Chicago – Andrew A. Athens, President of the World Council of Hellenes (SAE) announced that the World Office will deliver $1 million worth of medicines and medical supplies to help tsunami victims fight disease and rebuild their shattered lives. Coordinating this shipment with His Eminence Metropolitan Nikitas of Hong-Kong and the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), SAE was able to leverage this million dollar donation with the help of its fellow non-governmental organization (NGO) in Washington, DC, Counterpart International. Counterpart assists with procuring medicines for the Primary Health Care Initiative (PHCI), the medical and humanitarian relief program founded by Andrew Athens in 1997.
“This disaster was one of the worst and we are very pleased to offer this aid and to be working with Metropolitan Nikitas and IOCC to help relief the great human suffering that this tsunami has caused,” Mr. Athens said. Medicines include large quantities of penicillin, antibacterial drugs, antimalaria medicines and oral rehydration medicines. Dr. Charles Kanakis, Director of Medical Affairs of SAE is scheduled to meet the shipment in Indonesia sometime in mid March.
“I know that Hellenes all over the world have made generous contributions in support of this catastrophe and I continue to encourage and advise all SAE leaders and delegates to provide all the financial help they can,” continued Mr. Athens.
Other breaking news regarding SAE’s efforts to help Hellenes in the Diaspora include, expanding PHCI services to Chimara, Albania and southern Russia. In December 2004, Andrew Athens and Dr. Kanakis met with health and local government officials in Chimara, Albania to begin plans to deliver laboratory services via the local health post. Presently, the health post is unable to provide such lab tests as X-rays, blood chemical analysis and ultrasound examinations as it has no equipment or funds.
By equipping and operating the laboratory services in this government health post, SAE will be again restoring valuable health services to Hellenes and their neighbors and will also be restoring jobs to local health care professionals by employing them in the new laboratory and government health center.
With the official announcement by Prime Minister of Greece Costas Karamanlis that the Hellenic State will support SAE’s efforts to restore health care to poor Hellenes living in the Stavropoli area, SAE has completed a series of needs assessments and has determined that Essentuki, a major Hellenic community would be the ideal location.
Dr. Roland Stamtov, Regional Medical Director has made several trips to south Russia and will be going again in March with a local Greek contractor in Stavropoli to determine renovation options to one of the three potential buildings in the area.
“We are so pleased that Prime Minister Karamanlis is supporting the establishment of a health care facility in south Russia and we are very glad to be working with the Hellenic State to make this project a reality in the coming year,” said Mr. Athens.
Now in its ninth year of service, the PHCI continues to make great strides in its efforts to restore health and hope. “The PHCI, along with ethno-religious concerns, education and culture will continue to remain our focus as we go forward this year in SAE’s mission to help Hellenes in the Diaspora,” Mr. Athens asserted.