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Abbott to Provide $1 Million in Funding,
Products to Help Address Health Needs in Haiti
 
 
 
 
Building on Existing Philanthropic Partnerships in Haiti, Abbott Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Products Already on the Ground as Part of Relief Efforts
 
WSJ JANUARY 13, 2010, 8:11 P.M. ET

 
ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) and its philanthropic foundation the Abbott Fund have committed to provide $1 million in initial humanitarian aid in response to the earthquake in Haiti. This support includes grant funding and donations of critical pharmaceutical and nutritional products to strengthen the ability of humanitarian aid organizations to respond to immediate health needs in Haiti. This includes an initial quantity of pharmaceutical and nutritional products that are already in use in a hospital in Haiti.
 
These relief efforts in Haiti build on Abbott's existing philanthropic partnerships to expand access to health care in the country. Since 2007 Abbott and the Abbott Fund have provided more than $34 million in grants and product donations to help address health needs in Haiti, including maternal and child health, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and malnutrition.
 
"The recent earthquake has had a devastating impact on Haiti's limited health care system, which was already facing significant challenges," said Catherine V. Babington, president, the Abbott Fund. "Building on our existing partnerships with humanitarian organizations in Haiti, we are providing funding and product donations to help address the immense and immediate health needs."
 
Initial support from the Abbott Fund for earthquake recovery efforts includes $100,000 in grants to three of Abbott's trusted humanitarian aid partners: American Red Cross, Partners In Health and Catholic Medical Mission Board. All of these organizations have an established presence in Haiti, and are already mobilizing relief efforts in the country.
 
Abbott also is actively working with AmeriCares, Direct Relief International and additional organizations to identify and distribute critical nutritional and pharmaceutical products, such as antibiotics and rehydration fluids, that will provide immediate relief for people affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Abbott will continue to work with key humanitarian aid partners to assess ongoing needs and the state of the transportation infrastructure to move forward with relief efforts.
 
In addition, Abbott volunteers in the Dallas area will be supporting the efforts of the American Red Cross to respond to the disaster in Haiti. Through the American Red Cross program, "Ready When the Time Comes," 35 Abbott volunteers have received training over the past year, and are already assisting with fundraising and other efforts in Dallas to support American Red Cross relief programs on the ground in Haiti.
 
About Abbott and Abbott Fund
 
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 72,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at www.abbott.com.
 
The Abbott Fund is a philanthropic foundation established by Abbott in 1951. The Abbott Fund's mission is to create healthier global communities by investing in creative ideas that promote science, expand access to health care and strengthen communities worldwide. For more information on the Abbott Fund, visit www.abbottfund.org.
 
SOURCE Abbott
 
/CONTACT: Matt Bedella, +1-847-936-3394
 

Haiti's Immediate and Longer-Term Health Crises
 
WSK Health Blog
 
By Jacob Goldstein
 
HaitiWith many medical facilities damaged or destroyed in the earthquake, doctors and aid organizations are scrambling today to care for severely injured patients in Haiti. But once the most immediate phase of the crisis passes, massive public health problems will remain.
 
"Right now, you have the acute devastation - people dead, dying," Warren Johnson, an infectious disease specialist with ties to Haiti told the Health Blog today. But there are other, longer-term problems brewing as well.
 
"There's no running water, there's no sanitation, there's no food, there's no electricity" said Johnson, who is based at Weill-Cornell med school in New York. "A week from now, you're going to have diarrhea and respiratory infections."
 
Doctors Without Borders runs three health-care facilities in Port-au-Prince; all of them were knocked out of commission by the earthquake. The group is treating patients in temporary outdoor facilities, but "the best we can offer ... is first-aid care and stabilization," the group's project manager for Haiti, who is based in Toronto, said on a press call today. Many patients have crushed limbs and other severe injuries that "cannot be dealt with" in the temporary facilities, he said.
 
The first two days after the quake offer the best chance for saving trauma patients, William O'Neill, a dean at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, told us.
 
The school, which has long-standing ties to nearby Haiti, sent a neurosurgeon, two trauma surgeons and an anesthesiologist to Port-au-Prince on a private jet this morning. But with the city in disarray, it's unclear where they'll operate. "We don't really know what the ground conditions are," he said.
 
Johnson, of Cornell, serves on the board of a Haitian AIDS treatment center called Gheskio; the group's two main facilities in Port-au-Prince were both "severely damaged" in the quake, he said. Roads are largely impassable, and people with diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS may not be able to get medicine.
 
"We treat 500 people with tuberculosis at Gheskio," said Dr. Johnson. "Most of them with also have AIDS. Now they don't have food, they don't have water, they don't have TB medications."

 
According to 2006 figures from the WHO, life expectancy in Haiti is about 60 years, and annual per capita spending on health care is $96.
 
 
 
 
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