Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Where have all the parents gone?"

I watched a CNN special report "Where have all the parents gone?" and wow, it really puts it into perspective. It's so sad, how many children are ophaned due to Aids. The very last view on the show was of a little boy who had lost his dad to aids, and he was standing by his grave site, holding back the tears. I couldn't help myself, I broke down, my heart just broke for him.

Through the years there have been many breakthroughs in helping adults with this horrific disease, but let's face it, when it comes to children, the world as a whole has failed! Millions and millions of AIDS orphans prove that.

Accord to the UN, there are 12 million AIDS orphans in sub-Saharan Africa ALONE, and they predict the number to rise to 18.5 million in just four years! In some African countries that means that AIDS orphans will make up approx. 15 to 20 percent of their population!

HIV infection is more aggressive in children less than 18 months old than in adults, and without any treatment half of the HIV infected children die before their second birthday.

Less than five percent of HIV-positive children who need treatment have access to it, and another 1800 children are infected daily primarily at birth and from their mother's milk. These children are trully the innocent, and to most of the world, the invisible victims.

We hardly hear about this sort of problem in the US because there is effective treatment to stop pregnant mothers from passing the virus to thier newborn child, but in Africa there is little acces to this LIFE SAVING prenatal medication. Only 10 percent of pregnant women in Africa have access to BASIC treatment that could reduce the rate of transmission by half! "It's another grotesque double standard," said Stephen Lewis, the U.N. AIDS envoy to Africa.

There is a team of local doctors and community health workersin the shadows of Mount Kilmanjaro on Masai tribal lands, bringing 21st century medical care to rural Africa, free of charge. So you may be thinking ok so there's a clinic out there that just waits for patients to flock in for the free care, but you're wrong!

What's so amazing to me about this clinic is that the Doctors dont wait for the people, THEY GO OUT THERE AND FINE THEM, TREAT THEM, and MAKE REGULAR FOLLOW UP VISITS!Wow, there are trully some people in this world that care! They use motor bikes to get into Africa's wildest places and are making a difference in the lives of many African children and parents! Amazing!!!

"It seems to be making a difference in Africa's medical catastrophe. The Colemans have similar and bigger bike outreach projects in Gambia and Zimbabwe, and doctors there tell them that they are having an effect on reducing the disease and illnesses by getting patients much-needed medicine.He said more such programs are urgently needed: "People are just dying for absolutely no reason at all."

He told us that the project we saw in the Masai country could be replicated around Africa. With so much money being poured into AIDS research and government coffers, perhaps one solution is to seek the simple effective approach.It does work.

In the heart of rural Africa, we saw one pregnant mother infected with HIV who got the right prenatal drugs and did not pass on the virus to her son. One life saved, one child saved from becoming another African AIDS orphan."

Information found on, bolded quotes taken from Christiane Amanpour's special report

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