Mandela Day: making a difference in your sphere of influence
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The Innovative Pharmaceutical Association South Africa (IPASA) is a voluntary association of leading international pharmaceutical companies dedicated to researching and developing novel medications, creating a sustainable environment for the industry to contribute to a patient-centered health system and bringing the beneﬁts of breakthrough treatments to patients across South Africa.
This year, as IPASA joins the rest of the world in celebrating Mandela Day and continuing his legacy, we are reminded of the importance of serving humanity by giving back, contributing to our communities and making a difference in our own spheres of influence.
“It’s in your hands to make the world a better place” Nelson Mandela
Collectively, as a membership comprising varied research-based pharmaceutical companies, we remain committed to continued investment in building an environment that facilitates sustainable access to innovative research-based healthcare. In further support of this mission, we are involved in numerous projects that are creating social impact in the communities where we operate.
In celebration of Mandela Day and in the spirit of this year’s theme One Hand can Feed Another, our members will, over the next four weeks, share some of the projects they are implementing as we all seek to make the world a better place.
MSD reaches decade milestone of improving maternity care for mothers across the world
Global healthcare company MSD is celebrating 10 years of its global initiative, MSD for Mothers, aimed at mitigating maternal mortality and creating a world where no woman has to die while giving life.
To-date, MSD for Mothers has spent R7,2 billion (US $500 million), enabling 13 million women to have healthier pregnancies and safer deliveries and reaching 78 million people with improved access to healthcare. MSD collaborates across sectors — working with governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), patient groups, professional associations, entrepreneurs, UN agencies, research institutions, other businesses, and other pharmaceutical companies.
Watch the MSD for Mothers video:
MSD partners with University of Pretoria to reduce maternal mortality
Recently in South Africa, MSD partnered with the University of Pretoria to roll out the CLEVER programme aimed at reducing maternal mortality. Under this programme, MSD will provide R11,6 million (US $ 800k) over 3 years, to fund a clinical training programme and interventions at the level of clinical care, labour ward management, elimination of barriers to human care and emergency obstetric simulation training in the district.
Roche funded Transnet-Phelophepa trains celebrate 25 years of healthcare services to SA’s rural communities
Founded in 1994, the Transnet-Phelophepa trains are free, mobile healthcare clinics which travel to areas in rural South Africa, where there is limited access to healthcare with just one doctor for every 5,000 patients. Phelophepa, which means "good, clean health", is owned and operated by Transnet Foundation, with Roche being the main external sponsor.
Since the train’s first journey more than 25 years ago, the trains have impacted the lives of approximately 14 million people, dispensing medication to over 3 million patients and providing health screening to over 2 million people. From modest beginnings as a three-car train in 1994, the service was expanded to two 18-coach trains by 2012 travelling up to 70 remote communities annually.
The trains provide facilities for general health consultations, dental and eye checks and also dispense treatments for diagnosed conditions. In addition to these health services, individual counselling sessions and group workshops are conducted to help people cope with psychological issues such as stress and depression.
The trains also have special coaches for health education, where members of the local communities can participate in classes on general health issues such as nutrition, hygiene and dental health. More specialist services have been introduced, including diabetes prevention, hypertension and cancer screening. An added benefit is that the trains serve as a training opportunity for student doctors and nurses and a job opportunity for hundreds of unemployed or retired health professionals.
Bayer’s R1,3 million medicines donation assists elderly patients at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital
At the onset of COVID-19, Bayer stepped in to help the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital a government-designated coronavirus testing and treatment centre in Johannesburg, Gauteng with a donation of R1,3 million worth of medicines to assist elderly vulnerable patients. The medicine assisted in reducing hospital visits and exposure at this critical time in the fight against the coronavirus.
“Considering that Gauteng is dealing with the country’s highest number of coronavirus cases, it is imperative that our public health resources remain focused on treating and containing the coronavirus. By providing this medicine to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, we are hoping to help the hospital treat at least 700 older patients who would otherwise have to visit the hospital several times to help manage their conditions, but will now be placed on Bayer’s self-regulating treatment, that will free-up much needed public health resources,” says Frans Labuschagne, Bayer’s Pharmaceutical Division in Southern Africa Country Divisional Head.