Humanitarian Award 2018

22 November: EKFS honours Project by Apotheker ohne Grenzen Deutschland e.V. (“Pharmacists Without Borders Germany”) in a Buenos Aires slum with an award.
Dr Carina Vetye providing patients with pharmaceuticals

In 2018, the Else Kröner Fresenius Award for Development Co-operation in Medicine is being presented to the project:

“Improvement of medical training and patient care in the case of non-communicable diseases: 10 years of assured access to diagnosis and therapy for hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolaemia and/or obesity in slum residents of Buenos Aires” headed by Project Manager Dr Carina Vetye-Maler, Apotheker ohne Grenzen Deutschland e. V. (“Pharmacists Without Borders Germany”)

 

Dr Carina Vetye
,
Project Manager

The consequences of non-communicable diseases such as a stroke or an amputation let poor families sink even deeper into abject misery. What’s particularly inhumane thereby is that medications are so affordable, yet despite this the poverty-stricken have no access to them.

 

The Else Kröner Fresenius Award for Development Co-operation in Medicine acknowledges projects that serve towards improving healthcare in developing countries. The award is endowed with 100,000 euros. This year it honours projects pertaining to the topic of non-communicable diseases. Numbered among the group of non-communicable diseases are illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory illnesses and mental disorders. Each year up to 30 million people in developing countries die due to these kinds of illnesses. Since 2015 they have been regarded as the most frequent cause of death worldwide.

Dr. Judith von Heusinger
Medical-humanitarian Development Co-operation
Portrait Dr. Judith von Heusinger
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Katie Dain
,
CEO Of the NCD Alliance, keynote speaker at the award ceremony on 22 November 2018

People in low- and middle-income countries bear the brunt of the NCD epidemic – poverty exposes people to risk factors for NCDs and in turn, NCDs contribute to the poverty cycle. In low- and lower-middle income countries, 8.2 million lives could be saved by 2030 if countries implemented the WHO Best Buys; the imperative for action is clear.

Medicine for the Poor: Project Description

Each year around 31 per cent of the fatalities in Argentina are to be attributed to cardiovascular diseases. The prevalence of elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, blood fat levels and obesity – along with the increasing cardiovascular risk associated with them – in the case of people with little school education is approximately twice as high in comparison to graduates from institutions of higher education.

Since 2008 the association Apotheker ohne Grenzen Deutschland e.V. (“Pharmacists Without Borders Germany”, abbreviated here to “AoG”) has co-operated with the Municipal Health Centre No. 16 in Villa Zagala, a slum area in Buenos Aires. Of primary importance is the lack of standard medicinal products in the slum, yet this equally applies to advisory counselling services rendered by professional staff. The residents of the slum mostly have jobs in the informal sector without any health insurance: one reason why there are no “family doctors” there. The health centre is consequently the first and key place to turn to for the sick and ill. Dr Carina Vetye, a German-Argentinian pharmacist and “AoG” project manager, established the “AoG” pharmacy in the slum, which she runs together with six women on staff working on a voluntary basis in order to supply residents who have become ill with the vital medications they need to survive: medicinal products that the city is unable to provide.

The patients wife picks up her husbands medication once a week in the health care centre.
Apotheker ohne Grenzen Deutschland e.V. co-operates with the Municipal Health Centre No. 16 in Villa Zagala in order to supply residents who have become ill with the vital medications they need to survive
Municipal Health Centre No. 16 in Villa Zagala
Apotheker ohne Grenzen Deutschland e.V. co-operates with the Municipal Health Centre No. 16 in Villa Zagala in order to supply residents who have become ill with the vital medications they need to survive
Dr Carina Vetye at the Municipal Health Centre No. 16 in Villa Zagala

The project ensures medical/pharmaceutical care on a long-term basis – at least 10 years – for slum residents with chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia and obesity in order to lower the number of fatalities and consequential conditions due to cardiovascular diseases. Diverse prevention programmes are offered as supportive measures. Several physicians, two nurses and a midwife work there for very little money, most of them only half a day. That’s why additional medical personnel at the health centre is also being financed by “AoG”.

Dr Carina Vetye
,
Project Manager

Many of those who are ill have to take up to 8 tablets a day. Not only for diabetes but due to high blood pressure and lipometabolic disorders, too.

Dr Vetye needs over 300,000 tablets a year just for her diabetes programme, which has been running since 2008 and provides treatment and supervision for roughly 130 diabetics, almost exclusively people suffering from Type 2. She estimates the rate of diabetes among slum residents at around 10 per cent: at least 2,000 people, albeit the health centre has neither available staff nor available financial resources to care for them.

With the help of the Else Kröner Fresenius Award for Development Co-operation in Medicine 2018, additionally needed medical staff and medicinal products that have been lacking shall be co-funded until 2021.

 

Award ceremony on 22 November 2018 at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (“BMZ”)

The award ceremony took place on 22 November 2018 at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (“BMZ”) in Berlin with a speech of Dr Gerd Müller about the „Challenges of Development Cooperation“ and a speech of Katie Dain, CEO NCD Alliance, about „Non-Communicable Diseases – A Global Health and Development Tsunami“.

 

Dr Gerd Müller
,
Federal Minister for Economic Co-operation and Development

Non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases or diabetes hit developing countries particularly hard. That’s why we have to act now and strengthen prevention and the healthcare systems in these countries.

Dr. Schenk (EKFS), Dr. von Heusinger (EKFS), Dr. Pignolino (Gesundheitszentrum), Dr. Dreyer (argent. Vertreterin AoG), Dr. Vetye (arg. AoG-Projektleiterin), Botschafter E. Malaroda, Ch. Fahrmbacher-Lutz (AoG), St. Sturm (Fresenius), K. Dain (NCD Alliance)
Dr. Dieter Schenk, Vorsitzender des Stiftungsrates der Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung überreicht Dr. Carina Vetye-Maler die Urkunde
Bundesminister Dr. Gerd Müller während seiner Rede über die „Herausforderungen für die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit“
Impressionen der Preisverleihung 2018
Festvortrag von Katie Dain, CEO der NCD Alliance, zum Thema: „Non-Communicable Diseases – A Global Health and Development Tsunami“
Laudatorin Christiane Fahrmbacher-Lutz (Apotheker ohne Grenzen)
v. l. n. r. Dr. Claudia Dreyer, argentinische Vertreterin von Apotheker ohne Grenzen, und Dr. Bibiana Pignolino, Direktorin des Gesundheitszentrums in Buenos Aires
Dr. Carina Vetye-Maler