American anaesthesiologist William Rosenblatt, born in 1959, became acutely aware of the severe shortage of medical supplies in the developing world when working as a medical student in Latin America in the 1980s.
In 1991, he began redressing the situation by founding REMEDY (Recovered Medical Equipment for the Developing World), a non-profit organization that expedites the transfer of discarded but unused surgical supplies to impoverished countries worldwide.
For his detailed recovery method, Rosenblatt, a professor of anaesthesiology and surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, won a Rolex Award in 1996. The Award allowed him to hire a small staff and helped attract additional funding crucial to REMEDY’s future existence.
The project has inspired the establishment of a network of more than 600 recovery hospitals in the U.S., all contributing unused supplies to the developing world. It has also motivated other non-profit groups to use the same model, creating a web of medical supply programmes.
Published in 2009