Organization to help Africa

At this moment, more than 22,5 million people in South Africa are infected with HIV. This is around two thirds of the global total. Most of this people cannot permit aids-inhibitory medication, because the patent holding companies demand to high prices.

The organization ‘Artsen zonder grenzen’ have started a campaign to make cheaper drugs available to the South African market. In 1997, South Africa wanted to tackle this severe problem by a new law to approve the production or import of cheaper (generic) drugs. According to the World Trade Organization it is permitted due to the national emergency. But the pharmaceutical industry complained in 1998 against the government for violation of intellectual property. They hold the law already for 3 years. In that period, 400.000 people in South Africa died of aids or aids-derived infections. The pharmaceutical companies asked for, and received, extra time to come up with argumentation to justify the high prices.

Meanwhile in 2011: due to the lack of money has the Global Fund cancelled the next round during which countries are able to ask for financial support for AIDS-programs. This brings the lives of AIDS patient in many countries at risk.

To help people with a disease, medication is not enough. The staff of the hospital needs to have enough knowledge and experience. Secondly the correct equipment in the hospitals is indispensable.
For these reasons, ‘artsen zonder vakantie’ has been active to stimulate the medical help in Africa. Together with the local team and the direction, they accomplish a better treatment for the patient, and ensure that personal is motivated and competent.

‘Arsten zonder vakantie’ defends the right to health, the right to quality care also for the poor and the right to health education to prevent illness. They choose for a short mission of 2 weeks to 1 month. Those missions can be repeated and fit into a long-term support of the African hospitals. During this mission our African colleagues are contaminated with knowledge and experience.
To achieve quality care, African hospitals needed equipment. Teams with specialists works with African colleagues and bring specialized equipment with them. These medical devices  and instruments are donated to the hospital after the mission. The available equipment can save lives!

The people of ‘arsten zonder grenzen’ helps in hospitals to achieve a better organization, hygienic standard and efficient techniques combined with a pleasant and motivating work environment. These are small steps, but one small step for the human, can mean a big step for the humanity.

The equipment, better hygienic standards in hospitals and help from other counties in means of fundraising and support is as much needed as appreciated. But only medication cannot dissolve the problem in Africa. What about the basic needs, like streaming water, clothing, electricity,…? Is it in the first place not more important to have a hygienic environment?


7 Responses to Organization to help Africa

  1. Something that is a lot more important, and is completely neglected these days is that if we want to help those people, they have to want our help first. People will come to such camps to recover from the worst, to go back to work and to earn money. Long term health awareness is not present at all.

    And that awareness is something that takes a lot longer than a 1month expedition to help them. ‘Corruption’, which was a word in one of the previous posts is something that I consider to happen at levels where the money is already present. In the case where people sell their own medicine, they just have a short term vision: surviving from one day to the other.

  2. But if people like us, go to Africa en built there the basic needs, like clean water, clothing, light,.. When it is available for African people, there is also less disease, because the hygiene increases.
    Not everyone need our help, but in many regions most of these peoples are very happy because people like us (surgeon without vacation, people who built like streaming water,..) give them hope to live again. And others will sell their medication, because they have money for buy some food, and want the best for his family.
    I think, we help poor regio’s in Africa a lot when we go to there en built there a future. When African people can enjoy a lot, they will accept us!

    And like putzeysj says: In this time we have hard economical times. And many people in Europe are facing budget cuts. But if we not save money in research for vaccination in pets and other unnecessary expenses, why save money in developing countries? They don’t get the chance to develop? A little sign can give people more hope.

    • Bart Minne says:

      I do agree, simply donating them the money doesn’t help at all. It doesn’t stimulate them to improve their own situation.

      More investments should be made regarding teaching programs and follow-up.

  3. How do you feel about Studio Brussel’s approach:
    * Collect money for one single and specific purpose
    * Use that money for preventive measures instead of curative

    Can solving 1 problem help people enough ?

  4. I think it’s necessary and very good; diarrhea is one of the most causes of death. Maybe they will help one group, but a lot of people have a better hygiene.
    People live in slums; they have no toilet and no money. Everyone go to the toilet on the street. Children and adults live in these dirty environments. Diseases increase… children have diarrhea, drying out and dying. This is all due to poor hygiene and contaminated water. People who live in slums can not pay a hospital. So, childeren die.

    Music for life helps diarrhea. They collect money for a basic need, namely toilets. When this kind of people have availability of streaming water and toilets. Then, disease and diarrhea will decrease. So the money of music for life, it’s the beginning for a better hygienic in this kind of regions.

    If you will look how people live in slums, you can click on the link below:

  5. Also another reportage shows that there must be something done. It is more important than we think. This reportage shows the situation in India. People do their needs on/in in the river and he will contaminate. The river smells terrible. The people from the slums take this contaminated water for everything, like washing clothes, drinking water. This water they use and children have diarrhea.

    • Bart Minne says:

      All these actions against diarrhea are great at first glance but they do not solve the problem. They might help but as soon as the money runs out, which it will, they regress to the original situations.
      If nothing is done about the slums, about their way of thinking, about their goals and possibilities nothing will help. Like I said before, the only thing that has a chance of success is to make them aware of the problem and show them how to beat it in such a way that they are actually willing to try and easily achieve success. The biggest challenge is to stimulate them to carry on until the effect of their effort is clear.

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