Do you have any old textbooks you can part with? Between 1996 and 2001, factions of the Taliban in Afghanistan destroyed medical texts and reference materials because they considered anatomical depictions of the human body to be blasphemous. Since then, many doctors and medical students there have been practicing and learning medicine without them.
Operation Medical Libraries was formed in 2007, when an Army officer wrote the director of the Medical Alumni Association at the University of California, Los Angeles, asking for medical books. The director forwarded the request on to alumni, who forwarded it to colleagues and former classmates. The first shipment included 2,000 books.
Books have continued to pour in, and the organization has sent a total of 27,000 from its Los Angeles office. Many more have been donated directly to the overseas addresses posted on the website.
Most of the books are sent to Afghanistan, but the current address list is also seeking books for a biomedical library in Antigua and a facial trauma library in Germany for surgeons operating on American and Coalition soldiers.
Medical texts, including medical and technical dictionaries, and basic science and anatomy books published in the last five years are most desired. Overseas medical professionals also need scrubs, microscopes, stethoscopes and visual aids.