Shortly after the fall of the communist government in the early 1990′s, Bulgaria’s medical infrastructure deteriorated significantly. The new Bulgarian government therefore requested International Medical Outreach (IMO), as well as other humanitarian aid organizations, to assist them in any way possible. IMO found it possible to ship medical supplies as well as medications for this relief effort in November of 1993. Additional IMO shipments arrived in both May and September of 1994.
In November of the following year, a small team of IMO medical care providers visited Sofia and Varna. The team distributed vitamins to thousands of malnourished people in the Black Sea port of Varna. In the capital city of Sofia, the team witnessed children sleeping on the floor in their hospital rooms. These children, who were suffering from various forms and stages of cancer, simply had no beds in which to lie. This proved to be the single most important event that led to the expansion of IMO’s medical supply program. The following June, medications and medical supplies were shipped to Bulgaria by IMO, with some directed towards this particular hospital.
In 2001, International Medical Outreach (IMO) provided grants to provide care for orphans in the capital city of Chisinau.
International Medical Outreach (IMO) was invited to Ukraine in 1996 to evaluate the medical needs of the southern region. As a gesture of good faith, the IMO team provided significant medical supplies to assist the local healthcare providers and conducted a temporary medical clinic.
Over the years subsequent to that first trip, IMO has shipped several containers of medical supplies, food and clothing. The total fair market value of such goods well exceeds several million US dollars. IMO has established cardiac care units in several hospitals, provided medical devices for the orthopedic and traumatology center, and has supplemented equipment for the Nikolayev Regional Surgical Center. IMO has also funded widespread feeding programs and weekly instructional public health radiobroadcasts.
When IMO was invited to an orphanage in Nikolayev, the orphans received shoes and additional food rations that had not been provided up to that point. IMO also bought land for the development of a children’s summer camp on the Black Sea. When the tents that IMO provided for this camp proved to be insufficient, IMO funded construction of a multi-functional building.
IMO then funded another summer camp in Chernovtsy, in addition to providing medical equipment for the high number of seeing-impaired orphans in that region.
AIDS patients have recurrently received medical assistance from IMO in the Nikolayev and Kherson regions, including medications for the patients and continuing medical education for the physicians. IMO also helped to establish a drug-rehabilitation center in the same region. These facilities have sufficient room for several IMO funded buildings for re-educational vocational training projects and plenty of land on which the patients can produce enough food not only to feed themselves and the IMO-sponsored orphans, but also to sell in markets so as to move towards financial self-sufficiency.
IMO-sponsored vascular surgery clinics have operated in both Nikolayev and the Chernovtsy region.
IMO currently is developing a general medical/surgical clinic in which physical therapy and rehabilitation will be stressed. Physicians with additional medical specialties also have expressed interest in this joint venture in which both Bethany Christian Center and the Nikolayev Regional Ministry of Health have offered to donate choice land as well as their full cooperation.