a wonderful opportunity to secure much needed medications for the people of Honduras for very little money.
- If it is determined Honduras would like these shipments, then MAP will build a case for the types of meds needed and appeal to their drug company partners to see what they can get to distribute. At the end of the day they are dependent on the pharmaceutical companies to give them what is needed.
Let me tell you a little bit about Steve, his story is so inspirational. He was born in Korea, contracted polio when he was 1 year old, his parents dropped him off at an orphanage and left him there because they did not want a sickly baby. He was later adopted by an American couple from Alaska and moved there. That must have been a shock! The polio has left Steve with crippled and shortened legs that he has dealt with all of his life and he is on crutches always. He walks with great difficulty, but he is an amazing spirit! He is on a mission to help solve the world’s healthcare problems, like eliminating polio, so children won’t have to suffer as he has. Steve and his wife Sook Hee are devout Christians who want to help God’s people around the world, just as we do.
He sees this opportunity to work with us in Honduras to help MAP accomplish it’s mission for the people we serve.
Waly, I hope this helps give you a better understanding of MAP, the purpose of the meeting, and the hope for the future. Please let me know if I can clarify anything further for your communications with the Presidential office. Thank you for your work with HOI and the people of Honduras, you’re a real blessing to us all. Jerry