Contact: HowardSchiffer, Vitamin Angel Alliance,805-565-9919 [email protected]
Vitamin Angel Alliance Aids Rickets Prevention Program for Tibet’s Children
Periodic Donation to Become Monthly Commitment
SANTA BARBARA, CALIF.— Vitamin Angel Alliance, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that provides health education and nutritional supplements to medically underserved communities around the world, announced that its periodic donations of calcium and vitamin D supplements aimed at preventing rickets in Tibet’s at-risk children will increase to a monthly donation of 147,500 supplements beginning in September, 2003.
In a unique cooperative venture, Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc. of Kearny, N.J will donate supplement ingredients; Tishcon Corp. of Westbury, N.Y. will donate tableting and bottling; and staff of the Terma Foundation, a nonprofit humanitarian organization based in Half Moon Bay, Calif., that focuses on health crises affecting Tibetans, will deliver and distribute the supplements. Vitamin Angel Alliance will coordinate the donations.
According to HowardSchiffer, founder and executive director of Vitamin Angel Alliance, many elements converged to make the new monthly commitment possible. “We had been contacted by Hyla Cass, M.D., a friend of ours from our sister organization The Healthy Foundation, asking what we could do for children in Tibet,” Schiffer said. “At the same time, we were approached by our friends at the Terma Foundation about donating vitamins to Tibetan kids.” A study conducted by the foundation found that up to 80 percent of Tibetan children are vulnerable to rickets, which causes deformities of the skeletal system and causes children to be vulnerable to severe childhood diseases including pneumonia and tuberculosis. Rickets is easily preventable through vitamin D and calcium supplementation.
Vitamin Angel Alliance first coordinated an initial donation of 147,500 supplements with ingredients donated by Pharmachem and tableting and bottling by Tishcon. “Our donors were very generous and enthusiastic about the first production run of these supplements and we quickly went into production on a second run,” Schiffer said. “In August, Pharmachem told us they’d like to make a regular monthly donation of the ingredients, and Tishcon immediately expressed their willingness to do the same with the tableting and bottling.”
“The calcium and vitamin D tablet is an absolutely life-saving supplement that’s needed for these children and this culture to survive,” said Nancy Harris, M.D., of the Terma Foundation, who noted that there is no vitamin D in the Tibetan diet. “Rickets is a vitamin-deficiency condition that is contributing to the high mortality of Tibetan children. We are very grateful to Howard and to Vitamin Angel Alliance.”
Both Pharmachem and Tishcon representatives expressed similar support for Vitamin Angel Alliance’s mission. “Pharmachem believes that the work that Vitamin Angel Alliance is doing is the reason we’re in business in the first place -- to help people,” said Bruce McAdams, Pharmachem’s industry expert. “We want to be a part of it in a little way.”
“We are committed to providing essential micronutrients in the form of dietary supplements in the United States and around the world,” said Arun Chopra of Tishcon Corp. “We admire the charitable work of Vitamin Angels, and are delighted to be able to participate with Pharmachem labs and Vitamin Angles in the Terma Foundation’s efforts to prevent rickets amongst the children of Tibet.” Tishcon has also made a donation to Vitamin Angels of one million chewable multivitamins for children in Iraq.
The Terma Foundation (www.terma.org) is the longest-running American-based non-governmental organization in Tibet, according to Dr. Harris, and the only one doing integrated basic maternal and child survival health and nutritional intervention. In addition to fighting rickets, Terma Foundation hopes to secure donations of well-formulated adult prenatal vitamins to give to children to prevent anemia, iron deficiency, and multiple micronutrient deficiencies.
Vitamin Angel Alliance (www.vitaminangel.org) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization providing basic nutrition to people in need since 1994. Vitamin Angel Alliance responds to the most pressing health concerns identified by the communities requesting its assistance. Nutritional products are contributed to the Alliance by an ever-enlarging association of Vitamin Angels -- a consortium of nutritional supplement manufacturers, distributors and retailers. These goods are then donated to charitable health care facilities and programs located in countries across the globe, including the United States. To date, Vitamin Angel Alliance has distributed more than two million nutritional supplements. To learn more, visit www.vitaminangel.org.