Posted by Knud Peterson (Montreal-Lakeshore)
Over the years the Montreal-Lakeshore Club has obtained - from 'Health Partners International of Canada' and delivered more than fifty 'Physician Travel Packs' to a number of projects in Central and South America and Africa
But then customs’ authorities in a number of countries, such as Paraguay, Peru and Guatemala made it difficult or even impossible to donate medicine to needy persons or entities in their respective countries so for the last several years this excellent type of international aid had come to an almost standstill.
A ‘Physician Travel Pack’ consists of an assortment of medicine to treat more than five hundred persons of the most common tropical and subtropical diseases, plus vitamins. The medicine is obtained as donations in kind from some 65 Canadian pharmaceutical manufacturers - and sorted and packed by HPIC into portable boxes, to be delivered by volunteers or doctors travelling by air to Third World countries. Though the total value of a Physician Travel Pack exceeds more than $ 5,000 (at wholesale), the cost to a Canadian donor is only $ 575 (which helps to offset HPIC’s overhead expenses).
Then HPIC announced that they were directly involved in delivering and distributing medicine to Syrians in refugee camps and that an anonymous corporate donor had offered to ‘double’ the amount of any donation to this particular  effort from any other Canadian donor (within a certain time limit). And since we had $ 3,000 uncommitted Dollars left in our budget for this Rotary year, we decided to spend them on this excellent effort. (Medicine worth around $ 30,000). Not a bad return for our investment.