Harrisburg, PA, April 07, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- As the world awaits every piece of news surrounding the elections in Zimbabwe, the American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA, www.helpchildrenwithaids.org) continues its plans to expand its work into the stricken country.
In response to numerous requests for assistance, AFCA’s Executive Director Tanya Weaver will arrive in Harare on April 14th for a series of meetings with humanitarian groups across the country.
“Zimbabwe receives little or no HIV/AIDS funding support from any of the major donor initiatives – approximately $4 per HIV-positive person per year. In contrast, neighboring Zambia, which has a similar rate of HIV prevalence, receives around US $187 per HIV-positive person annually from foreign donors,” stated Weaver. “Despite the instability and challenges, AFCA decided we could not turn down these requests.”
Zimbabwe has one of the highest rates of childhood mortality from AIDS: one child dies every 15 minutes from HIV/AIDS; infant mortality has doubled since 1990; 1.3 million children are orphans as a result of losing their parents to HIV/AIDS.
AFCA responded to an emergency request from Zimbabwe in December, as the need for anti-retroviral medication (ARVs) was so dire it was deemed that it would put too many children’s lives at risk to wait for a site visit, as is AFCA’s approach. This trip will formalize the relationship between AFCA and the organizations in Zimbabwe, becoming the third country where AFCA works, joining Kenya and Uganda.
The hardships that Weaver will face in Zimbabwe – taking her own food and water purifying tablets due to shortages of food and safe/bottled water, traveling overland as plane fuel is unavailable – have only strengthened her resolve.
“Despite the threats and government legislation against Non-Governmental Organizations in Zimbabwe, there are still organizations that are persevering in their efforts to save Zimbabwe’s AIDS-afflicted population. We are hopeful that as the political situation settles, it will become easier to provide the life-saving anti-retroviral medication the children of Zimbabwe need,” said Weaver.
Last year, AFCA provided more than US$4 million worth of anti-retroviral medication (ARVs), antibiotics, and medicine to fight opportunistic infections including cancers, to more than 1400 children and their guardians.
To learn more about AFCA, become involved or make a contribution, please visit www.helpchildren.org. All donations are tax-deductible.
American Foundation for Children with AIDS is an independent international humanitarian aid organization established in 2004. AFCA is a 501(c)(3) not–for-profit organization incorporated in the state of Florida, USA. It has been certified Best in America by the Independent Charities of America. AFCA’s mission is to improve the lives of children and youth struggling with the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. We provide cost-effective relief, services, medical and social support, education and advocacy to help these individuals achieve their full life potential.
AFCA believes that true success is achieved through collaboration with qualified local professionals. To this end, they partner with the following agencies to deliver quality, donated anti-retroviral medications and supplies to HIV-positive children and their caretakers: Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda; Archdiocese of Mombasa in Mombasa, Kenya; Voi Children’s Health Program in Voi, Kenya; ZOE in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and St. Mary’s Mission Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.