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Posts Tagged ‘good news’

Visiting in Mombasa

Zaheen Nanji recently visited people with HIV/AIDS through our partner in  Mombasa.  The experience moved her deeply and she has decided to make donations to Pediatric AIDS Canada and the American Foundation for Children with AIDS.

I am so touched by her generosity.  Thank you Zaheen.

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St. Mary's Mission Hospital

I found an interesting article from IRIN news this morning on the challenges facing PMTCT programmes in Namibia.

While we don’t have any partners in Namibia yet, the challenges are very similar in Kenya and Uganda.  And, as in many parts of Africa, progress is being made.

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Gloria

It’s Friday.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I could use a smile.

Meet Gloria.  She wants to be a journalist.  And she is so grateful to the donors who make it possible for her to have dreams for the future.

And frankly, so am I.

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A Happy Friday Post

Smile!

It’s been a busy day in the office, but I wanted to be sure to stop by, give you a smile and wish you a happy Friday!

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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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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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Sharon

Sharon

 

AIDS killed both of Sharon’s parents before they could hear her speak her first words or watch her take her first steps.

   

They are buried behind the small tailor shop where Sharon lives with her aunt; a constant reminder of loss, death, and sorrow.

   

Sharon grew up playing among their graves, and the graves of aunts, uncles and cousins whose lives were also cut short by this deadly disease.  Everyone, including Sharon, expected that her body would soon rest there, too.  

  

Because when Sharon was diagnosed with AIDS in 1998, the only thing that doctors could do for a child in Uganda with HIV was watch them die.  There were no pediatric medicines available, no treatments, and no hope.  Parents and guardians weren’t even encouraged to have their children tested for HIV – there was simply no point. 

 

In December 2003, the grave being prepared in the backyard was Sharon’s.  She was in the hospital again; a place where she had spent much of her childhood.  But this time was different.  Her CD4 count was below 5%.  Her hair had fallen out and she needed oxygen to help her breathe.  Aunt Florence, the only mother Sharon has ever known, was told this was the end.

 

Then a miracle happened.  What was expected to be the last day of Sharon’s life was the first day of a new pilot project between Mulago Hospital and Pediatric AIDS Canada to give ARVs to children with AIDS.  The doctors in charge of the pilot project chose the 5 sickest of the 700 HIV+ children at Mulago to participate.  All were literally at death’s door.  And Sharon was one of them.

 

Aunt Florence jumped at the only chance her niece had at life. 

 

Once she began ARV treatment, Sharon grew stronger with each passing day.  Within weeks, the little girl who was not expected to see another sunrise walked out of the hospital.  She has not been admitted since. 

 

Today, Sharon is healthy, in school, and well loved by her aunt and the community who care for her.  The grave in the backyard that was to be hers has long since been filled in and grown over.

 

Everyone in Sharon’s small community knows she has AIDS.  At first some of the villagers were afraid of her, but thanks largely to government sponsored education and awareness campaigns, they now know they have nothing to fear from this beautiful little girl. 

 

From the bottom of her heart, Aunt Florence gives thanks to all of the Canadians who have donated to Pediatric AIDS Canada.  She knows that without you, the girl she loves as her daughter would have been lost years ago. 

 

She can’t thank you enough for that gift of life.

 

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