Dr. Paul Erikson writes:|
"Last year, our family spent the school year volunteering at Selian Hospital in central Tanzania.
I practiced medicine there, heading the children's ward and supervising the outpatient department. The hospital tends to 40,000 patients a year. Our daughter Sophie (13) volunteered in the child health clinic weighing babies, and Mama home-schooled our four daughters, ages 7, 9, 12, and 13.
There was always a child on the ward with HIV or AIDS. The problem is devastating a huge population of Africa. The children were often cared for by their grandparents because both parents were already dead.
The clinic did provide prenatal care. These were women from the villages, many with other children. They were your average families of this African community. One month, we did a study to learn of the prevalence of HIV in these women and found that 34 percent of the women were positive for the virus. They had no knowledge of it.
What we know is that about one-third of babies born to mothers who are infected will be infected also. There were no medicines there to treat HIV or the AIDS disease.
The best hope is preventive education. Selian Hospital had started an HIV prevention program. This is the best hope for this area. Any help to their program would be greatly appreciated.
Dr. Jacobson and the team at Selian Hospital are heroes."