Since many of the medical and first aid supplies that we stock at Auckland Eye often have a limited time frame in which they are to be used (due to New Zealand's strict legislation requirements), we often have leftover medical supplies which, whilst they are still suitable for use, can't be utilised in our clinics or theatres because they are past their official expiry date. Instead of throwing out all our recently expired medical supplies (sutures, swabs, dressings etc), for the last three months we have been donating these supplies to the Sumatran Orangutan Programme to help the cause.
On the 18th of June we made our second donation, when Mary Ann, our lovely Clinical Services Manager, dropped off 6 boxes of medical supplies and a medical suction unit to the Auckland Zoo. Thanks to Mary Ann for contacting Amy Robbins (Team Leader Primates at Auckland Zoo), this will be an ongoing project to make sure our expired stock goes to good use.
Thank you Mary Ann for organising this fantastic initiative!
What happens with the donated medical supplies?
Amy Robbins: "I go through all the donated items you supply and I take the most appropriate things over to Sumatra and donate them to the SOCP quarantine centre. This is just outside of Medan which is the capital of North Sumatra. SOCP is the world’s leading authority on Sumatran orangutans and their conservation. Part of what they do there is rescue and rehabilitate orangutans, with the goal of returning them to the wild. When they come into the centre, often they have horrific injuries from people who either see them as an agricultural pest or who hurt them out of fear. Also many of the orangutans that come to the centre have been neglected and have experienced physical trauma from being chained up as an illegal pet for years.
The quarantine centre has a veterinary clinic and all the orangutans who come into SOCP must undergo health checks to determine how they need to be helped. They all undergo a period of quarantine before they are put with other orangutans for company and then eventually most of them are released. Some come in with terrible trauma that requires long term treatment and they also do acute veterinary care e.g orthopaedic surgery. Therefore, the donated medical supplies are useful to them in their veterinary centre and are greatly appreciated as SOCP is a not-for-profit and relies on donations and grants for funding.
So, thank you very much Auckland Eye for your ongoing donations!"
To learn more about the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, click the link: https://www.sumatranorangutan.org/