‘It has made a real difference’: Increasing access to medicines in Haiti

Doctors at St. Luke’s Hospital in Haiti were in urgent need of medicines to treat patients across several units including trauma, cancer and outpatient centers. Through Teva’s ongoing partnership with on-the-ground logistics experts Direct Relief, our medicines have been able to reach those in most need.

While 2010 is a distant memory, it’s a year that would be hard to forget for most people in Haiti. Bringing destruction on an unprecedented scale, the now infamous earthquake that struck the Island is estimated to have killed thousands 01. A subsequent cholera epidemic only added to the trauma and saw many more suffer.

Disasters such as these punctuate an uneasy history for the country, which has been plagued by ongoing political, social and economic unrest. As a result, low-income communities continue to face barriers in gaining sustained access to their basic healthcare needs 02.

Supporting Direct Relief’s ongoing work

For over a decade, Teva has partnered with Direct Relief to provide donations of medicines that help address unmet medical needs in Haiti and other countries in the region. Direct Relief’s logistical expertise and longstanding connections with local governments and healthcare providers ensure that Teva’s donated medicines safely reach the areas where they are most needed.

Delivery of medicines in Haiti
Delivery of medicines in Haiti. Photo credit: Direct Relief.

In 2020, Teva pulled together a donation team based in Switzerland to pilot a program that enlisted the logistical expertise and on-the-ground intelligence of Direct Relief. Teva’s medicines were safely transported to Haiti by Direct Relief to The St. Luke Foundation and Hospital. St. Luke’s cares for more than 60,000 patients each year and supports local communities through education programs, job creation and entrepreneurship. Their programs aim to combine ‘Haitian leadership with international partnership, creating lasting solutions to the most pressing challenges facing Haiti’ 03.

‘In this exceedingly difficult time, our trauma center, general and outpatient wards have benefitted tremendously from our collaboration with international partners. The extra treatments have also helped support the work of the St. Damien Cancer program, as well as helping the IHI Cancer Program. It has made a real difference in Haiti,’ said Dr. Augustin from St. Luke’s Hospital.

St Luke’s Hospital in Haiti
St Luke’s Hospital in Haiti. Photo credit: Direct Relief.

‘The St. Luke Foundation and Hospital is really grateful to our friends and international partners who are always there by our side to help us continue to take care of the most vulnerable’, added Wilflo Fontus, Head of Social Service at St. Luke’s Hospital.

‘The donation has made a huge impact for thousands of Haitians that otherwise would not have had access to these important therapies,’ added Dr. Thomas Roane, Direct Relief’s Vice President, Corporate Engagement & Strategy.

Giancarlo Francese, who leads access-to-medicines initiatives at Teva, added ‘We produce many of the medicines on the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicine List. The breadth of our drug portfolio, combined with the targeted work of Direct Relief and their partnership with St. Luke’s Hospital, means we’ve had a chance to make a real difference in Haiti.’

Evolving Teva’s donations program

Enhancing access to essential care and medicines requires efforts and partnerships across sectors, including government, humanitarian organizations, non-governmental organizations, healthcare professionals, healthcare service providers and pharmaceutical companies.

Teva is now working to further expand its donations program to incorporate medicines warehoused across its operations in Europe, with the aim of bringing more medicines to even more patients around the world.

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