With the new lockdown in the UK some are feeling down, some crushed, some just bored. That new year sense of 'a fresh new start' for lots of people is simply missing at the beginning of 2021.
But at IHP as we look at the past year, we're thankful for all we've achieved together. We're also excited about the future as we look forward to 2021 with hope, despite the cloudy start. We trust you, our partners, are feeling excited too, as you support us in bringing hope to underserved communities.
We have looked back on all that was achieved through our work, thanks to excellent partnerships and committed donors in 2020. In brief: 5.7m treatments to 35 countries. In real terms, those numbers mean lives have been saved, families helped and communities strengthened. Do watch our celebration event if you’d like to learn more.
Thanks to the record-breaking activity of the IHP team in 2020, we are entering 2021 with a sure footing. The growing team has new opportunities to extend our reach into new countries such as Kenya and therapy areas including, neglected tropical diseases and mental health care. Long term partners, continuing in their support for IHP, are ensuring that those who are most at risk are not left without medicines, despite the increased need and pandemic pressures.
Support through the pandemic in Honduras
Honduras is facing a complex set of economic and political challenges as well as COVID-19, all of which are creating a lack of access to food, medicine and other essential items.
Don Mateo resides in Comayagua, Honduras. He is 76 years old, a vocal member of his community, and suffers from a varicose ulcer, umbilical hernia and Hypertension. He is one of many cases of people at risk of mortality from COVID-19. However, the need to manage his medical conditions forces him to leave his home to collect his medicine.
For 8 years now Don Mateo has been receiving medical attention at the local health unit. He is given the following monthly medications: Cephalexin, lisinopril, naproxen, Daktacort and vitamins - and when there is an opportunity he is also supported with gauze and gloves to clean his wounds.
Many medical facilities are short on drugs to treat chronic degenerative diseases such as Don Mateo's, because public health has prioritised attention to respiratory diseases due to COVID-19. Through our partnership with Hope International Development Agency, and the generous donation of medical products from our pharmaceutical partners, we’re able to offer relief to people like Don Mateo despite the pandemic.
Make a lasting impact this year by becoming a regular giver
As a charity, we rely on the generous support of companies, institutions, trusts as well as individuals, who give over the long term to help us realise our mission to end unnecessary suffering. We spoke to a couple of our regular givers, Mark Woolley and Diane Manson, about why they choose to support IHP.
Mark Woolley has lived and worked for NGOs overseas
As a medical professional I’ve worked in the NHS but I’ve also lived overseas in countries without nationalised, organised healthcare. Often access to medicine – and the price of medicine – is a big factor in inequality. This gives rise to horrible levels of corruption and that injustice continues to be an enormous issue. In the UK, we worry about how quickly we are rolling out the vaccines for Covid-19, but globally there are so many other factors at play. I like the fact that IHP has a global perspective on health inequality and is doing something about this. When thinking about giving, I wanted some of our resources to go into addressing health inequality on an international scale. Global advocacy is very important, but it’s also important to have real medicine from real companies going to people with real needs. I've seen those people with real needs when living overseas, and now that I’m living in a high-income country with strength in pharmaceuticals, I really want the two to connect.
Diane Manson is a musician who began giving regularly to IHP in 2019
Previously I’d supported bigger charities, but when I began talking to IHP’s chief executive Adele, and hearing more about what the organisation does, I really wanted to get involved. I like the idea that IHP is quite small and lean – it’s not unwieldy and can move quickly to offer help. I also like the fact that IHP’s aim is to help everyone who has a need. It doesn’t depend on people’s faith or belief or lifestyle – and that’s even more important at the moment. I worry that with the pandemic, countries which are poorer could get forgotten, despite having to deal with many other issues such as war, famine and endemic disease. At the moment, we are worrying here about whether we will be able to get treated in a hospital if we fall and break something. It’s important we don’t get insular, but continue to look out to see the huge need in other countries. Giving regularly is important to me. Not only does it help IHP to plan ahead, but seeing my contribution there on my bank statement reminds me of the work IHP is doing. Giving in this way feels more personal than supporting a bigger organisation.
Good health is so fundamental. It underpins the ability of people to shape their own future. Through regular giving you can be a champion for improved access to medicines and key health supplies.
We have ambitious plans for 2021, but we don’t know how the pandemic is going to influence them – plans have already changed! As a lean organisation, IHP can be agile, respond quickly to need and deliver excellent products effectively. But we wouldn’t be able to do any of this without our supporters. Thank you for all you enable – every £10 donated delivers 30 treatments in-country.
I look forward to sharing more good news of the impact your support is having in the coming year. Until then, on behalf of the whole IHP team, wishing you a hope-filled 2021.
With best wishes.