IHP final logo Green

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


By IHP, Feb 13 2017 05:40PM

International Health Partners recently received positive feedback from one of our newest partners, St Mark Universal Copts Care (StMUCC), that a donation of medicines arrived safely at Om-Elmasryen Hospital in Egypt.


Dr Naser Fouad, StMUCC’s Chairman, met with the Egyptian Minister of Health who agreed on accepting donated medicines, sorting out all the customs clearance in Egypt and assigning the donated medicines to the hospitals in most need. The first pallet donated from IHP to StMUCC was assigned to Om El Masryen Hospital in Giza Governorate.

The hospital is a busy public hospital in Giza with a population in the city and surrounding villages of more than seven million people. It treats approximately 3000 out-patients a day free of charge and is one of Egypt’s poorest and most deprived hospitals. Because of this Egypt’s Ministry of Health assigned the pallet of more than 2000 units of medicines consisting of antibiotics, antifungal drugs, painkillers, diabetic medication, there.


StMUCC’s Programmes Manager, Andrew Mikhael, who oversaw the shipment to Egypt, said, “All the contents of the pallet were separately stored in the hospital’s pharmacy waiting for us to go and acknowledge its safe arrival. I was able to make a thorough audit of the content of the donated pallet and to see how the medicine will be dispensed later on to people who are really in need.” Andrew and his team agreed with the hospital and pharmacy managers to separately dispense the contents of the donated pallet, hence they will be able to measure its impact on the service provided in the hospital.

“From my visit, I can say that although it was only a pilot shipment with relatively small quantities of medicines, the gratitude we received from the hospital’s staff shows how much of a need there is in such a hospital which serves millions of needy people free of charge,” Andrew continued.


The hospital’s management expressed their gratitude to IHP and corporate donors and promised to report back the impact of the donated medicines in the hospital’s various departments.


IHP’s Programme Officer, Luc Diei-Yoa, said, “We are extremely pleased to receive the positive news that the shipment has arrived and its contents are already being used. This was a pilot shipment and we’re looking forward to a fruitful partnership with St Mark’s going forward. They are doing crucial work by providing much needed assistance to Egypt’s poorest communities and access to medicines plays a major role in this.”


Picture: Om El Masryen Hospital's pharmacy. The sign on the wall says in Arabic, "The free treatments pharmacy." (credit: Andrew Mikhael StMUCC)


By IHP, Jan 30 2017 03:39PM

This story was originally posted January on IHP NGO partner ANERA's website. We are grateful to our corporate partner UCB for the donation of Zirtek.


When 10-year-old Lea complained of difficulty breathing, her mother took her to the clinic close to their house in the Mousaitbeh neighborhood of Beirut. “This wasn’t the first time Lea experienced this, but it was the worst. She was coughing heavily, too,” said her mother Noha Shamieh.


Lea has been suffering from allergies since birth. She’s taken a slew of different medicines, including cortisones, without much effect. “Some doctors mentioned Lea’s allergies will improve as she gets older, but she’s still suffering from allergy attacks,” Noha said.


Mousaitbeh is a crowded area of Beirut that has been heavily impacted by the city’s rising air pollution. The average concentration of particulate matter in Beirut’s air exceeds World Health Organization limits by an astounding 150-200%, and is partly caused by conflict in the Middle East. The high level of air pollution causes allergic respiratory symptoms like dry cough and bronchitis.


“The quality of the air we breathe definitely affects Lea’s case,” said her mother Noha. “But we can’t move because our life, work and schooling are all in Beirut.”


Donated Zirtek Combats the Effects of Beirut Air Pollution


After their first visit to the Development Services Center of Mousaitbeh, Lea was prescribed Zirtek. “Just couple of days after taking the medicine, Lea’s condition improved a lot. She can breathe comfortably now and her cough has really died down,” her mother said.


The Zirtek syrup that relieved little Lea’s symptoms was part of an in-kind donation from International Health Partners. Thousands of medications were distributed to dispensaries around Lebanon to be available free of charge to underprivileged community members. The medicine was donated in-kind by International Health Partners and the shipment was made possible through contributions from the Zakat Foundation.


The Development Services Center is a social center governed by the Ministry of Social Affairs in Lebanon. It includes a dispensary for health services and psychosocial services. More than 900 people benefit from the center’s health services. Over one-third of the patients are Syrian refugees.


“Many people come to this clinic because they know we have medicines for seasonal conditions, like allergies,” said Iman Sleiman, the director. “These donations are a great support to the dispensary. Over-the-counter drugs like Zirtek are in high demand.


“Seasonal allergies are very common in Lebanon in the autumn and spring. We see many cases like Lea’s,” said Fida Zaiter, pharmacist at the Development Services Center. “Unfortunately we are often out of Zirtek. Then we have to direct patients elsewhere or pay for it from local pharmacies,” she added.


Picture: The head of the health department at the Mousaithbeh Centre takes stock of the medicines they've received from ANERA


By IHP, Jan 30 2017 01:52PM

INTERNATIONAL HEALTH PARTNERS are members of the Harvard University Global Health and Health Policy Internship Programme. If you are interested in an internship and associated with the programme, please apply through http://ghhp.fas.harvard.edu.




By IHP, Jan 16 2017 05:14PM

The ongoing conflict in Yemen continues to undermine the availability of basic social services, including health. International Health Partners is continuing its urgent call to donor partners for much needed medicines which include Paracetamol, Amoxicillin, Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) and Hydrocortisone, to name just a few.


“Injuries related to conflict, non-communicable diseases, and maternal and child health services are placing a huge strain on a weakened health system,” says Adele Paterson, IHP’s Associate Director of Corporate Partnerships. “Our donors are extremely generous. I hope that they will look at the needs list we have supplied and be able to give what they can,” she continues.


Import interruptions and the closure of air and sea ports have led to shortages in essential medicines and medical supplies.


Since September 2016, government employees, including health staff, have not been receiving regular salaries, resulting in shortages of staff reporting to work at public health facilities. On the other hand, most Yemeni citizens are not able to afford health services from the private sector.


A number of hospitals are reporting shortages in fuel, medicines and medical supplies, particularly drugs for chronic illnesses including renal dialysis solutions, medicines for kidney transplant surgeries, diabetes and blood pressure.


Medical teams are dealing with outbreaks of cholera and measles. IHP is supporting local partners and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the ground.


List of medicines IHP partners in Yemen urgently need

Amoxicillin

Azithyromycin

Ciprofloxacin

Cyclosporine

Diclofenac

Erythromycin

Flucanazole

Folic Acid

Hydrocortisone - all formulations and strengths

Ibuprofen

Lactulose

Magnesium Sulphate

Metronidazole

Multivitamins

Naproxen

Omeprazole

ORS

Paracetamol

Ranitidine

Ringers Lactate

Salbutamol

Saline

Simvastatin


Hospitals in Yemen urgently need medicines and medical supplies (Credit: WHO)

NEWS