World Medical Relief (WMR)
Southfield, MI 48075
Since 1953, WMR has sent approximately one billion dollars worth of medical goods (adjusted to inflation) to over 100 countries. They sent 58 forty-foot long containers with medical equipment and supplies in 2017 and sent over 75 in 2018. A forty-foot container of medical goods going overseas has an average value of just over $400,000. WMR charges $10,000 in handling fees for it (plus shipping). They do not directly ship medicines overseas, but they help outfit groups and individuals going on medical mission trips. Medicines they provide to be hand-carried overseas usually cost between two percent and four percent of value (unless special-ordered). They also help low-income people throughout Michigan who need but cannot afford necessary medicines and medical supplies.
One of the problems that organizations like WMR often has is that donated medical equipment may not be up to the standards needed in developing countries. Now it has a Biomedical Engineering Department led by two professionals. Students in that field from two nearby universities come and do internships by repairing and updating equipment before it is sent overseas.
WMR is part of a new program called Project My Heart-Your Heart (www.myheartyourheart.org). Working with some University of Michigan cardiologists and the Michigan Funeral Directors Association, it wants to collect used pacemakers and defibrillators, test them for battery life, and see if they can be made available for patients in developing countries for only a tiny percentage of the cost of new ones. WMR expects that this program will become functional in the latter half of 2018 and thus will be the first of its kind in the world.