Organization to help Africa
December 6, 2011 7 Comments
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?