Message from our President & CEO: An Important Update on our Response to COVID-19.

Together, like never before in our lifetimes, we are witnessing that global health affects us all and now more than ever we need to work together for the benefit and safety of humanity.

At HPIC, we are reminded of the essential role we play everyday in providing health and hope to vulnerable communities around the world. Even though we in Canada might be feeling the strain of isolation and fear about our jobs and the economy, we cannot lose sight of the fact that many people around the world do not enjoy the same access to healthcare and housing that is allowing us to keep ourselves well during this crisis.

HPIC is actively working to respond to vulnerable communities with undersupplied healthcare systems that are now being further impacted and are in need of support and life-saving medicines. Our program staff are working around the clock to support our local partners by assessing the medicine and equipment needed; offering training to protect healthcare personnel; and providing prevention programs to help limit the spread of the disease. We are also working closely with our industry partners to source medicines and supplies. Last week, six skids of personal protective equipment including gloves, shoe covers, and coveralls left our distribution centre in Oakville, Ontario to help fight the COVID-19 crisis.

HPIC is also working to ensure the safety and well-being of our donors, partners, volunteers and staff. To mitigate the risk of our staff and broader community, HPIC staff continue to work but remotely and our warehouse operations continue with limitations to deliveries only at this time.

Our priority and our commitment to help individuals in need of medical products and support living in underserved communities across the world remains. To learn more about our response and ways that you can step in to help at this critical time, visit:

Wishing you good health during this unsettling time.

Marcelle McPhaden

President & CEO

Volunteer in Ghana

HPIC is looking for a Medical Doctor or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner to volunteer in Ghana this Spring. The volunteer will support the capacity building of nurses and other health workers as part of HPIC’s maternal and child health project that is being implemented in Ghana by HPIC in partnership with the district health directorate of Amansie West and South.

Location: Amansie West and South Districts, Ashanti Region, Ghana

Start Date: May/June 2020 (flexible)

Duration: 3-4 days for planning and preparation (in Canada), and 4-5 days in Ghana

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Prepare and co-facilitate experience sharing/training sessions on Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illnesses (IMNCI) for nurses and other health workers who provide care for newborn and children under five.*
  • Assess current practices (both pre-service and in-service) and co-identify additional training needs and priorities.

* The training should cover topics such as bacterial infections, jaundice, diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, measles, anemia and malnutrition. For teaching purposes, you may choose to present with videos or PowerPoint presentations that should be prepared prior to your arrival in Ghana. You could also bring your teaching tools (dolls, posters, handouts…etc.) with you.

Qualifications and Skills:

  • A recognized professional degree in pediatrics or pediatric nursing, and an active professional license.
  • Experience in clinical practice.
  • Experience in conducting workshops, trainings and seminars on IMNCI topics.
  • Excellent people skills and demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Good interpersonal/communication skills.
  • Good knowledge of written and spoken English.
  • Flexibility.
  • Experience working or volunteering in low-resource areas or having cross-cultural experience is an asset.


  • This is a voluntary position. HPIC and its in-country partner will provide the following:
  • Pre-departure logistics support and preparation.
  • Flight tickets.
  • Reimbursement for medical insurance (pre-approval from HPIC is needed).
  • Pick up and drop off from Accra airport.
  • Clean, basic accommodation and meals.
  • Wireless internet (most of the time).
  • Reimbursement for visa and required vaccination fees.
  • Support from HPIC and its in-country partner throughout the stay in Ghana*.
  • A $30 stipend to offset incidental expenses for each day overseas.

*The volunteer will be accompanied by an HPIC staff member during her/his stay in Ghana.

Application Process:

Interested candidates should email a copy of their CV and details of two professional references to Catherine Sharouty ( as soon as possible. Selected volunteer(s) will be asked to complete a detailed application and sign a waiver form.

$50,000 Grant Awarded to HPIC

HPIC is pleased to announce that beginning this month, Kenyans who have no access to medical care will be connected with general practitioners after being awarded a $50,000 grant by Stronger Together.

According to the Global Health Workforce Alliance, about one billion people today will never see a health worker in their entire lives. Patients who live in poor, remote communities often have to travel long distances to receive health services. The high cost of transportation, time required to travel to the nearest health facility, and stigma associated with certain diseases make it difficult, if not impossible to access necessary care.

Telemedicine is a new solution to some of these challenges. Telemedicine uses information and communications technology to connect community health workers and patients to skilled health professionals without the need for an in-person visit. With telemedicine, health professionals are able to evaluate, diagnose and provide clinical services to patients remotely via video/audio connections.

Thanks to the $50,000 grant from Stronger Together, HPIC will pilot a telemedicine application in Kenya. Community health workers will be equipped with a tablet and a software app that will allow them and their patients to have a live consultation with a doctor or a nurse at a health facility. With the help of a community health worker and a digital stethoscope, the virtual health provider will be able to do most of what any in-person health professional can. Equipped with the same software, the doctor or the nurse will be able to coach community health workers and advise on the treatment of their patients, helping them manage cases that are beyond their ability, as well as avoiding unnecessary referrals and reducing the burden of travel on patients and families.

The app will incorporate store-and-forward features, live consultations, image management and other features that will bring patients, community health workers and health professionals to a single platform.

Learn more about the project and the grant.

What is your hope for the holidays?

For many people around the world, hope does not reside in a season, but in the need of health.

Since the day Siliana was born, the hope of everyone around her was for Siliana to survive. Siliana was born extremely small, weighing only 1.8 pounds. She went through several traumatic incidents in the first couple of weeks of her life and nobody thought that she would make it. She was brought to House of Hope, a children’s home in Haiti where she was properly cared for – a place where she received food, shelter, clothing and an education.

Growing up at House of Hope gave Siliana the basic necessities she needed to survive. However, there was one medical issue that continued to plague her over the years. Since she was a baby, Siliana constantly battled with respiratory infections with no sign of relief. Fortunately, one of HPIC’s humanitarian partners made a visit to House of Hope and brought a Humanitarian Medical Kit to help children like Siliana living in the home. Siliana was prescribed Montelukast which cut her infections down to rare occurrences. Today, she is able to live a normal life, go to school and continue to grow into an amazing young lady.

Hope can only be ignited when sickness and suffering are eliminated. This holiday season, we are inviting you to bring health and hope to children like Siliana by shopping with HPIC’s Gifts of Hope!

A very special thank you from Omanna!

What do you do when a storm comes and you have nowhere to turn? That was the question Omanna had to ask herself last August, when she was flooded out of her home after heavy rainfalls hit the Kerala state. Faced with the worst floods in almost a century, a state of emergency was declared and the need for medicine was urgent.

HPIC responded to the crisis by airlifting two shipments of medicine to support flood victims like Omanna. Once the shipments arrived, they were distributed to multiple health care institutions to provide victims with access to medicines immediately.

Omanna is extremely thankful for the medication that she received from Canadians. Before the flood, she was a house labourer where she would go to three homes a day to help with tasks around the house. This involved cooking, cleaning and running errands for home owners.

When the heavy rainfall came and the flood waters rose, her home was completely destroyed. Having nowhere to turn, she took her two kids to the nearest government relief camp located in the City of Changanassery.

In a hurry to get somewhere safe, she forgot to take her medications with her as her priority was the safety of her family. Thankfully, HPIC was able to work with the government of Kerala to send medicine and medical supplies to camps like the one where Omanna and her children were staying. At the relief camp, she and her family got medicines for diabetes, cholesterol, fever, cough and asthma.

When she found out that many of the medicines she received during her time in the relief camp were from Canadians who donated to HPIC, she was very grateful and wanted to send a special thank you!

Snapshot of HPIC’s response to the floods in Kerala, India:

1st shipment

  • 1.5 tonnes of medicines
  • $200K worth of products
  • 75,000* treatments of analgesics, antibiotics, antihypertensives and antihyperglycemics

2nd shipment

  • 2.2 tonnes of medicines
  • $460,000 worth of products
  • 75,000* treatments of mostly antibiotics and medicines to treat non-communicable diseases
  • 30,000 patients treated in a timely manner

Thanks to the support of generous Canadians and pharmaceutical partners, the Government of Kerala was able to redirect some of the funds they received originally allocated for medicine purchases. Those funds were then used to purchase drinking water purification resources which was a major concern at the time.

This holiday season, help people like Omanna when disaster strikes. Bring health and hope to a community in crisis by giving a gift of hope to HPIC’s Emergency Relief program.


HPIC Welcomes A New President: Marcelle McPhaden

Health Partners International Canada (HPIC) is pleased to announce the appointment of its new President, Marcelle McPhaden.

Marcelle has a significant history with HPIC, initially volunteering after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, quickly onboarding as staff, and eventually serving as the organization’s Director, Product Planning until 2009. Returning in 2017, Marcelle has taken on increasing responsibilities, most recently as the Senior Director, Healthcare Relations and Programs.

This year Marcelle steered the organization’s successful development through formulating HPIC’s 2019-2021 strategic plan, securing a historic financial donation to initiate implementation of the plan, and by building strong relationships with external stakeholders, as well as the HPIC Board of Directors and staff. These initiatives have enabled HPIC to continue the delivery of medicines, healthcare supplies and healthcare capacity building programs to impoverished communities in over 50 developing countries and to plan for future growth and development.

Marcelle’s expertise in healthcare development stems from her time as a clinician and hospital manager and in working at Accreditation Canada and the Canadian Medical Association. In these roles she has driven forward organizational missions, created operational efficiencies and implemented innovative programs.  She also worked in the US pharmaceutical industry in product development and clinical research. These insights provide a strong foundation for her successful relationships with healthcare industry partners.

Marcelle has engaged with international Ministries of Health in strengthening national health standards and has facilitated the assessment of health care organizations and health professional training programs, collaborating with national and provincial associations and regulators.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, a Master of Health Administration and serves as a board member on two not-for-profit health and social service agencies.

Marcelle’s leadership, work ethic and communication skills have proven her to be an integral asset to HPIC. The Board of Directors and staff are pleased to welcome her into her new role as CEO and President.   

2nd Annual Health and Hope Day Raises Awareness and Funds for Health Relief Efforts.

Every humanitarian medical shipment sent by Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) is enabled thanks to the combined generosity of individual donors, volunteers and Canadian companies who regularly provide HPIC with the products needed to save lives.

Every kit has enough medicine to treat over 300 patients and is hand-packed to meet the needs of the individual communities they serve.

Medical products are donated by Canadian pharmaceutical and medical device companies who also volunteer regularly to help pack HPIC’s array of health kits.

“We are able to respond promptly and effectively thanks to generosity of these corporations,” says Denis St. Amour, President of HPIC. “Their support is vital to the work we do.”

“We rely on the generosity of Canadians who donate and enable us to help those in need,” says Mr. St. Amour. “For the next six months every dollar you give will be doubled thanks to the Perfect Match Campaign and the generous donor who offered to match every gift you make up to $75,000.”

“By supporting the Perfect Match Campaign your gift of $20 becomes $400 dollars of medicine on the ground.”

Celebrate Health and Hope and change a life by contributing to the Perfect Match Campaign today.



Thanks to the generosity of Canadian drug and medical supplies manufacturers, and its financial donors and volunteers, Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) is mobilizing medical relief for those affected by Cyclone Idai in southeastern Africa. The massive storm tore through the region two weeks ago, leaving more than 800 confirmed dead so far and millions suffering in unsanitary conditions without adequate healthcare.

An initial shipment of primary care medicines is being finalized for airlift by HPIC directly from its warehouse in Oakville, Ontario, to Harare, Zimbabwe, for distribution by the Salvation Army of Zimbabwe to rural hospitals affected by the cyclone.

This shipment includes a broad array of essential medicines donated by Canadian companies that regularly provide requested products in advance for HPIC to utilize in its humanitarian medical programs, enabling this prompt response to this devastating humanitarian and medical crisis.

This first shipment consists of 20 Humanitarian Medical Kits which, thanks to its regular corporate donors, HPIC has on hand. Regular Humanitarian Medical Kit contributors include: Allergan, Apotex, AstraZeneca Canada, Bayer, Becton, Dickinson & Company, GlaxoSmithKline Inc., Johnson & Johnson Inc., Merck Canada, Paladin Laboratories, Pfizer, Pharmascience, Teva and Vita Health Products, and others that contribute when possible.

The kits are crucial in a circumstance such as this they meet immediate and varied needs and are easily transportable for distribution to a variety of centers. Each kit generally provides enough treatment for more than 300 patients, meaning this initial shipment will help meet the medical needs of some 6,000 cyclone victims, or several large villages.

“HPIC is very pleased to be able to quickly provide this initial donated Canadian medical aid to the people of Zimbabwe who have been affected by this disastrous and unprecedented cyclone,” said Denis St. Amour, President of HPIC. “We are in contact with partners working in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi who are ascertaining immediate and emerging health needs and we are confident our generous Canadian corporate and individual donors will rise to the occasion so we will be able to answer their further needs, which we know will be great.”

Along with the Salvation Army, HPIC is in direct contact with the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe and is planning for further shipments there and to Mozambique, and is in communication with partners in Malawi. 

HPIC receives donations from companies in Canada’s four major medical and medicinal supply industries: Innovative Medicines Canada, the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, the Consumer Health Products Canada and MEDEC, the medical technology industry in Canada, and from independent companies and financial supporters.

HPIC is continuing its appeal to the industry and the Canadian community to respond to this crisis and looks forward to sending further much-needed aid in the coming weeks.

To consider any type of medical product donation please contact:

Marcelle McPhaden, Senior Director, Healthcare Relations and Programs, Health Partners International of Canada, Tel: 514-822-1112, ext. 130 / Cell: 514-815-1875, Email:

To contribute financially to this response please donate here:


Providing medicine to the world’s biggest family

HPIC Project Partner Profile on Mully Children’s Family Canada

By Alicia Kolenda

Dr. Charles Mulli often gets up in the middle of the night and goes driving to rescue children in need.

An abandoned child himself, Dr. Mulli has made it his life’s mission to rescue children from the streets of Kenya. He worked his way up from a very humble labourer to become a millionaire, with a monopoly in Kenya’s oil industry. After an encounter with a child on the street, he decided to sell everything and never work for money again. He took in his first orphan shortly after. Over the past 27 years, Mully Children’s Family has become huge — the largest family in the world.  More than 23,000 children have found a home with Mully Children’s Family (MCF).

Currently, there are 3,500 children living at MCF at six different sites, five in Kenya and one in Tanzania. Many of the children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS, are abandoned, or come out of abusive situations like child labour or the sex trade. At MCF, every child is given enough love and family to make up for their neglect. They are taught how to tell their story, and are provided nutrition, clean water, healthcare and education.

MCF is also committed to supporting the community surrounding each of their sites, hiring their neighbours to work in their agricultural programs. A water tower sits immediately outside the main entrance to MCF’s largest site in Ndalani, supplying the entire area with fresh drinking water every day.

Canada supports MCF by sending their only volunteer medical teams to the permanent clinic in Ndalani. These teams hold two-week clinics several times a year, and provide additional outreach to the community around MCF.

Dr. Karen Ling, a Canadian family physician in Markham, Ontario and a member of the largest medical team sent to MCF, says, “It is a place where the norm for these children was immense poverty of basic necessities, both material, like food, water and shelter, and intangible but no less a necessity, love, hope and purpose. In spite of this, one family built a place that shows the power of restoration in a broken life.”

Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) has supported each and every Canadian medical team with donated medicines, sending almost $105,000 worth of medicine last year in the form of Humanitarian Medical Kits for primary care and special requests. This medicine was used to treat thousands of patients, and keep the MCF pharmacy well stocked for additional support between clinic teams.

When Dr. Mulli began taking children off the streets one by one, he had no idea he would see so many come through his home. These children have gone to university and trade schools, all paid for by MCF. Not only has Mully Children’s Family changed those children’s lives, but through their outreach programs, including medical clinics, they have changed entire communities.

HPIC is pleased to support Mully Children’s Family. With your support, we will continue to work with MCF, ensuring every child and member of the Mully Children’s Family community has access to medicine when needed.

To support HPIC’s work with other great partners like Mully Children’s Family, visit our donate page.


Hamilton mobilization for Rohingya refugees

Just back from Bangladesh, Noor Nizam described to Health Partners International of Canada the dire situation of the Rohingya refugees who live in camps in Cox’s Bazaar.

“These 900,000 people are living in totally unacceptable conditions,” he related to HPIC in a telephone interview. “It is monsoon season now and there is mud and water everywhere. They have no drinking water and no food and their shelters will not stand the wrath of the monsoon. The world has turned its back on them.”

Noor was moved to find out more about the Rohingya refugee crisis in the fall of 2017. It is the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.

“The more I dug into the story, the more I felt compelled to do something to help these people,” he said. “We wanted to be their voice in Canada.” The Hamilton mobilization includes 6 mosques, the United Church of Canada, the City of Hamilton, the local communities of Hamilton and Dundas, and the Bangladeshi community of Canada.

Through their efforts they have been able to raise public awareness in Ontario about the plight of the Rohingya and raise funds to get emergency medical relief to them.

In June, Noor brought eight Humanitarian Medical Kits comprising 16 boxes of medicines from HPIC with his friend Rahim Chowdhury to provide medical treatment for an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 children and adults.

“Malnutrition is rampant. The children are weak and vulnerable to sickness. They get diarrhea, stomach problems, malaria and more. Drinking water is very scarce. The health workers cannot do much without medicines,” Noor said.

The medicines they brought to their on-the-ground partner, the Red Crescent Society of Bangladesh, could fill the pharmacy at the camp. “The field staff at the camp hospital really appreciated the donated medicines from Canada and expressed a desire for more.”

Noor is continuing to mobilize support for the Rohingya refugees and is planning more medical relief in partnership with HPIC.