Because of the grave social situation in the country, the problem of health care for the population has become most acute. The poor social conditions became even more aggravated by the reform of the entire health care system. Paid medical treatment was introduced, which made it rather painful for the population. Our organization, already being a fighter for freedom, had to start another battle – for “life” as well. The Association is not sparing efforts to take care of the physical, as well as mental health of the population of all ages. In cooperation with various medical research institutes and diagnostic centers, and with the help and assistance extended by them, the Association has managed to make the population feel at least some relief and enjoy support on an almost daily basis.
The Charity Medical Brigades…
The mobile medical groups equipped with medicines, various apparati and diagnostic facilities have traveled to numerous towns of Georgia, such as Khobi, Mtskheta, Lagodekhi, Senaki, Chkhorotskhu, Lanchkhuti, Rustavi, Shindisi, tabakhmela, Lemshveniera, Tkibuli, Akhaltsikhe, Poti, Kutaisi, Akhali samgori, Dmanisi, Sagarejo, the Tbilisi regions, and others.
Tuberculosis has become a social threat!
In the summer of 1995, members of the Association visited the Imereti region for the purpose of launching the regional branch of the Association there. The building, where the guests were accommodated, was “besieged” by the internally displaced population living in Imereti at that time. The President of the Association, Mrs. Nanuli Shevardnadze, spoke to them and promised to do her best to resolve their health problems. A brigade of medical doctors was immediately sent to Tskhaltubo, in Imereti. They found that 112 persons out of 12,000 were infected by tuberculosis; that very summer they were transported to Abastumani for specific treatment.
For the purpose of rehabilitating the building housing the children’s department of the Republican Hospital of Tuberculosis, which was on the verge of collapse, the Association involved a donor organization. The basic building “rose from the dead” – a new, solid building was added to it and a larger part of the whole complex was renovated. In addition to that, the department was provided with equipment for diagnostics, medicines and food products. We never forget the little patients; they are always on our mind in good times as well as in bad times.
“Zekari” managed to escape danger!
It was through the efforts of the Association and its President that the sanatorium “Zekari” of the Abastumani resort complex was removed from the privatization list. All of the other sanatoriums have been sold, and all of them are inactive at the present time, but “Zekari”, being one of the most promising medical institutions, distinguished by its technical equipment and with its exceptional location in a beautiful landscape, was delivered to the Ministry of Health Care of Georgia. Subsequently, it was joined to the Abastumani Tuberculosis Hospital. Later on, it was renovated and many things were restored; the medical staff returned and continued working in a regular regime. The Association did its best to support the sanatorium to resolve its problems and advocated on the sanatorium’s behalf in almost all instances. About 200 patients are presently undergoing treatment there.
Let’s help the children with leukemia!
By the time the Onco-hematological Center was created in 1994, they were the first to start treatment of children with leukemia and limphoma through the BFM-chemiotherapy program, highly acknowledged world-wide. The Georgians were unable to implement this costly program independently. Therefore, in 1995, with financing from the German government, the German Organization of Technical Cooperation (GTZ) became involved in the project. Every year since then it has allocated 200, 000 German marks for treatment of the TB Patients. Without the active personal efforts of Mrs. Nanuli Shevardnadze, continuation of this most significant cooperation would have been impossible. In 1999 the program ended… and one day, the disappointed and desperate parents burst into the office of the Association. Mrs. Shevardnadze immediately applied to the Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, Heidemar Vichoreck-Zoel, and in a few days the expensive medication arrived in Tbilisi; thus, it became possible to continue the program for two more years.
During recent years, Mr.Volfditric Fogel, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Germany in Georgia, delivered 1,000 German Marks to the Association. This money was addressed to the Center under sponsorship of the Association, and it was distributed to the patients undergoing treatment in the Center at that time. Mrs. Shevardnadze also brought to the Center from Italy antibiotics and chemical medications, donated by the Georgian Embassy in Italy.
The children who were suffering from leukemia were scheduled to leave for a rehabilitation center in Baretstown,? Ireland. Immediately, the Association advocated on behalf of the children with the authorities at British Airlines. They took close to heart the condition of the little patients and gave a discount in the price of the tickets. Then the Association applied to various donor organizations, and they covered the rest of the expenses.
The Association was one of the organizers of a charity movement called “Let’s help the children with leukemia!” which was launched in 2002. Considerable funds were raised; a substantial donation of 5,000 Lari was bestowed by the Georgian International Oil Corporation, of which Gia Chanturia is president. Mr. Chanturia was also the initiator of a large-scale renovation project in the Center.
The free ambulance service is online!
Insulin as a gift…
The humanitarian insulin, donated by Novo- Nordisk, the Danish Pharmacological Firm, was distributed among socially vulnerable people with diabetes in the capital, as well as in the regions (Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Qvemo Qartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kakheti, Guria, and others.). These actions took place twice, and in the years 1996-97, a total of 5,000 persons received 40,000 capsules of insulin as a gift. Later, 1,500 of the most needy patients were given a three-month supply of insulin.
In 1996, when there were no medicines in Georgia containing human insulin, under the leadership of Nanuli Shevardnadze pregnant women with diabetes were provided with insulin. Twenty women who were registered at the Georgian Center of Diabetes were given 6 month supplies of insulin, free of charge, of course.
In March of 2002, The Georgian Embassy in Austria presented the Association with high quality human insulin (produced by the German firm Aventis pharmas). The drug, under the supervision of the endocrinologists, was distributed to more than 140 patients living in Tbilisi and the outskirts who were suffering from impaired vision because of their illness. The Association gave out insulin drugs with a value of about half a million dollars.
Together with Hippocrates.
“The level of civilization in an advanced society is determined by the attitude to the psychiatry”.
With the help of an American charity organization, the Association constructed a mechanized cattle farm on the territory of Gldani Hospital and a pig farm at Bediani hospital. As a result, meat and diary products have been added to the nutrition ratio of the patients, and the income generated from the sales of abundant products provides extra funds to supplement the hospital budget. Not least important is the fact that the patients gradually got used to cultivating the land; through their work on the farms they have had the opportunity of associating with nature. Thus, the method of work-therapy is in the process of revival.
In previous times epileptic patients received their expensive medication from the Neurology Research Institute free of charge, but the humanitarian channels of importing these drugs were cancelled three years ago. Therefore, starting in 2001 the Association “has taken this mission over”. With the help of the sponsors, it is continuously providing the expensive drugs to the epileptic patients. First this medicine was purchased by the Association through funding provided by American partners and later the Israeli Women’s Association brought it to Georgia as a present. The last supply of the medication was financed by the Americans again. The Association purchased the drug for $4,480.00 and distribution continued until September 2001-2002; then we imported Carbamazepin from Israel. In January of 2004, it was again with the assistance of the Americans that purchasing of Carbamazepin for $4,000.00 became possible. During the whole period of the campaign the needs of more than 300 patients were satisfied; every one of them received three months of supplies 5 or 6 times.
In October 1999, an American charity organization, friendly to the Association, purchased the drugs at a price of $15,000.00 and distributed them to 2,000 socially vulnerable families. From December 2002 to January 2004, different kinds of instruments, medical “accessories” and medicines sent by the foreign partners of the Association were distributed to almost all large medical institutions of the capital city, as well as in regions throughout the country. These humanitarian medical appliances proved to be extremely useful to the charity medical brigades while working in the regions.
How little Dato started a new life…
Through the motion of the President of the Association, Nanuli Shevardnadze, the other half of the price of the implant (its total price amounting to $10,000.00) was financed by the State Medical Insurance Company.
Launching war against child adoptions abroad
The International Organization “Georgian Women for Peace and Life” was the first in Georgia to declare war against the uncontrolled adoption of children and the highly profitable trade with newborn babies. The First Lady of the country was identified by both the Georgian and the foreign “contrabandists” as the main factor preventing their activity…
“We are a small nation and have no right to give healthy children for adoption abroad”, stated Nanuli Shevardnadze at the meeting.
The uproar caused by the adoption issue was ended by passing the law on “Adoption Regulations” at the Parliament of Georgia in November, 1997; of course, the Association, being an NGO, took an active part in designing the draft of the law.