A brief update on our company's efforts to help the people of Haiti:
The first wave of our donated medicines have been utilized rapidly for first-line treatment. These have been provided from stocks held in the warehouses of our non-profit partners, such as AmeriCares, Direct Relief International, Health Partners International of Canada, IMA (International Medical Assistance), MAP International and Project Hope.
Following specific requests to support primary healthcare needs in the medium- to longer-term, GSK has donated significant volumes of antibiotics, as well as respiratory and diabetes treatments, valued at $10 million. Additionally, GSK's consumer division has provided a range of consumer products, including toothpastes, antacids, pain relievers and vitamins.
Last week, we made a cash donation of approximately $408,000 to the British Red Cross to help meet the water and sanitation needs of those affected by the disaster. A Mass Sanitation Unit has arrived in Haiti with the British Red Cross emergency team. This will support up to 20,000 displaced people by constructing 200 emergency latrines and distribution of essential hygiene kits. The provision of water and sanitation facilities can significantly reduce infections and mortality rates following a disaster. See Red Cross worker Sharon Reader's blog for more details.
In addition to providing product donations and financial support, we are proud of the contributions of our GSK employees currently working in the PULSE program, who have taken on additional responsibilities to support emergency response partners working on the front line of the relief efforts.
Our colleague Maria has written about her local church's efforts through Christian Haitian Outreach (CHO). There is some good news in her latest report:
"One of our board members who spent a week in Haiti reports that for blocks in every direction outside our compound, almost everything is destroyed. CHO is like a beacon of hope in the midst of much devastation. Activity on the compound is quite orderly as everyone settles in to a "new normal" for the next several months. The children are sleeping in tents, and hundreds of local people have erected a tent city at the back of the property. Fortunately, not a single child or adult on the CHO compound was killed or seriously injured.
- Supplies were low after the quake, but the children never went a day without food.
- A 24/7 security plan is functioning well; the walls are intact except for one small area.
- Deliveries of fuel for the generator are in place, so they have power to pump water.
- Sufficient food is now on hand; a plan to ensure a regular supply is being arranged."
GSK is committed to providing whatever we can in response to the huge needs emerging in Haiti and will continue to review requests from our established partners.