Vienna (Agenzia Fides) - For over 20 years, the organization for the fight against leprosy (Aussätzigen-Hilfswerk) of the national leadership of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Austria (Missio Austria) has been organizing a fundraising campaign and a collection of medicines to help the disadvantaged of the world's poorest regions.
In 2009, 72 projects were promoted to combat leprosy and to further the development of health systems. In addition to donations totaling 1.3 million euros, medicines and medical equipment worth a total of 5.7 million euros were also donated. Doctors, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and clinics throughout Austria took advantage of the celebration of the harvest to offer first aid kits, sterile gloves, disposable syringes, and many other materials.
During July and August, medicines are sorted and packaged for delivery according to demand. This year, so far, 2,800 boxes have been prepared to send missionaries in 26 hospitals in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. There are approximately 5 million patients who will benefit from this aid. "For us, this is a huge help," said Austrian missionary Fr. Georg Nigsch, who in his clinic in Guadalupe (Ecuador) received 148 boxes of medical supplies.
The aid office of the Pontifical Mission Societies, in recent days, has provided emergency assistance amounting to 30,000 euros for people affected by floods in Pakistan. In collaboration with two Austrian doctors in the country, Doctors Ruth Pfau and Christine Schmotzer, and with the help of local staff, emergency clinics were also set up to distribute food and medicines. (MS) (Agenzia Fides 08/13/2010)