In February 2018 and after months of planning, we made our first trip to Douala, Cameroon to deep-dive into the problem of supplying Deido District Hospital with a medical waste incinerator. After our planned one week on the ground, we understood quite clearly that the problem we faced was one that would require additional trips and significant amounts of further planning. Local medical resources were substantially constrained, and the infrastructure for safe waste destruction simply did not exist in any affordable form. Bringing in an incinerator would require shipment from Europe or the United States to a hospital without sufficient expertise to manage such a complex piece of machinery. If used improperly, toxic particulate could have easily spread to the nearby homes and markets.
Still, we pushed on and attempted to create a collaboration with the local government. We were actively raising funds for a project we felt would be difficult, but for which we saw several realistic paths forward. In the end, the inability to reach an agreement with our local partners in Cameroon for how ongoing costs would be shared eventually made Healthy Hospitals Cameroon a project with ever-dimming promise. By late 2019, we had stopped actively fundraising for the project and were considering alternatives for how we might deploy the resources in a manner as true as possible to the spirit in which they were raised.
Of course, 2020 has been a year like no other. Without a clear path forward on Healthy Hospitals Cameroon and having entered a world brought to its knees by the pandemic, it is the unanimous decision of the Board of Directors of Concordia Humana to liquidate all unspent raised funds in a way that serves both the international causes they were intended for, as well as the new humanitarian needs in the communities of their origin. To accomplish this, we will be sending half of our cash assets to Doctors Without Borders, a world-renowned organization with medical operations in 70 countries. The other half will be delivered to food banks in Cincinnati, Atlanta, Washington DC, and New York in proportion with the size of donations we received from each of those donor areas.
We believe that this use of these resources is the highest and best at the present moment; we do not have the standing infrastructure to tackle any part of the coronavirus, and the organizations out there are ones that do. We defer the resources you, our donors, have so generously given us, to their long records of excellent work. We hope for a brighter future, and will continue our own good work when it is once again feasible to do so.
Posted on behalf of Danny Sexton