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Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

Adrienne and Sister Gen Sister Gen is the Director of St. Joseph Shelter of Hope, which reaches out to the poor and the sick in Voi, Kenya.  

A trained nurse, Sister Gen became interested in HIV/AIDS nearly 20 years ago when delivering a baby for a woman who was infected.  She noticed sores that she had never seen before and saw that the baby was very sickly.  She wondered why and was told that the woman had AIDS.  She spent some time getting to know the mum, the first person she had met with AIDS.  

Soon after birth, the baby died.  This experience affected Sister Gen deeply and she decided she had to learn more about this disease. 

She studied everything she could and knew that she wanted to work among people with HIV/AIDS. At first, her superiors said no.  There were no nurses to replace her in the work she was doing.  But she kept asking and eventually, it became possible. 

Sister Gen took a sabbatical year and went to the Minnesota to study, braving a winter on the frozen shores of Lake Michigan to learn more about her life’s work.  

When she came back to Kenya, she started working at the Archdiocese of Mombasa Community Based Healthcare and AIDS Relief Project and then in 1999 went to Voi to open St. Joseph Shelter of Hope. 

Today, she oversees a huge outreach program, and onsite Voluntary Counselling and Testing office.

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In the Pharmacy

I’m excited about the new cable bringing high-speed internet service to eastern Africa. 

Aside from the business opportunities this will provide, it will help us to keep in contact with our partners, which has been difficult up till now.  

You can read the story from BBC News.

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Stepping Up

Marietta

When I was in Kenya this past March, I visited with Marietta and her aunt and uncle. 

Marietta’s mother died of AIDS.  Marietta is HIV+.  Her aunt and uncle were able to see past the fear and misinformation that can surround this disease.  They took Marietta in and raised her as their own.  They are the only parents she has ever known. 

Thanks to the generosity of a Canadian donor, she’s given a daily dose of Septrin, which is keeping her healthy.

The future looks good for Marietta.  I’m so inspired by her aunt and uncle and so happy they are there to look after her!

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Small Girl and Baby

There’s really nothing I can add to this brilliant speech.  I wish I could have been there to hear it in person.  You can read it here.

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Children in Mombasa

I was pleased to see this story, announcing that pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline is planning to invest up to  $97 million  US over 10 years in improving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for children and adults in sub-Saharan Africa.

It’s wonderful that they’re doing this.  But there’s so much more needed.  Their investment works out to $9.7 million per year.  And with an estimated 22 million people living with HIV/AIDS in that part of the world, I really hope that many others will step up to help!

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Waiting Room St Mary's Mission

In my work as Director of Communications at Pediatric AIDS Canada, I spend a lot of time reading articles related to my work.

 The problems are just about overwhelming, but there are glimmers of hope.  This article about AIDS awareness and prevention in Liberia appeared in The Guardian UK last month.  It gives a pretty clear picture of some of the obstacles to be overcome if we’re ever to win the fight against this pandemic.

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We’re huge fans of Bono round here (well, who isn’t?).  So I was pleased to see this piece in the New York Times last week about the current situation in Africa.  And hope for the future.

You keep tellin’ ’em, Bono!

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