From the Dec. 24, 2003 The Herald Newspaper, publisher Boniface Forbin, Yaounde, Cameroon.
And on the web at heraldnewspaper.org.
Dec. 24, 2003 - 18:03
Society : Limbe Uphealth foundation provides free drugs to HIV/AIDS patients
By Kwi Bangsi in Limbe
Limbe based Uphealth Foundation, an NGO has brought relief to HIV/AIDS patients in Limbe by making available free drugs.
The foundation whose major health activity is the fight against HIV/AIDS and related opportunistic infections officially presented the drugs to the public on 10 December at the foundation’s office near Limbe community field.
The chief medical officer and founder of Uphealth Foundation, Ekema Anjorin, who did the presentation said the drugs cost about 25m FCFA and were made available to his organisation by health link for Africa, an NGO. The drugs with some twenty different types he said were "brand new" and good for the treatment of various levels of infection including patients with advanced (HIV/AIDS) infections.
Some of the drugs for example include nivirapine whose application Ekema said prevented the transfer of HIV/AIDS from an infected mother to the baby during pregnancy. There was also Trizivir which the medical doctor said was one of the most expensive drugs of HIV/AIDS treatment.
Ekema who is also the president of CDC HIV/AIDS control programme and who enjoys international recognition for active participation in HIV/AIDS workshops and seminars, revealed that it was thanks to Same Ndive, a Cameroonian working for Rochester University in USA that the drugs were offered his foundation.
He equally poured praises on Steve Fine of Rochester community HIV/AIDS program for facilitating the contacts with Health Link Africa.
He said that though the drugs will be given free of charge, only people who are HIV/AIDS positive and are registered with the Foundation would be beneficiaries. Women and children infected with the disease, he added would have priority access to the drugs.
Ekema stressing on the struggle by his Foundation to assist HIV/AIDS patients said the free provision of drugs now put it second after ‘Medicine sans Frontiers’ to offer free drugs to AIDS patients in the world.
He further revealed that Uphealth Foundation will in 2004 launch an HIV/AIDS treatment program based on home care of patients. Trained nurses would through the home care program meet and treat HIV/AIDS patients in their homes instead of them going to the hospital.
Another project to help AIDS patients he added would be the creation of a visual learning center next year (2004) which the doctor said will provide information on HIV/AIDS to the public.
The people who turned out for the drugs’ presentation hailed Uphealth Foundation and its founder for making available the free drugs.
Magistrate Enanga Anjorin of Limbe court of First Instance remarked in a briefing with The Herald that "anti-retroviral drugs have been very expensive. We are now very happy that they are provided freely by Uphealth Foundation. We hope many patients will come and benefit." Constance Makia, an administrator for her part described the free drugs as "a wonderful gift for HIV/AIDS patients from Uphealth Foundation."