Elizabeth McLellan will give an illustrated presentation on the work of Partners in World Health in bringing medical supplies and medical education to Bangladesh and other third-world regions, on both Friday and Saturday, May 23 and 24, at 2 p.m. at the Camden Public Library.

Partners in World Health has begun a new initiative to build a school in honor of William “Chip” McLellan, who grew up in Camden. The presentation will include information on how volunteers can be involved with collecting medical supplies and education supplies for the new schools, which are going to be built initially in the slums of Dhaka City, Bangladesh. They will also have a clinic, and all supplies will be provided by Partners for World Health.

Volunteers for PWH collect unused, discarded medical supplies to ship overseas.

“We have sent containers this year to Rwanda and Syria,” said McLellan, “and have eight more planned for the year shipping over $2.5 million of medical supplies saved from the dump. The volunteers are all from Maine except for a few medical people who join us from Massachusetts and Maryland; but the collection and sorting, etc., is all done by Maine citizens.”

Partners for World Health also organizes Medical Mission trips through Africa, South America, and southeast Asia. The Medical Mission experience is usually two weeks in length for physicians, nurses and non-medical volunteers who deliver up to 2000 pounds of needed medical supplies and equipment to the chosen hospital and clinics. In addition, non-medical duties including cleaning and minor repairs and painting will be done during the Medical Mission.

PWH is headquartered in South Portland.

Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and doctors’ offices are required to comply with institution and government policies that require them to discard a constant stream of medical supplies, many unused. Discarded items include thousands of pounds of sterile syringes, needles, tongue depressors, tourniquets, wound dressing supplies, sterile and nonsterile gloves, hygiene products, surgical gowns and an endless supply of plastic tubs, water pitchers, and bedpans. Discarded items also include durable equipment such as crutches, wheelchairs, and hospital beds in good condition. If these items are not collected and recycled they are regularly sent to landfills. This is where Partners for World Health comes in. PWH provides medical facilities in Maine the opportunity to save landfill fees and recycle all of these valuable items. Some of the items collected are simple and inexpensive and others are highly sophisticated and costly.

To date the PWH volunteers and associates have successfully delivered medical supplies to more than 20 countries around the world. These locations include, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Ghana, Haiti, India, Loseto, Libya, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.