DHL, UNICEF, Sanofi and HPIC team up to deliver life-saving vaccines to children of Uzbekistan
Vaccines will help children get a healthy start in lifeToronto, 12/17/2007, 10:30 AM CET
On Monday 10 December, 2007, the last shipment of more than 750,000 life-saving vaccines was loaded on an airplane bound for Uzbekistan, in the final chapter of an extraordinary humanitarian effort in Canada spearheaded by UNICEF, sanofi-aventis Group, one of the country's leading medical aid agencies, and the logistics division of DHL to provide badly needed medicines to the children of Uzbekistan.
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis, donated the single doses of vaccine to Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC), a Canadian medical aid agency dedicated to improving access to healthcare and medicine in the developing world. HPIC is providing the vaccines to UNICEF, the world's leading children's humanitarian agency, for use this winter in a vaccination program for the children of Uzbekistan.
DHL discounted the transportation cost of 26 temperature controlled containers
The vaccine will be used to immunize children under the age of two against pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria, tetanus and polio. Uzbekistan's Ministry of Health covered all in-field transportation costs and supplied sufficient quantities of syringes and safety boxes. DHL, a long time corporate partner of UNICEF, discounted the transportation cost of 26 temperature controlled containers, and leveraged its unmatched global network and delivery expertise to manage the movements of the precious cargo.
"While Canadian children have access to free vaccines, other children around the world in countries like Uzbekistan do not receive these life-saving vaccines," said Nigel Fisher, UNICEF's President and CEO. "That is why this donation and shipment of vaccines is so critical."
Jeremy Shrubbs, Director Business Development, Lifescience, DHL Global Forwarding, Canada, said: "Because the vaccines had to remain in a range between +2°C to +8°C at all times, this shipment was especially challenging. As a result, we engaged LifeConEx, a joint venture with DHL Global Forwarding and Lufthansa Cargo, to ensure the vaccines were safeguarded and maintained complete integrity at each step of the journey."
"We believe commitment to good corporate citizenship is a fundamental part of achieving sustained value creation for both society and our company, and thus to ensuring the future of the work that we do," said Donna Letterio, Country Manager, DHL Global Forwarding, Canada. "A global transportation system is at its best when it can be put to use to help those in need. This is especially true with the holiday season upon us and with the onset of winter weather in Uzbekistan. We are delighted to have supported UNICEF in this important endeavor to help improve the lives of so many of Uzbekistan's children."
Immunization programs are an essential branch of UNICEF's life-saving work
For more than a decade, UNICEF has been providing vaccine procurement services in Uzbekistan and is currently assisting the state in professional capacity building to improve safe immunization practices.
Immunization is fundamental to UNICEF's life-saving work across the world. Immunization programs are estimated to have saved over 20 million lives worldwide over the last two decades. Currently, more than 100 million infants are immunized each year around the world and, as a result, over two million lives are saved annually.
According to John Kelsall, President of Health Partners International of Canada, this is just another example of Canadians coming together to help people in need around the world. "It is wonderful to work with generous and effective partners to bring these valuable vaccines to children in Uzbekistan. For many, this will mean the opportunity to thrive and lead productive lives."