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By IHP, Sep 5 2018 12:31PM

Saida is eight years old. A year ago, like most girls her age in Tanzania, she was in Primary School Year Two. She was happy. Her favourite subjects were maths and writing; she was among the top of her class; had won a Best-in-Year prize the previous year and enjoyed playing dodgeball with her friends. Life was good.

This year her education has slipped backwards because she’s had to spend so much time in hospital. You see, Saida has cancer. To be precise, she has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (a cancer of the immune system). A doctor at the hospital in Dar-es-Salaam, where Saida is being treated, describes her journey in the last 12 months as ‘a huge battle’.

When Saida first started to feel unwell and was taken for medical assessment, she was treated for tuberculosis (TB). As her condition continued to deteriorate she was given an incision biopsy which enabled the pathology lab to confirm a correct diagnosis which identified a hidden cancer in her chest. The delay in correct diagnosis had allowed the cancer to spread to her neck.

TLM – which stands for Their Lives Matter or Tumaini la Maisha (which, translated literally, means ‘Hope for Life’) – supports hospitals in Tanzania caring for children with cancer.

In resource rich-countries across Europe, North America and beyond, cure rates of 85% are expected for all children with cancer. The success rate in most Sub-Saharan countries is closer to 5%, and so Tanzania is fortunate to have the support of TLM whose work means that upwards of 500 children a year receive treatment. TLM has links to the UK and Ireland and IHP supplies donated medical treatments to TLM on a regular basis.

Back to Saida. Once diagnosed correctly, she was started on a regime of intravenous chemotherapy every four weeks. For each cycle, Saida comes into the hospital for several days to get her blood count checked the day before the treatment, and then is kept in for a day after the chemotherapy to monitor her response.

Luckily for Saida, her family live close by, so she is able to return home after each hospital stay. For other children at the clinic this is not possible and their stays are much longer.

At the time of writing, Saida has just finished her last cycle of chemo and the doctors are pleased with the response. Although the mass in her chest remains, the cancer in her neck has completely subsided.

Although Saida was quiet when she first came in for treatment, she has been recovering so well, the doctors say she is now usually the happiest person on the ward. During a recent visit by IHP Chief Executive Adele Paterson, and Director of Programmes Louise Hart, Saida was skipping around, full of beans, posing for photographs and trying to negotiate an early release with the doctors. She was desperate to get home because she was going to be a flower girl at her auntie’s wedding.

In a brief pause as she skipped past, Saida told Louise that she hadn’t quite decided what she wanted to be when she was older, but had narrowed the choice to becoming either a teacher, a doctor or a policewoman.

Successful treatment will allow her to go back to the top of the class and complete her education, so it looks as if she will have the career options of her choice. Without TLM or the medicines provided by IHP, this would not have been possible.

Update Aug 2018 – Saida is in Dar es Salaam for the final stage of her treatment where she is receiving radiotherapy

By IHP, Jun 20 2018 11:32AM

Imagine this: burning sun, dust in your eyes and mouth, little or no food for several days, no water to drink, a meagre bundle of clothes under your arm (your only possessions) and the crying of hungry children.

This is a reality for thousands of people in the world today.

On World Refugee Day (20th June) it’s sobering for a minute to recall that, in those same 60 seconds, 20 people somewhere in the world will be forced to leave their homes and start a long journey often with an unknown destination.

It is estimated that there are currently 65 million displaced people in the world today.

Sub-Saharan Africa

South Sudan entered its fifth year of conflict in 2018, and violence, displacement, and drought continue to fuel a dire humanitarian crisis there. Approximately 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and 1.9 million people have become internally displaced, with 85% of the displaced population estimated to be women and children.

As a direct result of the protracted conflict, South Sudan experienced a famine in 2017 in the northern state of Unity and the country continues to face crisis levels of food insecurity today. Poor nutrition as well as humble living conditions, overcrowding at internally displaced persons (IDP) sites, and a lack of infection prevention and control at health and sanitation facilities have led to increases of water borne illness and disease, including the longest outbreak of cholera in the country’s history, which lasted from June 2017 to February 2018.

IHP support

IHP (International Health Partners) has been supporting its partners International Medical Corps and World Relief in the region with the provision of medical aid including Essential Health Packs (EHPs), each kit containing over 800 medical treatments.

Both partners have been supporting conflict-affected populations in South Sudan for over 20 years, long before the civil war first erupted in 2013, and today provide comprehensive primary and secondary healthcare to vulnerable communities, focusing on IDPs and refugees who have little to no access to medical services.

The EHPs have helped replenish and maintain stocks of antibiotics and other medicines needed for the treatment of acute respiratory tract infections and other bacterial infections. Previous IHP donations have reached conflict-affected populations in South Sudan during the height of the rainy season, when the people are at highest risk for disease, and in the midst of South Sudan’s famine and drought in the Greater Upper Nile region.

To date, IHP-donated medicines have helped over 58,000 people directly. These are mostly women, children and girls, although, in principle, the clinics and centres attend to anyone who needs help, without discrimination. This has helped to make a significant contribution to saving lives, alleviating suffering, and reducing the social and economic impact of the famine and drought on vulnerable communities in South Sudan by supporting gaps at local healthcare clinics and hospitals, and increasing the quality of care provided to vulnerable IDPs and refugees.

It’s a partnership that makes a big impact. You can make an impact too.

The sun still burns and the children continue to cry; there is still not enough food and water. But IHP and partners continue to provide essential health care.

If you would like to support our work, please go to donate here.

Thank you

By IHP, Nov 17 2017 10:10AM

Antibiotics are a critical tool for treating bacterial infections and are especially important for vulnerable individuals such as the elderly, young babies and people with weakened immune systems. This World Antibiotics Awareness Week we focus on the rise of antibiotic resistance, the use of antibiotics in resource-poor settings and the work of IHP.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development today. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites) change when exposed to antimicrobial drugs. As a result of this resistance, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spreading to others. AMR has been reported at dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases, and a risk of increased mortality and disability world-wide. The WHO has warned that without urgent action we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which even a common infection or injury could be deadly.

One factor that contributes to the rise in AMR is the use of poor quality medicines. In many parts of the world where counterfeit or sub-standard medicines are common, people may have no choice but to take the treatments available to them. But in a medicine where the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) has been reduced or degraded, deliberately or through production error, this can enable the microorganisms to develop resistance and replicate, to the detriment of both the individual sick patient and the wider effectiveness of the drug.

IHP works towards ensuring that people in vulnerable and disaster-hit communities have access to safe medicines; that medics and other health workers can be confident that the treatments they are prescribing are going to help, not hurt, those in need. The medicines donated through IHP are high-quality medicines, meeting stringent safety standards, which have never left the supply chain.

Case Study from Uganda

A group of medics recently took a pack of IHP medicines to support their hernia repair work in a hospital in Luweeru, Southern Uganda. One patient they came across was in need of surgery to treat large multiple hernias, but was unable to have the surgery he needed because of several infected wounds that had not healed following a motorbike accident. This situation had left him unable to work. He was given IHP antibiotics, and within just a few days his wounds had cleared enough to enable him to have the long-awaited surgery. The team of medics were extremely pleased with the result, with the fact that such a simple treatment of a high quality drug could make such a difference to the life and wellbeing of an individual in need.

“We would like to re-iterate our thanks for the opportunity to take the [IHP] health packs with us. The huge benefit that these will have had and will continue to have on the community of Luweeru and those around is huge”

Dr Laura McClelland, visiting medic to Uganda

This is one example of the way that IHP medicines, particularly good quality antibiotics, are impacting people globally. IHP supports the responsible donation of medicines through our partners, in line with good practice around appropriate use of antibiotics.

“The world is facing significant health challenges: complex crises, environmental change, inequalities and rising pressure on struggling health systems. Through partnership across the sector and through provision of high quality medicines, IHP is able to support doctors and patients in vulnerable settings to avoid some of the pitfalls around antibiotic resistance and be a part of the solution in overcoming this global issue”.

Adele Paterson, IHP CEO

By IHP, Nov 2 2017 09:17AM

International Health Partners (IHP) has appointed Adele Paterson as their third Chief Executive Officer. The charity is moving into a new stage of development as it examines commercial opportunities as well as existing charity collaborations to provide greater access to quality medicines for all.

Prof. Richard Barker, Chair of the Board of Trustees of IHP said:

‘Adele is moving into the role of Chief Executive to build the impact of the organisation at this exciting time in our journey. Moving from her current position as Director of Corporate Partners, Adele brings with her a wealth of knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry. She has an international reputation, sitting on the board of the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations and Integral Alliance, and has initiated unique partnerships with UK and international pharmaceutical companies during her nine years at IHP. We are delighted that she has accepted our invitation to lead IHP into the new phase of development.'

Adele Paterson, said:

‘I’m delighted to be IHP’s third CEO, following founder Anthony Dunnett CBE and Alex Harris at this watershed moment for the organisation and the industry. The world is facing significant health challenges: complex crises, environmental change and the rise of “lifestyle” diseases creating further pressure on broken health systems. While demand grows, funding falls. However, IHP’s expertise and effectiveness mean that we are a valuable weapon in the fight for access to medicines for all and we intend to step up the attack in this vital area with even stronger partnerships built across the sector. With the help of the committed IHP team, I intend to strengthen the bridge that IHP provides between quality medicines and immense need. I relish the challenges ahead and look forward to working with our partners and staff team as we increase our life-saving impact.’


For more information and additional photos please contact Tina Grear on 07811 815658

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.