Gaining Ground in the Fight Against Chronic Diseases

Medical aid helps patients in need around the world

Photo by David Synder. All Rights Reserved
Testing a patient for blood sugar in Arkansas health clinic Photo by David Synder. All Rights Reserved

Juana Maria Lara, a Honduran mother of five, has been living with diabetes for eight years. Each month, she visits Hospital El Progresso’s diabetes clinic for a checkup and the medicines she needs but cannot afford. “Thank God the clinic is here,” she explained. “I don’t know what else I would do.”

The clinic, supported by AmeriCares deliveries, helps Juana Maria and many other patients control their condition, avoid life-threatening complications, and add healthier years to their lives.

In countries like Honduras where resources are scarce, heart disease, cancer and diabetes are quickly becoming the leading causes of disability and death. To gain ground in the fight against chronic disease, AmeriCares is providing staff training and expertise--- along with targeted medicines -- to communities in need around the world.

In 2012 alone, AmeriCares delivered enough chronic disease medicine to treat 4.6 million people in 73 countries, including the United States.

  • Medicine, education and training: In the U.S, our newly launched Chronic Disease Initiative provides clinics with donated medicines, staff training, access to our online ordering system, and patient education materials printed in both English and Spanish. Enrollment is projected to double in 2012.
  • Chronic care in a disaster zone: To replace a damaged facility and ensure that extremely poor diabetes and heart patients have access to ongoing care, AmeriCares funded a chronic disease clinic in Haiti. Our support includes transportation for patients and community awareness campaigns that reached 5,000 people.
  • A foundation for cardiovascular care: For the fifth year, Merck and AmeriCares Central Asia Cardiovascular Initiative in Uzbekistan provided cardiovascular medicines to patients and gave local doctors experience in using best practices for cholesterol-lowering medicines. Patients and their families also learned how to improve their lifestyle to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Comprehensive breast cancer care: AmeriCares and AstraZeneca supported the Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment program at Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In 2012, the program counseled 2,300 women on early detection, screened 257 women for cancer and treated 127 women with the disease. Our program also trained 98 health care workers in breast cancer radiology and 505 outreach volunteers and cancer survivors to serve as peer educators.