Thanks to the generosity of Canadian drug and medical supplies manufacturers, and its financial donors and volunteers, Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) is mobilizing medical relief for those affected by Cyclone Idai in southeastern Africa. The massive storm tore through the region two weeks ago, leaving more than 800 confirmed dead so far and millions suffering in unsanitary conditions without adequate healthcare.
An initial shipment of primary care medicines is being finalized for airlift by HPIC directly from its warehouse in Oakville, Ontario, to Harare, Zimbabwe, for distribution by the Salvation Army of Zimbabwe to rural hospitals affected by the cyclone.
This shipment includes a broad array of essential medicines donated by Canadian companies that regularly provide requested products in advance for HPIC to utilize in its humanitarian medical programs, enabling this prompt response to this devastating humanitarian and medical crisis.
This first shipment consists of 20 Humanitarian Medical Kits which, thanks to its regular corporate donors, HPIC has on hand. Regular Humanitarian Medical Kit contributors include: Allergan, Apotex, AstraZeneca Canada, Bayer, Becton, Dickinson & Company, GlaxoSmithKline Inc., Johnson & Johnson Inc., Merck Canada, Paladin Laboratories, Pfizer, Pharmascience, Teva and Vita Health Products, and others that contribute when possible.
The kits are crucial in a circumstance such as this they meet immediate and varied needs and are easily transportable for distribution to a variety of centers. Each kit generally provides enough treatment for more than 300 patients, meaning this initial shipment will help meet the medical needs of some 6,000 cyclone victims, or several large villages.
“HPIC is very pleased to be able to quickly provide this initial donated Canadian medical aid to the people of Zimbabwe who have been affected by this disastrous and unprecedented cyclone,” said Denis St. Amour, President of HPIC. “We are in contact with partners working in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi who are ascertaining immediate and emerging health needs and we are confident our generous Canadian corporate and individual donors will rise to the occasion so we will be able to answer their further needs, which we know will be great.”
Along with the Salvation Army, HPIC is in direct contact with the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe and is planning for further shipments there and to Mozambique, and is in communication with partners in Malawi.
HPIC receives donations from companies in Canada’s four major medical and medicinal supply industries: Innovative Medicines Canada, the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, the Consumer Health Products Canada and MEDEC, the medical technology industry in Canada, and from independent companies and financial supporters.
HPIC is continuing its appeal to the industry and the Canadian community to respond to this crisis and looks forward to sending further much-needed aid in the coming weeks.