DSV Austria helps eye clinics in Mozambique
Considering that the coronavirus crisis is putting a major strain on Europe's health systems, how difficult must it be for poor African countries to meet these new challenges? The charity Light for the World responded quickly in March 2020 and has since reached more than 10,000 people with disabilities and 40,000 of their family members with its emergency measures. With the support of DSV and Qatar Airways, many more people can be helped.
As part of a charity campaign, the globally active logistics company DSV has partnered with Qatar Airways Cargo to transport much-needed equipment from Austria to Mozambique, one of Light for the World's priority countries, to ensure that medical care can be provided during the pandemic.
"When we learned of the possibility of donating freight capacity in partnership with Qatar Airways, it was of great importance to us to proactively approach the Austrian aid organisations to offer rapid assistance. With Light for the World, we are certain that the necessary aid supplies will arrive in Mozambique where they are most needed at the moment," says Jan Kalmring, Managing Director of DSV Air & Sea GmbH in Austria.
"Thanks to the rapid coordination of our senior team leader of Gateway, Tender and Procurement, Ramona Koch, only a few days passed between the initial discussion and the transfer of relief supplies to Vienna Airport. A combination of rapid aid with reliable, fast transport chains and our employees, who are doing an excellent job despite working from home, is the only correct solution in the current circumstances during the ongoing global pandemic," comments Sandra Scherl, Director of Air Freight at DSV Air& Sea Austria.
Five eye clinics have been set up in recent years in Mozambique, reaching a total of 250,000 people. But without protective equipment such as masks, glasses, gloves or disinfectants, it is only possible to operate on cataracts, for example, to a very limited extent, meaning that patients must continue to live in blindness. "When people cannot see, it not only severely restricts their personal autonomy, but families also have to fear poverty and hunger," warns Sabine Prenn, Managing Director of Light for the World in Austria.
However, the prospect of more than six tons of aid expected to arrive in the capital, Maputo, in December gives doctors, nurses and patients in Mozambique cause for optimism. Health care can be guaranteed in the long term, thanks in part to Qatar Airlines, which is donating air freight capacity. This collaboration was mediated by the procurement company of MIVA, which has been working with Light for the World for many years. BBM is taking charge of procurement and coordinating the entire delivery route all the way to the final recipients in Mozambique. BBM is a service provider in development cooperation. It is a non-profit organisation that is committed to helping charities ensure that aid reaches its destination and that donations are used efficiently.
Light for the World has been working to enable blind people and patients with eye diseases in developing countries to live independently for more than 30 years. The internationally recognised professional organisation based in Vienna offers eye surgeries, distributes medication, establishes eye clinics and trains specialists. Close cooperation with local experts and authorities enables sustainable improvements in health care. In 2019 alone, almost 70,000 eye surgeries were performed and a total of around 1.3 million people were helped with eye care, rehabilitation and inclusive education. Two billion people worldwide live with visual impairments or blindness, and one in two cases are easily preventable or treatable.