The first plane bearing essential medicines donated by pharmaceutical companies in the UK touched down in Haiti today (Thursday, 21 January).
It is the first consignment of many planned flights. Pledges of donations from pharmaceutical companies so far total £5.6 million.
The medicines are to treat a wide range of conditions, and include comprehensive medical kits that contain antibiotics, analgesics, anti-fungals, water purification tablets and wound dressings among other supplies. They have all been requested by medical authorities in Haiti to ensure that they will be of maximum use.
The first load, of emergency kits that can treat up to 20,000 people, was on board a charter aircraft that left from Newquay yesterday and landed at Port-au-Prince this afternoon. More flights are planned over the next few days and weeks.
Anthony Dunnett, President of International Health Partners (IHP) – the organisation that co-ordinates offers of medical aid to disaster zones and works closely with local and international aid bodies – said: “We have to ensure that the medicines we send to Haiti are exactly what are needed by doctors on the spot so that patients gain maximum benefit.
“Arrangements are in place to ensure that these supplies reach patients with the minimum of delay once the aircraft has landed.”
IHP’s industry liaison function is being co-ordinated from the offices of the Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) in Whitehall free of charge. “We are delighted to play our part in helping the people of Haiti by ensuring that essential medical supplies are delivered where they are going to give maximum benefit fast,” said Dr Richard Barker, Director General of the ABPI.
For further information, please contact the ABPI press office: 020 7747 1410.