NORWICH – For decades, Norwich Pharmaceuticals has provided community and charitable support for organizations countywide, including Relay For Life, United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters and many more. This year – partnered with Kiwanis International and UNICEF – the local manufacturer will expand its contribution effort outside the county’s borders. In fact, the company is now looking to help out on the global level, taking on Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) as part of Kiwanis’ and UNICEF’s Eliminate Project.
The goal, according to Ric Festarini, director of human resources at Norwich Pharmaceuticals, is to save and protect the lives of more than 60 million mothers and newborn children across the globe by providing a total of three vaccinations to combat MNT.
The cost? Less than $2 per woman of child bearing age.
“Once vaccinated, the immunity to the disease is passed on to children as they are born, saving thousands of lives and much personal suffering,” added Festarini.
As part of Norwich Pharmaceuticals’ global effort, the company is organizing a series of fundraising events – both internally and community-wide – to be held between the months of April and September. All money raised during that time will be donated to the Eliminate Project and its international, 2015 goal of $110 million. In addition, Norwich Pharmaceuticals will be sending one of its own, Department Manager Bridgetta Jones, to visit the Philippines, a country where UNICEF’s immunization work is already underway. Jones will join a delegation of Kiwanis International and UNICEF representatives travelling to the sovereign nation on Friday, where she will spend approximately one week on the front line in the fight against the disease.
“I think what struck me the most in reading the literature on MNT are the very things we as Americans take for granted – immunizations and a safe environment for childbirth,” said the Sherburne resident. “As a mother, I cannot even imagine the despair of watching your newborn suffer a painful death due to unhygienic postnatal childcare.”..