PharmEvo and Al-Khidmat Foundation to collaborate in flood relief operations

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PharmEvo and Al-Khidmat Foundation
to collaborate in flood relief operations
Joint initiate CARE (Compassion for flood Affectees to Restore their Lives)
will ensure healthcare, food supplies and their rehabilitation

KARACHI: PharmEvo Pharmaceuticals the national pharmaceutical company known for its ethical marketing practices and various CSR initiatives, has decided to collaborate with AL-Khidmat Foundation an NGO established by Jamat-e-Islami in flood relief operations. Their joint initiative which has been named as CARE which stands for Compassion for flood Affectees to Restore their Lives, will ensure comprehensive services during these flood relief operations which includes rescue, healthcare, food supply, providing temporary shelter besides rehabilitation to millions of people who have become homeless. Representatives of both these organizations shared the details of their relief operations and future plans at a press briefing on September 1st 2022.Those who were present on this occasion included Dr. Saqib Ansari and Mr. Sufyan Ahmed Managing Director of Al-Khidmat Health Foundation, Mr. Haroon Qasim Managing Director of PharmEvo, Mr. Latif Sheikh a renowned pharmacist and President of Pakistan Society of Health-System Pharmacists and Mr. Jamshed Ahmed Deputy CEO of PharmEvo.

Giving details of the relief operations by Al-Khidmat Foundation, Dr. Saqib Ansari said that we are working in this field for the last over twelve years. We have Disaster Management Team ready all the time. We have the required human resource and well established infrastructure all over the country. In case of any such disaster may it be earthquake or floods, our teams are put into action immediately. During the current floods in the first phase we undertook rescue operations for about two weeks. In the next phase we have started providing healthcare in medical camps which are functioning in all the four provinces which are manned by experienced well trained medical staff. So far the most common diseases which have been identified include scabies, malaria, dengue, gastrointestinal disorders, Diarrhoeal disease and infections.

Mr. Sufyan Ahmed said we have tried to provide tents for shelter to the affected families. Many diseases have been identified and to provide healthcare, one hundred thirty five medical camps have been established so far all over the country. Looking at the magnitude of the disaster and severity of these unprecedented floods we may have to organize five hundred more medical camps in all the four provinces and Gilgit Baltistan. Till August 31, we had provided medical relief to twenty four thousand patients in these camps. Al-Khidmat needs donations in cash and kind, doctors to join us as volunteers, many doctors have already joined in this operation. They are being sent to various medical camps, medicines procurement is in progress which will be dispatched to the medical camps while initial supplies sent proved to be too small hence further supplied are being arranged. Many pharmaceutical companies are also supporting us. PharmEvo has come forward to collaborate with us as they have been working with us in the past as well and we welcome their help and assistance. We have sought help and advice from pharmacists to ensure that only needed drugs are arranged and sent to these medical camps to ensure judicious use of the available resources.

Representatives of PharmEvo and Al-Khidmat addressing a press conference. Sitting from (L to R) are
Syed 
Jamshed Ahmad, Mr. Lateef Sheikh, Mr. Haroon Qasim, Dr. Saqib Ansari and Mr. Sufyan.

Mr.Haroon Qasim pointed out that these have been the worst floods the country has seen in recent history. Even in Karachi we have continuous rains for almost two months while in the past it used to last just for two to three weeks at the most. The climate change has brought lot of miseries to the people. Many districts in the province of Sindh in particular have been drowned. We have lost hunded of precious lives. Now spread of various diseases has been identified. We know in the past many drugs and items collected during disasters were not utilized and just wasted. Al-Khidmat Foundation has a well-developed infrastructure and the needed human resource and enjoys credibility internationally. They have always come to help the people during disasters hence we decided to join and collaborate with them in this flood relief operations. They have a team which is always ready with trained staff and volunteers. We will continue to help them provide drugs and medicines needed.

Mr. Latif Sheikh thanked both PharmEvo and Al-Khidmat Foundation to provide an opportunity to the pharmacists to play their role in this disaster. We have prepared a list of drugs which is not more than fifty at the moment which are most frequently needed. It will ensure that the drugs are used in a rational way on scientific basis. In the days to come in view of the diseases identified, more drugs may have to be added to this list which can be continuously revised and updated. Since the disease pattern will change in the coming days, we are likely to see more cases of scabies, diarrhoea, gastrointestinal disorders, malaria, Typhoid fever, depression and anxiety and so on hence there is a need for continuous monitoring so that only required drugs are arranged. We will have to ensure the rational use of antibiotics so that patients take it for the number of days it is indicated. Pharmacists, he said, have come forward to play their role ensuring appropriate selection and use of drugs so that wastage if any should be either eliminated or minimized, he added.

Syed Jamshed Ahmed said that according to estimates in any such situation about 15-16% of affected people will suffer from some diseases. It means we will have about fifty lac patients to be treated. Cost of treating one patient with an antibiotic will be about two hundred twenty rupees. Hence, it is estimated that we will require drugs and medicines worth more than one billion rupees which is a very conservative estimate at the moment. We trust Al-Khidmat, they are well known for their work during such disasters hence we decided to cooperate with them, provide them a list of needed drugs, and ensure its safe storage and delivery in medical camps. PharmEvo has donated fifty lac rupees to begin with and our cooperation will continue. In the past we had a very bitter experience as drugs did not reach the people needed them and almost 50% of them were sold to private chemists. Now it is the responsibility of Al-Khidmat Foundation to ensure that all the drugs and other supplies reach the people who are affected during the floods.

Replying to a question Dr. Saqib Ansari said that we have identified many cases of diabetes, hypertension, and diabetic foot ulcers. We also found many people suffering from depression and anxiety. Scabies is common and so is malaria and other Diarrhoeal diseases. Responding to yet another question he said that we have ensured that only those doctors who have completed their FCPS training are well trained and experienced manage these patients in these camps. They are helped by other support staff. He also disclosed that during the last disaster, they had built two villages for the affected people at a cost of two crore rupees. We are working in close collaboration with Pakistan Army and other law enforcing agencies to ensure proper distribution of the relief goods. Replying to yet a question Syed Jamshed Ahmed said that they won’t be collecting donations, whosoever contacts them, they will be directed towards Al-Khidmat Foundation, he remarked.

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