Saturday, September 4, 2010

Books to read

My favorite book is written by Zambian native Dambisa Moyo, international economist, Professor at Columbia University and author of the New York Times best-selling book Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa. Past United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan commented on the cover of the book that Dr. Moyo is too harsh in her critique on the role of aid, but agrees that “the determination of Africans, and genuine partnership between Africa and the rest of the world, is the basis for growth and development.” We ought to consider moving on from simply donating goods and services to promoting full economic business development in partnership with the people we claim we wish to help. We ought to move more from giving fish to teaching how to fish, creating the infrastructure that allows the creation of jobs and the establishment of more than just a pharmaceutical company.
AIDSfreeAFRICA teaches people how to fish, not just give them fish. Self-sustainability and sound business decisions must guide our work. Moyo lays this out brilliantly and in an easy to understand context.

Africa is the richest continent on earth considering it's natural resources. Why is it also the poorest continent? What influence has the IMF, World Bank, Foreign AID, you and me to keep it that way - or change it? Giles does not write as eloquent as Moyo, but his writing is much more simple and easy to understand for people who are not in the inner circle of global issues. Also, his proposed solutions fall short and are disappointing to read. try it but move on to Moyo's book, it just has more depth.
The origin of HIV/AIDS, what has the polio vaccine to do with the occurrence of AIDS? Now that we are almost done eradicating Polio, did we inadvertently create the AIDS virus in that process? The book is 1000 pages long and worth every page. I read it cover to cover in one weekend, through the night and all..... The alleged contaminated samples are still in the freezer in Copenhagen. Will they ever be released? If so, it will not make a difference to the millions dying and suffering from HIV/AIDS.

Ask your local library to find you a copy of these books.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cameroon expatriates meet for serious business

 Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia are home to many Cameroonians, most of whom work in health care profession. They manage to cook their native foods such as jama jama and fufucorn and they support as generous as possible those at home whom they miss so dearly.

In addition to wiring money for Christmas, there are occasions throughout the year, such as a cry die (funeral) or a born house (baby shower) and one or the other emergency that requires extra cash.

However, this past Saturday, August 28th the group of Cameroonians came together to work on something more permanent. The women and two husbands came together to hear a proposal from AIDSfreeAFRICA to get involved in fundraising to establish revolving drug funds.

Revolving drug funds such as the one already in place in Limbe enables small clinics and remote health care centers to receive medicine which is sold to the patience who need them. A portion of the income is collected and paid into a bank account. Once the fund is replenished AIDSfreeAFRICA takes this money to buy new drug supplies and the cycle repeats, thus the name “revolving drug fund”.

The group agreed to focus on Mbengwi and Nkwen first. These two villages are still close to the large city of Bamenda, but in the future the group will venture further into the remote villages which are in desperate need to access medicine.

AIDSfreeAFRICA is pleased with the energy, enthusiasm and warm welcome.

Monday, August 30, 2010

HIV-gel a medical solution to protect women

Women e- news published this story from the Vienna AIDS conference. As much as AIDSfreeAFRICA is focused on establishing drug production in developing countries we are aware of the fact that drugs are not the only solution and are in contact with other non-profit organizations working on other aspects of the epidemic.

The article is a good reminder that HIV is especially spreading amongst the poor and disenfrancised.
2/3 of positive people in Cameroon are women. Human rights are as much needed as drugs, some would argue more than drugs. AIDSfreeAFRICA is determined to add this piece to the puzzle, knowing that there are many more contributing to solve the problem.