... to all of us for a wonderful evening and a positive first step for the Comox Chapter of ISPHR! We should all be proud and thankful for the hard work we did to create this opportunity for ISPHR.
Dr. Azer - thank you, you are truly an inspiring human being and your presentations were received warmly. There has been a lot of positive feedback already. Thank you for asking us all to get involved in this cause!
I have collected the donations from the event from Jenny, and we raised $1572. Thank you each again for your contributions:
And so many more things I may have forgotten or overlooked. It takes a team and we have a great beginning...
Formation of a New Chapter of ISPHR
We are delighted to have a new chapter. On Sunday April 28, 2013 a new chapter of ISPHR was formed in Comox, BC. There were 10 people present and 4 others interested but unable to attend the first meeting. Dr. Saren Azer, ISPHR's Chairperson and Lynn Foster, Executive Secretary, were present.
Saren showed slides of his recent trip to the Domiz Refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan and explained the need for more medicines. The group was very enthusiastic and eager to help. A public meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday May 21 at 6 pm and again at 8 at the local community college (Stan Hagen Theatre, North Island College).
Welcome aboard Comox! We have high hopes for your capacity to contribute to ISPHR's goal of creating a better world.
Further event information may be found on www.tidechange.ca
MONTREAL (March 21, 2013) – UNHCR doctors at the Domiz Camp for Syrian refugees in Iraq contacted Dr. Saren Azer of B.C. to confirm the arrival of 50 emergency Physician Travel Packs, containing enough basic medicines and hospital supplies to provide 30,000 treatments. The contents of the PTPs are all donated by Canadian healthcare companies to Health Partners International of Canada.
Dr. Azer, an internal medicine specialist in Comox, B.C., is in close contact with his UNHCR doctor colleagues at the Domiz Camp after he spent a month there in November 2012. He will be going back with a team of doctors and nurses from Canada late this spring.
Dr. Azer rallied a network of Canadians across the country through the organization International Society for Peace and Human Rights to help the Syrian refugees. A group of students at Simon Fraser University alone raised $6,000 to get the PTPs to Domiz Camp.
"There is a tremendous number of ill people," Dr. Azer told HPIC. "Every day young children and elderly people are dying at the camp due to the poor conditions. This medicine will save lives."
About 70,000 people are at the camp now living in tents in two square km. Just under half the camp are under 18 years old. Hundreds more Syrians are arriving every day. Domiz Camp is home to most of the Syrian refugees in Iraq according to the UNHCR.
Health Partners International of Canada is a humanitarian not-for-profit relief and development organization dedicated to improving access to medicine and enhancing health in the developing world. HPIC contributes to well-being by providing donated essential medicines, supplies and vaccines, building national health sector capacities, and responding to emergencies and health threats. We partner with a network of ministries of health, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and healthcare professionals, with pharmaceutical and healthcare product companies, and with Canadian government departments; and we count on the financial support of individual donors, foundations and corporations.
In October-November of 2012, Dr. Saren Azer, president of ISPHR, spent just under two weeks in a Syrian refugee camp called Domiz in the Iraqi Kurdish province of Dohuk. This is a UNHCR camp of some 30,000 people, that has since grown to 41,000. The families live in tents with very poor sanitation, unclean water and one MSF doctor. Saren saw approximately 50 people a day. He treated children with gastroenteritis, diarrhea, conjunctivitis and upper respiratory tract infections. Many of these children were also severely malnourished. The adults had similar issues but also suffered from chronic conditions that had not been treated for the months that they had been in the camp, such as hypertension, depression and chronic pain syndrome. The medicines from Health Partners International, Canada (HPIC) were incredibly helpful as they are intended for the acute illnesses that were rampant in the camp. When HPIC learned that Saren was going into the camp, they very kindly sent extra items such as vitamins, gastrolytes and children's' antibiotics, all of which were extremely needed.
While we feel quite powerless to help with the basic issues of why these people are in camps and know that our ability to help at all is extremely limited, we feel compelled to do something, anything, to help. As a result, we have decided to try to send a large quantity of medicines to the camp. HPIC is very supportive, but, they do require that we pay for most or all of the cost of the medicines, which is $575 for a Physician Travel Pack (PTP). It should be noted that this is only a very small percentage of the real cost but is necessary to keep their organization alive. We are hoping to raise sufficient funds to send 50 PTP's. We will also need to pay for the cost of transportation, which is, estimated at $20,000. We will update these costs as they become finalized. Our target date for sending the medicines is February 1, 2013.
We are seeking donations to help in this initiative. If you are able or willing to support this activity, please contact Lynn Foster at email@example.com or by phone at 403-560-4237. We will post the progress of our efforts on this website.
Thank you so much for any support you are able to give.
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