We intend this page to be in continuous evolution: Please remember that reliable access to opioid analgesics to control moderate to severe pain is a fundamental human right. In western countries, comprising about 20% of the planet's population, we consume greater than 90% of the licit supply of opioid analgesics controlled by the International Narcotics Control Board. Yet developing countries, comprising about 80% of the planet's population, consumes <10%. There is a great gap that exists with respect to availability and accessibility to opioid analgesics in developing countries. Learn more about this gap at Treat the Pain.
Oral Morphine solution is considered by the W.H.O. and the Republic of Rwanda, to be an essential medicine, meaning it is safe when used as directed, effective in reliving moderate to severe pain in about 96% of people, and affordable.
With the authorization and support of the prior minister of health in Rwanda, HWB has been supporting the production of this essential medicine in collaboration with the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) since 2014.
Presently there are about 5kg of morphine sulfate powder in the country, meaning capacity for 10,000 bottles. This year we are purchasing an additional 5kg and 10,000 bottles, each with a measuring cup that fits to the bottle and will improve dosing accuracy and patient safety.
We are also working with the government to provide support to defining the quantitative method for production and insuring purity of the finished product. This is all aimed at improving safety and consistency for the Rwandan people.
Each 500ml bottle produced will last the average cancer patient about 8-30 days depending upon their usage pattern. The goals of pain control are to help people sleep better at night, eat better because pain is controlled, and be more active during the day while both resting and during activity.
Please do all you can to dispel 'opiophobia,' lean about the pain treatment gap that exists between developed and developing countries. Recognize that responsible and clinically indicated prescribing of opioids is dignity preserving, and remember most of all, that access to pain control is a Fundamental Human Right.