Prevention Comes to Primetime
ABC's Popular News Program 20/20 Profiles the Pony Riders of Lesotho
With the third-highest HIV prevalence rate in the world, Lesotho is taking creative and unprecedented steps to reach even the remotest areas to eliminate pediatric AIDS in the country. Supported by the Foundation, USAID, and Lesotho’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the couriers traverse rugged terrain on horseback to transport blood samples and medicines to and from clinics nestled high in the mountains that are often unreachable by truck or motorbikes. These pony riders deliver critical HIV services to those who would otherwise have no access to them.
In the episode, Roberts accompanied a courier as he and his Basotho pony worked their way up treacherous paths to collect blood samples from a small clinic 10,000 feet above sea level. Time is always of the essence, as the samples must then be handed off to a motorcycle rider waiting at the foot of the mountain and taken to a hospital within six hours for an accurate diagnosis. The results of these HIV tests are critical in determining what medicines should be delivered back to the clinic, both to treat children with HIV and to stop mothers from passing the virus to their newborns.
After the episode aired, ABC introduced a new online clearinghouse dedicated to global health information. Named www.SaveOne.net
, the website provides many options for staying informed and getting involved in health-related issues – both in viewers’ own communities and around the world.
The pony program in Lesotho is a prime example of the many innovations the Foundation has devised in conjunction with partners in the countries hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic. Watch the video on ABC.com today
– and join the fight to eliminate pediatric AIDS!
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- Meet Marekelalitsoe, a young woman from Lesotho who shares a Story of Hope in the wake of her first prenatal clinic visit.
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