Putting a face to Bayer’s donations
For more than two decades, Bayer has been supporting Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC), a Canadian charity dedicated to increasing access to medicine and improving health for the developing world and communities in crisis. Since HPIC’s first project in 1990 an estimated 20,000,000 people have been treated.
In 2017, Bayer was a top donor of medicines to HPIC. In 2017 alone, Canadian medical mission minded volunteers carried hundreds of Humanitarian Medical Kits that included product donated by Bayer to vulnerable communities in over 25 countries.
As well, Bayer products were included in major provisions of medical relief to Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Malawi, Nicaragua, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
Thanks to product donations and core funding from Bayer and a network of pharmaceutical and healthcare companies in Canada, HPIC equips medical mission teams and Canadian volunteers, stocks clinics and hospitals, responds to emergencies, and builds local capacity.
HPIC is the only charity licensed by Health Canada to handle donated medicines for the developing world, making HPIC Canada’s unique channel for medical relief.
Since 1995 Bayer Inc. in Canada has contributed $22.8 million in product and over $250,000 in financial donations to HPIC.
At Bayer, helping to improve the health and well-being of communities around the globe is an important part of our corporate social engagement, but it’s not all about product and funding. The company also sends volunteers several times a year to pack Humanitarian Medical Kits for relief efforts overseas.
These kits are needed by Canadian volunteers who go on short term medical missions. The kits are also used to respond to emergencies that strike impoverished communities. Surprisingly, in 2017 there are still about two billion people globally who lack access to the medicine they need (World Health Organization). Bayer employees pitched in and volunteered to pack Humanitarian Medical Kits to equip a medical mission team travelling to northern Ghana.
The community in Ghana that received the kits Bayer packed held nine mobile clinics in remote villages, over the course of two weeks in November. About 3,000 people were treated with the kits. The patients were triaged and treated by medical, dental and eye teams, and there was a 3-suite surgical theatre set up to operate on hernias. The main problems were: basic primary care concerns, malaria, pneumonia, diabetes, hypertension, tropical infections, and respiratory illnesses.
Bayer volunteers rolled up their sleeves to carefully pack kits that contain the right type and number of medicines needed. Each person tackled one station of medicines, first counting out the packages and then verifying lot numbers. The next step was an assembly line to pack the medicines into each Humanitarian Medical Kit, making the most of every nook and cranny.
I am so happy to have participated in a volunteer day with HPIC. It was a valuable experience learning about the medical mission that would receive the Humanitarian Medical Kits we packed, and very rewarding to see how many boxes we packed by the end of the day”
A second group of Bayer employees also volunteered to assemble medical kits for the displaced persons of Syria. While packing the medical kits, which were delivered to doctors in Syria, HPIC employees relayed stories of how these kits help victims of natural disaster, medical outbreaks and refugee crises. HPIC conveyed their gratitude for their help.
The Bayer volunteers were grateful for this opportunity to give to others in need and were touched by the many stories, especially about the Izzy dolls. The final activity was to pack little dolls in the kits. These dolls were knitted by thousands of volunteers across Canada. The dolls not only serve as packing material but more importantly for the doctors to give to the youngest patients. Often it is the child’s only toy.
The Bayer team agreed that this was an amazing experience and many plan to volunteer again in 2018.