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Humanitarian Medical Kit Contents

Q: What is included in the Humanitarian Medical Kit for primary care?
A: The Humanitarian Medical Kit for primary care includes an array of medicines from various pharmaceutical companies in a wide variety of medicine categories. Since HPIC’s inventory is primarily dependent on donations from the Canadian pharmaceutical industry, the types and quantities of available medicines and medical supplies will vary.

Q: What supplies are included?
A: The Humanitarian Medical Kit for primary care may contain supplies such as oral syringes, liquid medication dispensers for infants, cotton-tipped applicators, sterile and non-sterile dressing materials such as gauze sponges of different sizes, different types of bandages, tapes, eye pads, wound wraps, as well as single-use, medium-size protective gloves. Sterile surgical gloves can be included to protect health workers against possible infections during dressings or the handling of infected materials. The pack has been designed to meet primary healthcare needs, for which reason no equipment or instruments have been included. Stethoscopes are sometimes added depending on availability.

Q: What is not included in the Humanitarian Medical Kit for primary care?
A: The Humanitarian Medical Kit for primary care does not include test kits, vaccines or any medicines against communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or leprosy. No specific medicines are included for the treatment or prevention of sexually transmitted infections. No supplies for regular contraception or condoms are included in the kit. All injectable medicines requiring a cold chain are not included either.

Q: Can the contents of the Humanitarian Medical Kit for primary care be modified?
A: The Humanitarian Medical Kit for primary care is a standardized medical kit based on medicine categories, suggested quantities and product availability, designed for worldwide use to meet primary health needs. It is generally pre-packed in our Distribution Centre and is ready for shipment and immediate dispatch. Humanitarian Medical Kits for primary care can therefore not be modified for each applicant’s request. However, special arrangements for partners taking more than 10 Humanitarian Medical Kits can be made.

For specialized medical care needs, please consult our Humanitarian Medical Kits for Specialized Care that allows applicants to make requests for specific types of medicines not included in the Humanitarian Medical Kits for primary care.


Q: How do I apply for a Humanitarian Medical Kit?
A: You must complete and submit an application for a primary care kit at least three weeks before leaving Canada and pass a screening process. The minimum timeframe for an application for Humanitarian Medical Kits for specialized care is eight weeks before your travel date. Once the application is approved and processed, HPIC will ship the Humanitarian Medical Kit(s) to your address in Canada. Please note that HPIC does not send kits to postal box addresses. Carriers receive their kit(s) two to three days prior to the departure date.

Q: Who can apply?
A: The Humanitarian Medical Kits are designed primarily for Canadian physicians and other health care professionals travelling on medical mission trips. Canadian organizations, including non-governmental organizations, can also submit an application for a Humanitarian Medical Kit. Individuals, affiliated with a Canadian organization/NGO may also apply. If you are a non-healthcare professional applying, a letter confirming the organization/NGO endorsement of the Humanitarian Medical Kit applicant will be necessary to complete the application.

Q: How many Humanitarian Medical Kits for primary care may I request?
A: There is no limit to the number of Humanitarian Medical Kits a partner can request. It is based on the needs on the ground, as it will vary from one medical mission to another. Each Humanitarian Medical Kit includes medicines that can provide up to 600 treatments. 

Q: Where can these Humanitarian Medical Kits go?
A: Our Humanitarian Medical Kits are designed to help vulnerable communities in low and middle-income countries.


Q: Why is a contribution requested for Humanitarian Medical Kits?
A: HPIC requests that its applicants contribute a $600 tax-deductible donation for each Humanitarian Medical Kit for primary care. There is an additional charge of $75 if the Humanitarian Medical Kit is to be shipped to the applicant anywhere within Canada. 

There is also a tax-deductible donation requested for Humanitarian Medical Kits for specialized care. Generally, the suggested donation is based on the number of items requested in the kit. The shipping cost for Humanitarian Medical Kits for specialized care is the responsibility of the applicant.

These contributions cover a portion of HPIC’s operations costs, which include sourcing medicines, maintaining an inventory and tracking system, as well as storing and packing donated medicines.

In addition to contributions received, HPIC fundraises to ensure the ongoing viability of its programs.

Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: Applicants can send their tax-deductible donations for Humanitarian Medical Kits by cheque, credit card (MasterCard, Visa, or American Express), or PayPal. 


Q: How does a Humanitarian Medical Kit get through customs in the country of destination?
A: HPIC provides two documents with each Humanitarian Medical Kit: a certificate of donation and a detailed packing list including products, quantities, and expiry dates. It is the carrier’s responsibility to find out what other documents and steps are required to secure customs clearance. All applicants should seek to understand what the requirements are when bringing donations of medicines to their country of destination. This must take place before submitting an application, the results should be shared with HPIC upon submission of application.


Q: What endorsements are needed for a Humanitarian Medical Kit application?
A: Every application, from both new and returning carriers, should include the endorsement of a physician, dentist or nurse practitioner practicing in Canada along with a copy of the endorser’s current provincial license or registration confirmation. For organizations or affiliated individuals, a letter of recommendation from the organization is also requested. The endorser attests that the information in the application is true and complete to the best of the endorser’s knowledge, and confirms that the applicant shall ensure that the medicines will be appropriately dispensed in the destination country.

Humanitarian Medical Kit for Primary Care Boxes

Q: What is the weight and dimensions of a Humanitarian Medical Kit for primary care?
A: Each kit is composed of two boxes of medicines and medical supplies, which together (as one piece of checked-in luggage) should meet major international airline travel requirements. The two boxes have a combined weight of 20-25kg (45-50 lbs) and fit easily in a duffel or hockey bag. The dimensions of each box are 17” x 11” x 14”. Boxes also have handles for carrying convenience.

Carriers’ Responsibilities

Q: What are the responsibilities of the Humanitarian Medical Kit carrier once they have the kit?
A: Information on the responsibilities of Humanitarian Medical Kit carriers.


Q: How are Humanitarian Medical Kits transported to the country of destination?
A: Humanitarian Medical Kits are usually hand-carried as part of the carriers’ checked-in luggage to their destination and are designed to meet airline travel requirements.


Q: How can I cancel my Humanitarian Medical Kit request?
A: You may call to cancel your request at any time before your Humanitarian Medical Kit is shipped. However, once the kit is shipped, you must notify HPIC of your cancellation and immediately return the medicines. Please note that it is unlawful to utilize these medicines in the Canadian market; they have been donated for mission use only. Once a Humanitarian Medical Kit has departed HPIC’s Distribution Centre, under our Health Canada Drug Establishment License, medicines returned to HPIC cannot be reused and will be destroyed. Please note that contributions to HPIC are final and no credit will be issued should you return the medicines to HPIC.

Other Questions?

Please contact Raphaëlle Plouffe at [email protected] or (514) 822-1112 ext. 104