Friday, July 04, 2008

As We Celebrate our Freedom

One of the many things that freedom for centuries affords is access to state of the art health care, education, good public transportation, jobs, housing, and did I say education? and the right to worship the God you choose to worship wherever and with whomever. As the saying goes "it is our God given right to choose.." But so many of the worlds population who suffer from living with HIV, either in their own bodies or in the bodies of their loved ones, did not choose that. And even though there are many many organizations and hospitals and wonderful people working hard in the trenches of arguably this Earth's greatest battle, they continue to meet major road blocks, like what is discussed in the article below. I am currently reading Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds which was given to me by my freind who founded the organization From HIV to Home. (Which I cannot say enough good things about.) (And I another post.) If you ever thought that doing something about the HIV/AIDS Pandemic was just not your thing, or if you wondered what you could do to make a difference, I suggest you read this book.

Here is the article I woke up to on this Independence Day...which by the way- is a glorious day for these hostages freed in Columbia after 5 years...after you read this article I leave you with the video of the freed hostages...lest we forget some of the amazing things we should be thankful for this 4th of July.

Quarter of Ethiopia AIDS patients have stopped drugs

Tue 24 Jun 2008
ADDIS ABABA - Over a quarter of Ethiopia's HIV/AIDS patients on drugs are not taking their medicine because of logistical problems but also due to religious beliefs, the head of a treatment body said on Tuesday.
Over 40,000 of Ethiopia's 156,360 HIV/AIDS patients on the life-prolonging medication have discontinued treatment "due to problems of transportation to hospitals," said Dr Ygeremu Abebe, the director of the Clinton Foundation in Ethiopia.
Some however stopped taking the anti-retroviral medicine on the prompting of religious leaders who encouraged them to take "holy water" instead, he said.
"Lack of awareness of serious health problem for patients who discontinue treatment could also be considered a reason," Ygeremu told a workshop on the disease.
Some 20 percent of 7,000 children with the illness have also stopped medication, he said.

Last year, the head of Ethiopia's Orthodox Church told about 5,000 faithful, most of who were infected, that they should combine the free drugs -- provided under U.S. President George W. Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- with the holy water.

With more than 1.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS, Ethiopia is one of the countries in the world most affected by the epidemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Over a million adults and children have died in Ethiopia in the last two decades from AIDS.

Infections in the country are predominantly in urban areas but have in the last several years spread to rural centres all over the country, where 85 percent of Ethiopia's 81 million people live, according to WHO.

And here is something to rejoice about..


Dave said...

I really don't understand why good Americans like you have no idea that your government is perpetrating the most heinous crimes in the horn of Africa.
Ethiopia was given $2billion/yr, yet it has 12 million people starving.

I will give you a hint

increasing military budget in June

From NY times, how aid is being used as a tool

American officials giving diplomatic cover while being warned situation getting worse than darfur

meddling in reginal politics

I can go on.

Anonymous said...

I actually just got this book in the mail a week ago and plan to begin reading it in the coming weeks. I look forward to discussing it with you. Thanks for bringing light to the dark.


April said...

I just finished this book yesterday! It was great and I'm so glad you're getting to word out on your blog.
I actually found your blog on RLC and follow it because I plan to adopt an HIV+ child/ren from Africa once I complete my nursing degree. Your blog is such great resource!

Bradshaws said...

Cant wait to read this book!!