Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the goals of MedCharity (also known as Advocates for World Health)?
Advocates for World Health is a student-led, nonprofit organization that is committed to improving the health care delivery system in the developing world while promoting environmental stewardship. AWH achieves this by reallocating medical product to organizations that provide health care services to underserved populations in the developing world. By redirecting usable medical supplies to foreign health care providers and preventing viable equipment from entering the waste stream, AWH lowers the overhead costs of hospitals and relief agencies, strengthens the health care delivery system, and promotes eco-friendly practices.
- What guidelines does AWH follow to ensure quality medical equipment is collected and redistributed?
AWH makes every possible effort to reallocate viable medical supplies to hospitals that need it most. This includes purchasing excess inventory of unused medical equipment that is not financially advantageous to donate to AWH. We purchase devices that our partners abroad need on an equipment-specific basis and cover the cost of domestically trucking valuable medical equipment to the AWH warehouse. We also accept medical equipment that is lightly damaged and can be returned to working order because our team of volunteers is trained to repair a variety of damaged medical machines.
- How much money does AWH save donation recipients abroad?
The amount of money our international partners save depends on the size of our donation shipment:
For a Pallet Container – A $750 processing fee amounts to $5,000 worth of medical supplies at fair market value
For a 20 ft. Container – A $7,500 processing fee amounts to $50,000 worth of medical supplies at fair market value
For a 40 ft. Container – A $10,000 processing fee amounts to $100,000 worth of medical supplies at fair market value
How It Works
- How does AWH’s business model work?
AWH fulfills a unique need in the global healthcare system. By collecting supplies in the United States at reduced or no cost, we substantially ease the financial burden on American healthcare organizations and provide much-needed aid to clinics in the developing world. We then ship large amounts of medical supplies to our partners at underserved clinics for a fraction of their retail value.
- How do hospitals benefit from donating surplus medical supplies?
Hospitals who donate their excess medical supplies to AWH save a large amount of money through tax incentives, reduced waste-transportation fees, and waste-incineration costs. Green initiatives also improve hospital’s public relations.
- How does AWH ensure recipients receive the maximum amount of materials?
AWH collaborates with relief agencies (i.e. Red Cross) who work in impoverished communities abroad to conduct professional needs assessments in each community where medical products are sent. The needs assessment identifies specific needs and capacities of healthcare providers to ensure an efficient chain of supply. The relief agencies then sponsor shipments of AWH donations to beneficiaries they identify.
- What criteria does AWH require for medical donations?
All donations must be unused, functional, and be received at least 6 months before the expiration date. We accept materials with cosmetic damage on the packaging. We also accept lightly damaged medical devices on a case-by-case basis, depending on if they can be repaired.
- Do you offer a warranty for donated equipment?
We provide a 30 day warranty and money back minus shipping should there be any problems.
- How does AWH ensure redistributed equipment is in working order?
We have trained technicians who consult with manufacturers to perform calibration checks so that they are consistent for hospital and clinical use. We perform any repairs necessary to ensure that the unit is fully functioning before it leaves our warehouse. We also work with recipients to organize in-country repairs when needed.
- Do you provide a manufacturers certificate for used equipment?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to get a manufacturer’s certificate of reuse for used equipment.
- Does AWH collect medical donations from sources other than hospitals and clinics?
Yes, we collect unused, unexpired medical supplies from hospitals, surgical centers, medical manufacturers, medical distributors, and private caregivers.
- Do you ship expired materials to developing countries?
AWH only accepts medical donations at least 6 months before expiration. This ensures that they will arrive at their destination in working condition.
- Can donation recipients ask for specific items?
Each beneficiary fills out a “Wish List” designating the type and quantity of medical product they require to deliver proper medical care in their community.
- Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes, AWH is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations fall under the ‘charitable donation’ category on your tax forms.
- Are recipients able to choose the size of the donation they receive? For example, can a small clinic receive a small donation?
We ask all donation recipients to submit a detailed list of the medical supplies and equipment they need. Recipients can choose to receive pallets, 20ft containers, or 40ft containers of supplies.
- Who are your domestic and international partners?
Our network of fellow advocates extends across the academic, public, and non-profit sector. Our partners include more than 250 volunteers across 7 university chapters, local nursing programs, and charity groups; 40 medical-product donors including hospitals, clinics, manufacturers, and distributors; and 9 relief agencies who sponsor shipments of donations.
- What steps does AWH take to ensure accountability to its partners?
AWH requires our partners to register to our website in order to fill out a wish list of supplies they need at their clinics. We rely on our partner relief agencies to assess the needs and capabilities of the organizations requesting donations and thoroughly follow-up with the relief agencies to ensure the products are being appropriately used.