GSK contributes to Haiti relief efforts
In keeping with GSK’s response to previous natural disasters, we have initiated a program of support for Haiti.
Initial donations of GSK medicines valued at $1.4 million have been provided from stocks held in warehouses of our non-profit partners, such as AmeriCares, Direct Relief International, Health Partners International of Canada and International Medical Assistance. These medicines were mainly oral and topical antibiotics, including Bactroban, Zovirax, Augmentin, Ceftin, Zinacef and Zantac.
The company is now getting requests from our established partners, who have specialist skills and established processes to respond to disasters, for large volumes of medicines, vaccines and consumer health products such as pain relievers and vitamins. We are assessing available stock and will provide whatever we can in response to the huge needs emerging in Haiti. We expect the demands for different medicines and vaccines to evolve. Therefore we have not placed a limit on the value of our product donations.
The company has also committed approximately $408,000 (£250,000) to the British Red Cross to help meet the water and sanitation needs of those affected by the disaster. It is estimated that the provision of water and sanitation facilities can reduce mortality rates following a disaster. Red Cross emergency response teams will distribute water and sanitation relief supplies and may also build ‘rapid latrines’ which prevent wells and other water sources being contaminated. A Mass Sanitation Unit to prevent waterborne and sanitation-related diseases is on standby to go to Haiti. It is designed to provide emergency sanitation facilities and hygiene education for up to 20,000 people living in disaster conditions.
GSK previously sponsored the deployment of a British Red Cross Mass Sanitation Unit to Zimbabwe in December 2008 in response to a cholera outbreak.
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