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By IHP, Jun 8 2017 12:58PM

Photo: Treating typical foot conditions. Credit: Joe Mather


IHP’s Essential Health Packs have been used all over the world but this is the first time we know of that the medicines have, quite literally, saved a leg. Dr Simon Kaye, who took the pack to Uganda, tells us more.


“In 2010 my friend, who is the UK CEO of a charity in Uganda, asked if I could support them with medical help. It’s a place where it is very difficult for patients to access medicines and there was no existing clinic to work alongside. I knew Pfizer made a particular antibiotic that would be very useful in Uganda. I asked one of their reps if her company could donate these medicines to us. She referred me to IHP. I was delighted to hear about what they could offer and five trips later we are still taking out Essential Health Packs!”


As a result of the visits, Simon has got to know the local community in this area of Uganda very well. This includes a farmer called Ivan. When Simon first met him Ivan had an open leg wound which had led to an infection in his shin. He was in considerable pain but was still working as a farmer. Simon and the team examined him and explained the serious nature of his condition; they could not cure the condition and feared he would lose the leg but they hoped they could limit the spread of infection. Simon continues “We gave him good wound care, plenty of strong painkillers and several weeks of the strongest antibiotic that we had in the Essential Health Pack. He gratefully left and we were just sorry we couldn’t offer intensive western standard curative care.”


The next year, when the team returned to Uganda, Ivan came back to see them. They saw that the wound had stopped discharging; there was still a hole in the skin over his shin but it was healthy and clean. The impact of his treatment has been profound on both Ivan and his family. Able to keep his leg, Ivan was able to return to a pain free life for himself and support his family. Without a healthy leg all this was in jeopardy. And Ivan is just one of many individuals who will have benefited from the packs which contain over 800 courses of treatments. To find out more and apply for a pack click here or drop Patrick an email on p.keys@ihpuk.org


By IHP, May 16 2017 09:27AM

International Health Partners’ Health Programmes Officer, Luc Diei-Yoa, recently returned from a trip to his home country, Ivory Coast. He often goes home to visit family and friends, but this holiday was slightly different. This time, with guidance from a supportive doctor in the UK, he took with him one of IHP’s Essential Health Packs (EHP) to carry out a medical mission in his home community of Angré, a suburb of Abidjan, the capital of the country.


The EHPs comprise two boxes of primary healthcare medicines, with approximately 800 treatments for adults and children. Packs typically include antibiotics, antifungals, analgesics, antacids, anti-inflammatories, anti-parasitics, eye drops/ointment and inhalers. Most products are for acute conditions. All the medicines are donated from companies such as Walgreen Boots Alliance, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson.


“Bringing some medical help to the Ivory Coast was a long-term vision for me,” explains Luc, who was born and raised in the West African country, but now lives in south London. African and Caribbean diaspora communities living in the UK work tirelessly to support their families and communities back home sending whatever is needed to bridge gaps in education, health care and overall well-being. Luc is a well-known community leader amongst the close knit diaspora Ivorian community in the UK and had tremendous encouragement and support for this venture from his fellow Ivorians and others.


“Healthcare is not free in the Ivory Coast, even in the public hospitals. You have to pay to be seen then you have to pay for the medicines. Economically, it is a medium-income country, which is great. But this doesn’t translate socially especially when it comes to healthcare,” he says. GP fees are the equivalent of £2 and to see a specialist it is up to £10. The majority of the population live on under £1.50 a day. “People have to choose whether to live with the pain and the disease and feed their families, or to pay for medicines and not feed their families,” he says.


So, while healthcare is accessible, as long as you can pay, the majority of the population cannot afford it. “This creates a big vacuum which is occupied by traditional practitioners and others who I call charlatans. Self-medication is rife and so is the consumption of easily available fake medicines,” Luc explains.


He continues, “Way too many people are still dying from very simple and easily treatable diseases like cholera and diarrhoea. Many also suffer from pain that prevents them from living comfortable lives.”

Luc’s home church, Bethel World Outreach Ministries International hosted the outreach. Most of those treated came from the surrounding poorer areas of Abidjan.


Luc organised a team of two GPs, two paediatricians, two midwives, four nurses one pharmacist and 15 volunteers. They all came from his home community and volunteered their time and services. “The idea was to have a full communal health day so we had various services provided for free that patients would have had to pay for in normal circumstances,” he says. The services provided were gynaecology, vaccination, general practice, paediatric, family planning advice and free HIV testing. They registered 315 people, but attended to many more. “By 1pm we had to stop registering people,” Luc recalls.

The team treated a variety of sicknesses, skin disease, hypertension, urine infection, infected wounds, constipation, peptic ulcers, arthritic pain, chest infections and other types of infections. They also dewormed adults and children.


According to Luc the EHPs made all the difference, “I can’t stress enough how useful the medicines were. The manager of the health centre thought I was coming with short-dated donated generic medicines until she saw the boxes’ contents and their high quality. I was very surprised by the quantity of the medicines available. We had a considerable quantity left after the outreach which we donated to the health centre,” he explains. As a result many more people will receive free medicines when they visit the health centre

The reception and feedback from the community was fantastic says Luc, “They are looking forward to the next outreach. I felt bad for those people who could not make it on time.”


Despite being physically exhausted after such a busy day, Luc is “extremely pleased” with the outcome. He plans to return and help the community further, “I am planning on bigger things in light of what happened with this single EHP. The needs are real, people need help and I intend to do what I can with what I can. It was very important for me to start in the area where I grew up, my local church and my local health centre. Many other areas up and down Ivory Coast will be touched in the future and I am working on it,” says the 40 year old, married father of a two-year-old son who lives in Croydon, South London.


Luc has been invited by various diaspora community groups around London to talk about the outreach and is hoping that this will garner more support.


He has the following thoughts to give to anyone considering taking an EHP overseas, “You will be surprised by the sheer number of people who need help. It will take a lot of time and effort in time and organisation but is worth it. The quality and quantity of medicines in the EHP are outstanding. You get value for money. It is indeed a mobile pharmacy. So, if you’re thinking about taking an EHP, go for it! It will be a blessing to more people than you expect.”


To find out more about IHP’s Essential Health Packs click here.


Photo: Luc (left) with community members waiting to be seen by medical staff



By IHP, Apr 11 2017 08:36AM

An international forum on Global Aid and Access for Health has presented a challenge to companies, NGOs, academics and governments to work together to end a lack of access to medicines.


The conference organised by PQMD (Partnership for Quality Medical Donations) brought key stakeholders together to explore

• Strategies to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on health and partnerships

• The impact of donations on health targets.

• Disease elimination programmes, process and essential stakeholders.

• Balancing political complexities to meet needs on the ground.


The keynote speaker, Jayasree K. Iyer, Executive Director of the Access to Medicines Foundation, focused the discussion on the effectiveness of the top 20 research-based Global Pharma companies to increase access to medicines, vaccines and diagnostics in low- and middle-income countries.


Senior Representatives from European and North American headquartered companies joined staff from global NGOs, academic institutions, think tanks and UK Government Departments at a number of London venues including the Reform Club, House of Commons and the offices of Reed Smith. The event was organised by PQMD, co hosted by IHP and sponsored by GSK and Henry Schein.


PQMD is a global alliance of leading the development and championing of high standards in medical supply and service donation. PQMD seeks to enhance access to health care in underserved communities and in areas affected by disaster.


Adele Paterson, IHP Associate Director and PQMD Board Member, said, “This forum was unprecedented in its convening power and created consensus around health partnerships. It has set a high standard for future fora, which we hope will be consolidated in future gatherings.”


Andy Cain, IHP’s Corporate Partnership Manager, said, “The forum was an excellent opportunity to hear perspectives from different stakeholders, covering strategic and operational topics relating to medical donations. It was particularly inspiring to hear of the impact made in disasters such as Syria and East Africa by medical donations.”


For more information click here




By IHP, Mar 28 2017 01:52PM

International Health Partners looks forward to welcoming Harvard Global Health Institute Intern, Sophie Iosue, to the organisation this summer.

IHP was approached by the Harvard Global Health Institute with a view to receiving an intern in the summer of 2017.


Following a number of high quality applications, and interviews, IHP selected Sophie Iosue to join the Corporate Partnerships Team from May to July 2017.


About Sophie

Sophie Iosue is a rising senior at Harvard College who is studying for a joint degree in Comparative Literature and Government with a secondary in Global Health Policy. At Harvard, she is a research assistant at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, working particularly on the refugee crisis. She also manages a student-run Cafe and is the Vice President of her sorority. In the past, Sophie has enjoyed interning for NGOs in Naples, Italy and for Global Health Corps in New York City. She plans to write her senior thesis on narratives in the refugee crisis. Sophie is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and loves to run, cook, and read.


Picture: Sophie Iosue will be joining IHP in May from the Harvard Global Health Institute

By IHP, Mar 27 2017 01:10PM

International Health Partners’ (IHP) Corporate Partnership Team, were delighted to present their inaugural Sharing Best Practice Workshop on 16th March.


“We were especially pleased that executives from some of our corporate partnerships across Europe were able to attend and bring their questions and experience to the workshop,” said Andy Cain, IHP’s Corporate Partnerships Manager.


The workshop provided a detailed view of IHP’s operations, which included partnerships, logistics, product, language consideration, taxation, NGO programmes and EURMED which is IHP’s bespoke end-to-end trace and trace cloud-based software platform.


Cain continued, “We also benefited from an in-depth first-hand report from Dr Tsitsi Chituku, who had recently taken an Emergency Health Pack (EHP) to Zimbabwe, and a first-hand experiential session on the barriers and solutions to product donations by Mark Repath of Janssen. The workshop was unanimously recommended to peers in the industry, we look forward to sharing details on our second Sharing Best Practice Workshop, to be held in October 2017, which will also include more networking time and hopefully a CSR element.”


Laura French, Supply Chain Analyst at Actavis said, “The workshop and all the presenters were inspiring, I think it will be difficult to improve upon.” Laura French, Supply Chain Analyst, Actavis

“I found it very informative, both about the challenges faced by IHP and as importantly, the challenges likely to be faced by my clients when attempting to do a good thing.” said Mark James, Vice President of Movianto Europe.


Following the exceptionally positive feedback from our first Sharing Best Practice Workshop, we are seeking corporate sponsorship for the 2nd Workshop in October 2017, please contact Andy Cain if you would like to discuss this further (a.cain@ihpuk.org 07770 756 158).


By IHP, Mar 25 2017 06:15PM


Sophia Jones is IHP's Communications Manager. Here she writes about why every woman's life is important.


Mothers’ Day is upon us. It’s the perfect time to spoil our mums with breakfast in bed, cards, gifts and goodies. To say thank you and make up for perhaps not being as grateful as we should or could have been the rest of the year. As a mum myself I’m grateful that I have three healthy children. But I almost missed out on these precious gifts twice. My first birth 21 years ago was touch and go. I had pre-eclampsia and both my daughter and I almost died. Thankfully, I had an emergency caesarean section and she was delivered safe and sound and my out-of-control blood pressure was stabilised. During labour with my second child 19 years ago, the umbilical cord was wrapped so tightly around her neck that another emergency caesarean was performed and she was fine.


Childbirth in the West has its risks but the risks are nothing compared to if I had given birth to my children in parts of Africa or Asia. Prior to coming to IHP, I lived and worked in East Africa. I travelled throughout this vast region and met and interviewed countless mothers, many of whom had lost a child either in childbirth, conflict, drought or famine. I’ve also interviewed husbands who lost their wives in childbirth and children whose mothers have died giving birth to either them or their younger sibling. I remember talking to a new grandmother in a refugee camp in Chad who couldn’t hide her excitement that her daughter had given birth to a healthy baby girl in a hospital run by the charity I worked for. She told me that the entire family was waiting outside to celebrate the safe delivery of her first granddaughter. She was grateful that both her daughter and granddaughter were healthy. She, and others like her, knew full-well that child birth in her part of the world comes with many risks.


Over 300,000 women die each year in pregnancy or childbirth: the majority of them in Africa and South Asia. From 2005 to 2012, annual mortality rates fell from an estimated 550,000 women to 287,000, but last year this increased to 303,000. There’s something wrong with this picture. The data is steadily creeping up instead of going down. The target of the 2016 to 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.


Eight years previously, at the Reproductive Health in Emergencies conference in Kampala, Uganda, it was stated, “Women are not dying because of diseases we cannot treat. They are dying because society decides that they are not worth treating.” Angela Gorman is CEO of one of our NGO partners, Life for African Mothers (LFAM), based in Cardiff. She is driven by the motto stated in Millennium Development Goal five, “No woman should die giving birth”. The main causes of death during childbirth are: haemorrhage, infection, unsafe abortion, eclampsia, obstructed labour. Haemorrhage is the highest killer accounting for approximately 25% of all deaths.


Life for African Mothers is a Maternal Health charity aiming to make birth safer in Sub Saharan Africa by providing medication to treat post-partum haemorrhage. They provide medication donated by IHP donors to treat complications of child birth and support hospitals and health centres across Africa as well as provide medical skills exchange visits by UK-based midwives to Liberia and Sierra Leone. They have seen huge reductions in maternal mortality rates since they began 11 years ago.


By providing medication and services, free of charge, to treat the complications of child birth, LFAM have been able to support hospitals and health centres across Africa and see huge reductions in maternal mortality. “I’m humbled and privileged to do this but I’m also angry that it has to be us, a small organization to be doing it,” says Angela who believes that women’s health in many countries is not a priority.

Just over 100 years ago Angela’s grandmother died of post-partum haemorrage in Wales, “My dad was the seventh of ten children. My grandmother died giving birth to the eleventh,” she explains. “One hundred years later, thousands of women are dying of what my granny died of,” she continues.


She would like to see governments and global institutions investing in medicines and women’s health that will see an end to their needless deaths at childbirth. “There is a disconnect between the decision-makers and the people on the ground who are doing the work,” she stresses. She also is keen that mums should know their worth, “Women themselves have to realise how precious they are. They don’t know.”




To find out more about Life For African Mothers click here


Angela Gorman has also written a book about her work entitled “Every Woman’s Right”. To purchase your copy click here



Picture: Angela Gorman, CEO of Life For African Mothers with Hannah and her daughter, Angela. Hannah is a survivor of post partum haemorrhage.



By IHP, Mar 20 2017 12:49PM

Press Release


For Immediate Release

Monday, 20 March 2017


MOSUL OFFENSIVE HIGHLIGHTS CRITICAL SHORTAGE OF ESSENTIAL MEDICINES IN IRAQI KURDISTAN - IHP LAUNCHES URGENT APPEAL


Unmet medical needs in Iraqi Kurdistan have reached a critical point according to medical donations charity International Health Partners (IHP). "People fleeing Mosul and Syria are in desperate need of access to quality medicine. Once they reach the safety of the camps they are able to receive some treatment, but acute and chronic cases are often left to the local government system to manage, and their shelves are empty," says IHP's CEO, Alex Harris, who recently returned from Iraqi Kurdistan. Over 215,000 Iraqis have been displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas in recent months.


This week the charity launched an urgent appeal for funding and medical donations, “The needs are immense across the region. Medicines we take for granted are often not available to patients in need of urgent medical attention. The government is doing what it can, but in some of its facilities up to 80% of their patients are refugees or internally displaced people (IDP), which is placing a lot of strain on the system. We are calling on our generous donors to give what they can so that we can send life-saving essential medicines,” says Harris.


IHP is working with local partner, Bring Hope, to distribute medical aid across Iraqi Kurdistan, both in the refugee and IDP camps, and the local hospitals and clinics. There is a huge need for medicines and medical equipment. Kurdistan is currently hosting approximately two million refugees and displaced people, including 300,000 Syrian refugees.


IHP medicines that have reached the region are having a positive impact. Hameeda fled Mosul three years ago and set up a shop in Harsham camp for displaced people, “I am not young and I have several health problems. At the clinic they’ve been able to provide me with the different medicines I need. They give me water pills for my hypertension, aspirin for my heart and statins for my cholesterol. I’m not sure what I would do without the clinic,” she says.


“It’s great that we are seeing some impact, but it isn’t enough,” explains Harris. The current economic crisis in Iraqi Kurdistan has had a big impact on health facilities and services. Coupled with the surge of refugees and the displaced people coming from within Iraq and Syria, it is proving very challenging for the government to treat people with the medicines they need.


"We are treating far more people than before as a result of the conflict" said a pharmacist at West Erbil Emergency Hospital, the main facility treating patients who have escaped from eastern Mosul. Staff at the hospital are seeing many more injuries to civilians caused by explosions.


IHP is asking its donors to give generously to help the charity to reach thousands of patients who are currently without access to medicine.


To learn more and donate, please log on www.ihpuk.org.


Ends

Notes to Editors:

For pictures and/or an interview with Alex Harris, contact Sophia Jones on Tel: 020 3735 5758 or Cell: 07802 501698 and email: s.jones@ihpuk.org


About IHP

•IHP coordinates the safe and responsible donation of medical products from the healthcare industry to those who would otherwise have no access in the developing world. We are the largest coordinator of donated medical product in Europe, with a strong network of healthcare industry donors. We respond rapidly to humanitarian disasters, support long-term healthcare development projects in developing countries and equip doctors with supplies for short-term overseas medical missions. As an independent intermediary we bridge the gap between healthcare companies—who want to be generous—and humanitarian agencies who depend on generosity.


• IHP is working with The Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation, a local NGO that provides humanitarian aid to those in need in northern Iraq in collaboration with local, national and international organisations.




By IHP, Mar 10 2017 03:58PM

A psychiatrist, driven by the desire to make a difference in the lives of the poor, flew out to Nigeria this week equipped with our Essential Health Packs, formerly called Doctors’ Travel Packs. Dr Olufemi Sanni, a Locum with Greater Manchester Health Services, has been travelling to deprived regions of Nigeria providing health care and education for the last seven years.


Over that time the father of two boys has carried out more than 10 outreach programmes. In 2011 his brother Yomi Sanni (Steno) died in a road traffic accident three days before Dr Sanni was to attend a maiden event launching his foundation to help disadvantaged communities in Nigeria. Six months later, spurred on by his brother’s death, he registered the foundation in his memory. He named it the Steno Memorial Foundation.


“I have always wanted to give back. I started with my own money then over time I have received donations from friends, family and colleagues,” he explains.


Last year his small team of medical volunteers organised screenings, surgical care and after care sessions for 27 people on top of the hundreds that were treated for general ailments. Dr Sanni explains that the health needs in Nigeria are many, “There are a lot of people suffering from undiagnosed diabetes, poorly managed high blood pressure, arthritic pain, osteoarthritis, peptic ulcers, fungal infections, bone problems. We treat a lot of children with ear infections, malaria and typhoid,” he says.


On this trip, Dr Sanni will be travelling to Ijebu North in Ogun State. He heard about International Health Partners (IHP) from a friend, “He called me while I was still in Nigeria last year and asked me where I sourced my medicines from. Then told me that I should get in touch with International Health Partners.”

In February he was in Abuja, Nigeria, to give a talk about mental health. “We are setting up a seclusion unit for Lagos University Teaching Hospital Psychiatry department to help people with severe and enduring mental health disorders,” explains the medic who is driven to improve both the mental and physical health of Nigeria’s most disadvantaged.


He is extremely pleased to be carrying the Essential Health Packs and knows, without a doubt, that they are going to make a huge difference in people’s lives, “My concern has always been to bring good quality care to the communities I am helping. To do that it is crucial that I bring genuine medicines. There are a lot of fake ones out there and it’s not possible to verify. But at least with these EHPs, I know they are genuine and the people I will be helping will see the impact almost immediately. So, I’m very excited,” says Dr Sanni.


We will catch up with Dr Sanni when he returns to the UK to find out how he got on.


If you are interested in carrying out an Essential Health Pack, click here.




Picture: Dr Olufemi Sanni prior to his trip to Nigeria with IHP's Essential Health Packs.


By IHP, Mar 8 2017 12:46PM

Over 300,000 women die each year in pregnancy or as a result of childbirth: the majority of them in Africa and South Asia. From 2005 to 2012, annual mortality rates fell from an estimated 550,000 women to 287,000, but last year this increased to 303,000. Clearly there is much work to do to further and significantly reduce maternal mortality rates.


Today, on International Women’s Day, we would like to thank all our partners for their untiring support to vulnerable women throughout the world. Millions of women do not have access to essential medicines for themselves and their families. Our NGO partners on the ground are reaching tens of thousands with essential medicines that save lives. UK medics and humanitarians are carrying our Essential Health Packs to areas that have little or no access to medicine, and making a big difference.


None of this would be possible without the generous product donations from our corporate partners.


THANK YOU!



Picture: Women at Bansang Hospital pharmacy in the new waiting area. Bansang Hospital is in the central and upper river region of The Gambia and is supported by IHP partner Bansang Hospital Appeal. "It has seating and a roof to protect everyone from the searing temperatures and the tropical rains. Comfort for those that travel great distances is very important and has never been offered in the past," Says BHA Founder/Director Anita Smith.

By IHP, Feb 22 2017 02:21PM

This article about our Doctors' Travel Pack programme (now called Essential Health Pack) first appeared in The Voice Newspaper on 19 February 2017


GP AND TEAM BRINGING CARE TO AFRICAN COUNTRIES IN NEED

Story by Sophia Jones


LONDON-BASED GP Dr. Jibade Salami often reflects at his busy surgery about the people he has met on his overseas missions and how life-changing such trips have been. For the past four years, Salami and his brothers and sisters from Jesus House Church in Brent Park, north west London, have travelled to South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria to treat the health needs of some of these countries’ poorest communities.


Most recently a team of 20 medics and administrators went to Calabar in southern Nigeria. Salami explains:


“We are all volunteers – mostly doctors, pharmacists and nurses. Our ages range from 25 to 55 and we’re all from London.”


The team took medical kits obtained from UK-based charity International Health Partners (IHP). The kits, called Doctors’ Travel Packs (DTPs), comprise two boxes of primary healthcare medicines, with approximately 800 treatments for adults and children. Packs typically include antibiotics, anti-fungals, analgesics, antacids, anti-inflammatories, anti-parasitics, eye drops/ ointment and inhalers. Most products are for acute conditions.


All the medicines are donated from companies such as Walgreens Boots Alliance, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson.


The health team, which belongs to Jesus House’s wider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department, spent 10 days in the community.


“Calabar and southern Nigeria has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. We had two midwives and a gynaecologist among us who provided antenatal and post-natal care,” Salami said.


Another issue in this area is high blood pressure and diabetes.


“We focused on educating people, prescribing medicines and explaining if they look after themselves properly they can live longer, healthier lives,” he said.


“Our goal was to ensure they first got the medicines they needed and secondly be better educated about their health.”


Thirty-five per cent of the people they treated had high blood pressure. The team was able to treat patients with high blood pressure and antenatal medicines from the DTPs.


News about the team’s arrival and the medicines soon reached the surrounding villages.


“When we arrived, the community held a party for us. African communities are very friendly and welcoming,” he added.


“They realised that none of us were sponsored, and that we were volunteering our time.


“They saw that we were there because of love. This motivated them to publicise that we were at the clinic.”


Impact


Salami, a 46-year-old married father of two, has no doubt that the team has had a positive impact on the health needs of the people of Calabar. However, the trip was also life-changing for the team.


“It does something for you personally that you can’t replicate. You get a fulfilment like no other. Most clinicians come into this field to help and of course to make money,” he said.


“But, primarily to make a difference in people’s lives.


“When I’m doing my work here, I smile to myself because just two paracetamol tablets has made all the difference to someone who may otherwise not have been able to access it.”


If you would like to know more about IHP and how you can take a Doctors’ Travel Pack overseas email p.keys@ihpuk.org.


To donate to IHP’s Middle East Appeal click here.



Picture: TEAMWORK - Dr. Jibade Salami, surrounded by his team, holds a Doctor's Travel Pack (DTP) box during the Calabar visit


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