MISSISSAUGA (Oct. 30, 2012) Two dozen representatives from competing companies in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry in Mississauga and the GTA came together today to celebrate providing $400 million in donated medicine and hospital supplies through Mississauga-based Health Partners International of Canada.
“This celebration reaches out from Mississauga around the world,” said Richard Boileau, Executive Vice President of HPIC, speaking to the donors. “Together, and with other donors and partners across Canada, you have provided 18 million treatments to vulnerable communities in more than 100 countries.”
Dr. Jennifer Wilson, a family physician from Uxbridge, Ontario, was the guest speaker. She regularly travels to Ghana on a medical mission with Physician Travel Packs, each one filled with enough basic medicines and supplies to give 600 treatments, provided by HPIC.
“I wish to thank HPIC, this incredible relief and development agency,” Dr. Wilson said. “I understand why you are the charity of choice for donated medicines in Canada. And thank you, our pharmaceutical industry, for so beautifully joining together in a spirit of collaboration…to improve health globally.”
“When I am passing through the airport, people often ask me what difference will a few boxes of medicine make?” she said at the event, which was held at the Mississauga warehouse where all the medicines are received, sorted and shipped out. “Mother Teresa used to say ‘we feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.'”
Dr. Wilson shared stories that demonstrated the difference that even one treatment can make in the life of a person in the developing world. “A little boy named Joshua was dying of pneumonia, one of the top three causes of death in Ghana,” she said. Thanks to donated medicine that Dr. Wilson had specially ordered from HPIC along with medicines found in the PTP, the boy made a full recovery.
Another patient Dr. Wilson remembers is the man who came to her near death sick with malaria and pneumonia. “I treated him with medicine in the PTPs,” she said, adding that she later found out that he is the village’s social worker for youth. “He is the man who ensures that young people are receiving an education, making sure that they get sex and health education to prevent HIV, delay marriage and delay sexual activity. Can you imagine the ripple effect that his death would have had?”
Dr. Wilson delivered an inspiring message that the work of HPIC and its partners is very worthwhile. “Did our care and your medicine make a difference in the lives of these two of many thousands? You better believe it! It makes a difference to them, their families, their loved ones, their communities.”