SMEs in Kenya set to benefit from KSH. 63.9M Relief Fund as Boehringer Ingelheim steps up effort with Global Support Program

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A Boehringer Ingelheim scientist from one of the areas of research and development (R&D). Destin Africa
Lab Technician Performing Medical Research --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
  • Global support fund for local relief increased to EUR 5.8 million
  • Small and Medium Enterprises in Kenya to benefit from KSH 63.7M relief fund
  • Access Afya, Healthy Entrepreneurs and Jacaranda Health among the local beneficiaries of the relief fund
  • Over 100 scientists and 11,000 lab hours committed to COVID-19 research in international consortia, expected to expand

Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the largest pharmaceuticals in the world has significantly stepped up its support to the fight against Covid-19. A Global Support Program has been set up to bring more financial relief, protective materials and medicine donations to healthcare institutions and communities in need around the world.

Local social enterprises are expected to receive EUR 555,000 an equivalent of KSH. 63.9M in support of their programmes in Kenya. Some of the beneficiaries of this fund include local enterprises such as Access Afya, Healthy Entrepreneurs and Jacaranda Health.

“As a pharmaceuticals company, we feel a strong commitment to offer our help to patients, and to those who help them”, said Hubertus von Baumbach, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors. 

“Many of our employees want to participate in the program: we offer support through donations and paid-leave volunteering, engage in significant scientific projects and bring relief to communities in developing regions in Kenya and India, with whom we have a decade-long relationship. All this, plus the drive that I see with colleagues to ensure continued production of medicines, is dedicated to the many, many people who suffer from COVID-19. Our thoughts are with them and their loved ones.”

An EUR 580,000 relief fund has been launched to support the global Making More Health (MMH) network of social entrepreneurs in Kenya and India, as well as the communities in which they live and work. 

The fund will help social enterprises and their activities to sustain a longer period of low economic activity and will invest in social entrepreneurial ideas that can help reduce the risk of the Corona virus spreading.

“Especially in times like these Social Entrepreneurs around the world are well placed to leverage their proximity to those in needs”, said Jean Scheftsik de Szolnok, member of the Board of Managing Directors and one of the founders of the MMH movement. “MMH communities such as self-help groups in India or people suffering from albinism in Kenya, have started to produce soap and at the same time education programs on hygiene awareness in their neighborhoods.” Over the past years more than 750 students at the MMH school and some 1,000 families in farmer cooperatives have been trained in hygiene and soap production in Kenya and India.

Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to the global community and to the well-being of people and animals. As a research-driven company, it started its support activities in January and will continue to do what it can to deliver a meaningful contribution in the fight against COVID-19. The company continues to support healthcare systems by reliably supplying drugs and through our research.

Boehringer Ingelheim initially started a EUR 1 million donations program in January for affected regions in China. With the Corona virus spreading to become a global pandemic, efforts to provide relief and scientific support grew strongly these past few weeks. This ultimately resulted in a Global Support Program with four focus areas: Donations, Research for COVID-19 Therapies, Volunteering and Making More Health Relief Fund.

Boehringer Ingelheim has made available EUR 5.8 million for financial and in-kind donations for local emergency aid across its markets. This includes, protective masks, disinfectants, inhalers and medicines. The company is also working with local organizations that use financial and medicine donations to organize help for patients in their communities.

Since January, a growing team of more than 100 highly engaged Boehringer Ingelheim scientists from all areas of research and development (R&D) have contributed to projects aimed at finding potential treatment solutions for COVID-19. “All of us are thinking about how we can find new ways to tackle this virus. This has led to a broad program pursuing many approaches in parallel”, says Dr Cyrille Kuhn, Executive Director Research, who leads Boehringer Ingelheim’s COVID-19 efforts since January. 

Moreover, an increasing number of collaboration partners and service providers is bolstering the team’s efforts. Most of the projects are part of larger collaborative efforts with academia, biotech and other pharma companies. Among them is a call by the Innovative Medicines Initiative of the EU (IMI), to which Boehringer Ingelheim is planning to commit in excess of 11,000 work hours in R&D. The company also joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation COVID-19 Therapeutic Accelerator.

The company also joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation COVID-19 Therapeutic Accelerator. In addition, Boehringer Ingelheim supports scientists worldwide with its open innovation portal opnMe.com, which offers 6 anti-viral compounds out of 43 high quality pharmacological tool compounds at no cost for testing of research hypotheses. 

More information on the various COVID-19 initiatives under the Global Support Program are available under:

https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/covid-19