Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We haven't mentioned much about HIV and AIDS while here, but it poses a serious threat to Liberia's future. Sister Barbara Brillant, dean at the Mother Patern College of Health Science predicts that HIV-AIDS, if not addressed, will be worse on Liberia than the fifteen year civil war. Every major international organization seems to be attempting to address it, each from a particular perspective. It is unknown how many in Liberia are HIV positive, but estimates suggests as much as 12% of the population may be infected. Every year about 7000 Liberians die from the effects of the virus. A nurse at a local hospital tells us 2 in 10 women coming in to deliver their babies are testing positive for HIV.

Renita and are are just begining to find places where we can bring ourselves into the HIV-AIDS battle. I have been providing consultation to HIV-AIDS counselors at the hospital and the HIV-AIDS program at MPCHS, and just recently Renita landed a contract on behalf of LEAD with the UN's World Food Programme. The WFP is providing microbusiness loans to women infected with HIV. Renita will be providing the business training and support.

Like everything else, it's a few drops of water in a dry land. But when all you have is a couple of eye-droppers, it's the only way to go. And who knows? if enough of us show up with eye-droppers, we may be able to fill a bucket.