Canadian healthcare companies provide medical aid for people of Zimbabwe



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 10 /CNW Telbec/ - The people of Zimbabwe are in a
desperate situation and Canadian healthcare companies are responding with
significant donations of medical aid through Health Partners International of
Canada (HPIC).
    Medicines and medical supplies worth more than $3 million are being
packed in a container that will leave the HPIC Distribution Centre in
Mississauga in mid-June to be delivered to The Salvation Army Howard Hospital,
located 80 km north of the capital city of Harare.
    The Howard Hospital is best known to Canadians as the place where
conjoined twins were born in 2004, and flown to Toronto to be separated at
Sick Kids in March 2005.
    The community has been devastated with the combination of the downward
spiral of the economy, the ravages of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and food
insecurity. In this context, medicine for the hospital pharmacy is often not
available or not affordable.
    Canadian Dr. Paul Thistle, chief medical officer - and presently the only
full-time physician - at the Howard Hospital said, "The donation of medicine
and medical supplies from HPIC will go a long way to bridge the gaps in the
provision of basic health care services at Howard Hospital. It will allow our
hospital to be a beacon of hope in a very difficult environment."
    According to Glen Shepherd, Executive Vice-president and COO of HPIC,
this shipment illustrates the good things that happen when people and
organizations come together. "It's all about partnership. Here we have a dozen
healthcare companies from different sectors of the industry, the Salvation
Army, a handful of financial donors, a Canadian doctor and HPIC. Together we
will bring healing to thousands of people."
    "I have been personally involved with both the Howard Hospital and HPIC,"
said Dr. Keith Martin, Official Opposition Critic for International
Development and Member of Parliament for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca. "It gives me
great pleasure to see these two organizations working together to bring some
relief to the suffering people of Zimbabwe. These medications from HPIC are
going to save lives. Thank you once again for meeting the basic needs of a
people the world has forgotten."
    Her Excellency Florence Chideya, Zimbabwe's ambassador to Canada,
expressed her appreciation on behalf of Zimbabweans, both here and at home.
"The government of Zimbabwe is grateful for the generosity of Canadian
companies and is pleased to facilitate the entry of this medical aid into the
country."

    HPIC (Health Partners International of Canada) is a medical aid
organization dedicated to improving access to health care and medicine in the
developing world. Since 1990, HPIC has provided more than $250 million of
medical aid to 116 countries. www.hpicanada.ca




For further information:

For further information: Marg Buchanan, Director, Media Relations,
Office: (514) 695-0007, cell: (514) 402-2270, mbuchanan@hpicanada.ca


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