Posted by chads on May 9, 2007
My heart aches right now.
I just opened a report from some of the public health workers in Mozambique that I have worked with. They recently started an HIV testing center in a small town, and the results of the first group of people to be tested were in that report. Twenty-three percent of the women tested were positive, and 21% of the men.
I knew that the percentages were about that high. My heart aches this morning, I guess, because I know the people behind those numbers. I know that they will likely suffer from opportunistic infections like tuberculosis and Kaposi’s sarcoma and diarrhea, that they will loose weight and develop painful sores, and cough. I know that they will not be able to work or go to school, and that they will likely leave children as orphans. They will all die prematurely if not treated.
I also know that their conditions were preventable, and are currently treatable. Thanks to an unlikely collaboration of PEPFAR, HAI, and a small NGO, they just might be saved. To avoid this tragedy in the future, however, their health system must be strengthened.
It’s 5am and I am in a hotel in Denver, Colorado. My heart, however, is in Mozambique.