Baby and young worker among those healed in D.R.

Dr. Ken Taylor, founder of Not Just Tourists, providing free care in the D.R.

Many Canadians dream about a vacation in tropical Dominican Republic with white sandy beaches and sunshine every day. Yet, many Dominicans would trade in their beaches for access to basic health care and medicine.

Dr. Ken Taylor, a family doctor in St. Catharines, Ontario and his wife Denise, run an organization that enlists Canadian tourists in their mission to distribute medical supplies around the world. On a recent trip to the D.R., Not Just Tourists carried three Physician Travel Packs to two clinics.

“It is unexplainable how many people in poor conditions suffer daily without the necessary medicines,” wrote the Taylors in a report to HPIC. “Your help (through the Physician Travel Packs) is a blessing and helps these people live more productive lives.”

The three PTPs provided enough medicines to treat up to 1,800 patients, including baby Rosa and a young man named Raul.

“One-year-old Rosa came in with an abscess on her temple the size of a peach pit,” the Taylors wrote. “After draining it, we were able to give her an antibiotic suspension & Tylenol to take home with her to heal and avoid further infection.”

Raul, a 24-year-old worker, presented with a 15-day-old open sore on his shin. “It was infected and after cleanings and treatment with Ceftin (an antibiotic), he was back at work,” the Taylors wrote.

The people in Rosa and Raul’s community do not have money to provide for their medical needs. Unless they have an emergency, they wait until the donated medicines arrive from Canada to seek health care.

HPIC hosts a visit from the Canadian Embassy at the Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital in Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan (November 22nd, 2011)

To commemorate Universal Children’s Day, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health (IGICH), the largest children’s hospital in Afghanistan and one of Health Partners International Canada’s (HPIC) partner hospitals, hosted a visit for representatives from Canada’s Embassy in Afghanistan.

The visit highlighted how Canada is contributing to improve the health of young Afghans through projects like HPIC’s Capacity Building and Access to Medicines (CBAM), a project that has been made possible through a $10 million grant from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). In the short term, the CBAM project aims to enhance the direct supply of essential medicines with a long term goal to build capacities of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health to manage its pharmaceutical supply chain.

With the world’s highest infant mortality rate, one in four Afghan children dies before the age of five (311,000 annually). “Addressing these alarming statistics is a not only a key component of the CBAM project but is also part HPIC’s global priority, Women and Children Health Care” said Glen Shepherd, President of HPIC. HPIC’s goal is to work in tandem with Canadian pharmaceutical companies to secure up to $25 million worth of donated medicines and medical supplies. To date, more than 22,800 treatments have been sent to Afghan children by HPIC. More shipments are expected in the coming months.

“Many patients travel for days and by the time they reach the hospital they are very sick and require rigorous medical intervention,” said Dr. Noorulhaq Yousufzai, President of IGICH “We really appreciate Canada’s contribution to improve the distribution of priority medicines to young Afghans.”

For more information on the CBAM project or any of HPIC’s activities, please visit

About HPIC

Health Partners International of Canada is a humanitarian not-for-profit relief and development organization dedicated to improving access to medicine and enhancing health in the developing world. HPIC contributes to well-being by providing donated essential medicines, supplies and vaccines, building national health sector capacities, and responding to emergencies and health threats. We partner with a network of ministries of health, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and healthcare professionals, with pharmaceutical and healthcare product companies, and with Canadian government departments; and we count on the financial support of individual donors, foundations and corporations. Because of our unique model, HPIC multiplies every donated dollar to provide, without discrimination, at least $10 of free medical aid.

For more information contact:
Sylvie Arvanitakis
Toll-free:1-800-627-1787, ext. 125
Tel: 514-822-1112, ext. 125

QC lab staff receive important training

The quality control lab (QC lab), one of the five focuses of HPIC’s Capacity Building and Access to Medicines (CBAM) project in Afghanistan, is a fundamental component in pharmaceutical management, and is an important contributing factor for increasing access to high quality medicines for the people of Afghanistan.

HPIC is working with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health to improve its efficiency and effectiveness of national drug quality control procedures and systems. To accomplish this, HPIC has committed to installing, calibrating and validating all essential laboratory equipment of the QC lab used for pharmaceutical quality testing.

In late 2011, HPIC provided QC lab staff training on lab orientation safety procedures and the proper operation, maintenance and use of QC lab equipment.

All 19 participants, including 17 QC lab staff and two special guests from the Faculty of Pharmacy at Kabul University, were provided a certificate of completion at the end of the training.

Among the positive feedback from those in attendance, one participant stated “The training was very good, especially the general procedures, analysis and resources parts. They were beneficial as they are used alot in the lab routine works.”