Humanitarian emergencies in Pakistan, Thailand and Turkey

November 4, 2011

The Sanofi Espoir Foundation joins forces with the Sanofi affiliates to supports emergency actions set up to help populations who have been affected by the floods in Pakistan and Thailand, and by the earthquake in the eastern Turkey.


Floods in Pakistan

© AFP/Adek Berry

Since August 2011, Pakistan has again been affected by torrential rain. Preliminary figures indicate that 900,000 people lost their homes in the district due to flooding out of a total population of 1,960,000.

Combined with damage to the country’s water infrastructure during the floods of 2010, particularly to dams, the situation quickly worsened to the point where the Pakistani government declared the districts of Badin, Mirpur and Tharparkar, in southern Sindh as disaster areas from August 17. Further north, Khairpur (the largest district in the country) suffered from heavy rains after August 31. On September 13, the United Nations reported through the agency OCHA, that 5.3 million people had been affected by the monsoon rains across the country.

The Sanofi affiliate in Pakistan was approached by the Government of Sindh with an urgent request for the Sanofi anti-malarial, Nivaquine® as their doctors and officers working with the impacted populations had specifically identified the need for this particular product.

The affiliate responded swiftly donating 3,800 boxes of Nivaquine® to the Ministry of Health for healthcare programs in the south of the country. This donation will benefit almost 200,000 patients.

Sanofi Espoir Foundation is providing financial support to Première-Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale (PU-AMI) for its activities in the District of Khairpur (Talukas de Nara and Faiz Ganj) in the Sindh Province, which provides access to primary healthcare, and increases the available quantity of drinking-quality water in accordance with emergency standards.

The main activities of the 4-month plan to assist 24,000 people include:

  • Primary healthcare examinations using mobile clinics, collecting epidemiological data and epidemiological surveillance, health education, and distributing tents and mosquito nets.
  • Setting up water and sanitation facilities to supply drinking water using the water production unit from the MAE.
  • The distribution of basic non-food products, including tents and mosquito nets, to back up the consistency and relevance of the aid activities mentioned above.

PU-AMI has also received 25 emergency canteens prepared by Tulipe, containing Sanofi drugs among other supplies.

Floods in Thailand

The ongoing flooding in Thailand had ravaged 175 districts in 28 provinces, affecting 2.45 million people.

Floods also impacted several highways, and northern route train services were suspended. In Bangkok, the list of affected districts in the North and East of the city keeps increasing. Residents in several districts have been urged to evacuate to safety immediately. One of the airports, Don Muang, has already been closed. The government took a decision to shut several government agencies that have been affected by flooding from October 26th to 31st; 1,067 schools in 12 flood-hit provinces postpone opening for the new semester.

Sanofi Thailand has launched an internal call for generosity. All the funds will be doubled by the affiliate and transferred to the Friends in need (of “Pa”) Foundation Thai Red Cross where Sanofi Espoir Foundation will also contribute to their activities to help affected people.

For Thai public, Sanofi products have already been donated to Thai FDA for distribution to people in the affected areas. Around 200k – 400k doses of vaccines are being organized depending on needs of the Ministry of Public Health.

Earthquake in Turkey

On Sunday, October 23, a strong earthquake of magnitude 7.3 shook eastern Turkey, causing 573 deaths and 2,600 people injured. The city of Van, the epicenter of the earthquake, and its surroundings is the most affected area. According to the International Red Cross Federation, over 2,000 buildings, mostly homes, were destroyed.

The Government has already mobilized 1,300 relief workers, 145 ambulances, six battalions of the army and airborne support to the scene of the disaster to find survivors. “We urgently need tents and rescue teams. We have no ambulances, and we only have one hospital,” said the Mayor of Ercis city on Sunday evening to the NTV television channel.

The Sanofi Espoir Foundation is providing financial support to the Turkish Red Crescent’s first aid activities to ensure access to primary health care, water and shelter.

The affiliate donated 4,200 boxes of drugs (anti-inflammatory and anti-gastric secretion drugs, antibiotics, and cardiovascular treatments including anti-hypertensives) and 30,000 doses of influenza vaccine to the National Medicine Rescue Team (Ministry of Health).

A call for generosity was also launched among employees of the country. The donations will be doubled by the subsidiary, and allocated to emergency operations conducted by the Ministry of Health and the Red Crescent.