Imperial’s health initiatives working for good in Africa
As a major sponsor of AIDS 2016, the international AIDS conference being held in Durban from the 18th to 22nd of July, Imperial believes in improving and facilitating healthcare across Africa.
Says Dr Iain Barton, Imperial’s Group Business Development Executive for Healthcare, “it is vitally important for the private sector to work in partnership with Governments and international donor funds to ensure that every patient in Africa has access to the medication and healthcare facilities they require.”
Imperial accordingly welcomed the recent news that US$410 million has been donated through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), to help end the AIDS epidemic in South Africa. PEPFAR also supports projects in SA to reduce new HIV infections in girls and young women.
Imperial delivers life-saving medicine to HIV/AIDS programmes in 30 countries - including Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa - and is focused on helping African countries improve their healthcare supply chains. By working alongside health ministries, donor organisations and the pharmaceutical industry, Imperial gets medicines to the people who need them, when they need them. “Ensuring a secure and sustainable supply of medications and diagnostic tests is literally a matter of life and death,” Barton asserts, “and is a responsibility we take very seriously.”
Imperial also deploys infrastructure critical to healthcare delivery - such as the first world class pharmaceutical warehousing facilities of their kind in East and West Africa. The group’s innovative Clinic-in-a-Box™ solution also allows for the rapid deployment and commissioning of much needed clinics. These prefabricated structures can be erected within a day, and contain all the components necessary to deliver a total primary healthcare service to remote and needy communities.
Through its Unjani Clinic initiative, Imperial is notably the first private sector player to start a primary healthcare network run and owned by professional nurses. “Unjani represents Imperial’s response to the overburdened public health sector in South Africa and has resulted in the establishment of 25 clinics owned by professional female nurses,” Barton explains. “To date the clinics have delivered healthcare services to more than 145,000 people.”
“The biennial International AIDS Conference is a premier global gathering where science, leadership, policymakers, business and community meet to advance all facets of our collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV,” states Barton. “AIDS 2016 also represents a tremendous opportunity to showcase the progress South Africa has made in implementing and funding evidence-based prevention and treatment interventions.”
AIDS 2016 is expected to convene over 18,000 delegates from around the world and will see scientists, policymakers, world leaders, and people living with HIV gathering in Durban to will share best practices, learn from one another’s experience and develop new strategies and collaborations.