Pfizer today announced two milestones in key programs that contribute to the global fight against HIV/AIDS:
The IDI, which Pfizer supports and also helped design and build, has become a leading institute for training medical professionals in advanced HIV/AIDS management techniques.
Since 2004, the state-of-the-art facility has trained more than 1,000 health care providers from 22 African countries and is delivering care to more than 19,000 patients. Working across borders to advance treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and care, the IDI has equipped and staffed Ugandan healthcare professionals to provide improved health services to patients. IDI graduate Dr. Richard Bakamutaraki said, "By the time I left the IDI, I could call myself an expert in managing HIV/AIDS patients."
Sub-Saharan Africa is facing devastating shortages of healthcare workers and, because a growing number of patients are seeking treatment for HIV/AIDS, hospitals and health clinics are overwhelmed. To meet the challenges of poverty and disease, and to have a meaningful impact in the battle against HIV, countries like Uganda need more trained healthcare workers in hospitals and clinics.
"Through partnerships like the IDI, Pfizer has been able to strengthen the capacity of existing institutions with effective and sustainable programs that improve care for tens of thousands of patients," said Robert Mallett, President of the Pfizer Foundation and Senior Vice President, Pfizer Corporate Affairs.
Pfizer is also addressing the human resource challenges through Pfizer Global Health Fellows. The Global Health Fellows program matches Pfizer employee talent with organizations in the developing world to build the local capacity of health institutions to improve healthcare delivery. Pfizer colleagues have been sent to work with NGOs and other organizations in health programs in 29 countries across Africa, Asia and South America.
Alison Hager, Pfizer's 100th Global Health Fellow, was assigned to work in Rwanda's Ministry of Health in a partnership with Columbia University's Earth Institute to improve efficiency in the nation's public health programs. "Working with the Earth Institute and the Ministry of Health, I hope to help Rwandans develop and implement solutions that will improve day-to-day healthcare," said Hager. Columbia University is one of the latest non-profit organizations to partner with Pfizer in the Global Health Fellows program.
Collaboration and partnership has been a number one priority in Pfizer's philanthropy. The Global Health Fellows program has been recognized as a new model of corporate skills-based philanthropy. Global Health Fellows have worked with partnership organizations across the globe to include One World Health, Africare, Family Health International, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, the International Trachoma Initiative, the US Agency for International Development/President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and the United Nations Development Program as they develop strategies and programs to improve healthcare administration, distribution of health supplies, and training of local healthcare professionals.
The IDI and Global Health Fellows programs are part of Pfizer's worldwide effort to help alleviate the burden of HIV/AIDS and other devastating diseases that affect the developing and developed worlds by building capacity and engaging in meaningful partnerships. Other such initiatives include the Diflucan Partnership Program and the International HIV/AIDS Grants program.
In 2006, Pfizer Canada provided $2.75 million in HIV research and development funding as well as $8 million in infectious disease R&D funding. Local HIV community groups throughout the country also benefit from direct funding from Pfizer Canada's Community Investment Program. And Pfizer Canada's Healthy Living with HIV program provides resources and educational tools to assist healthcare professionals in providing ongoing support to their patients.
Since 2000, Pfizer has invested more than $1 billion in research and development in Canada.
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