Foundation Representatives and Musician Sylver Kyagulanyi Distribute Medical Supplies to HIV-Positive Pregnant Women in Mukono District
October 13, 2009
Visiting representatives from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Ugandan singer/songwriter Sylver Kyagulanyi today distributed medical supplies for HIV-positive pregnant women in Mukono District. Foundation President and CEO Pamela W. Barnes, current Board member Willow Bay, and former Board member Alexander Vreeland joined Kyagulanyi in distributing “Generation Free Kits” to help promote safe births and prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV at Kawolo Hospital and Mukono Health Center IV.
The kits represent just one aspect of the Foundation’s efforts throughout the world to eradicate pediatric HIV and AIDS. An estimated 1,000 children are infected with HIV every day, most as a result of mother-to-child transmission of the virus. In the areas hardest hit by the virus, a lack of basic health supplies necessary during childbirth often increases the risk of infection in newborn babies.
In Uganda, pregnant women are often expected to purchase their own blankets, rubber gloves, gauze, and other supplies, or go without them during labor. It is because of this unfortunate reality that the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation teamed with Disney to create “Generation Free Kits” – boxes filled with plastic sheeting, rubber gloves, gauze, medicine dispensers for babies, blankets, clothing, diapers, and other vital supplies. The kits, assembled by volunteers at the Foundation’s A Time For Heroes Celebrity Carnival in Los Angeles in June 2009, were named to reflect the Foundation’s mission to create a generation free of HIV.
“It is absolutely vital that pregnant women have the necessary medical supplies to deliver their babies in a clean, sterile environment,” said Barnes. “Having the right tools for a safe, healthy delivery is a crucial part of protecting the health of both mother and baby, and ensuring that infants are born free of HIV.”
Bay, a television and online journalist, has been a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2003. Vreeland served as a member of the Board of Directors for five years, from 1998-2003. Kyagulanyi, a prominent singer/songwriter in Uganda and a Foundation Ambassador since August 2008, is currently writing a song to commemorate the Foundation’s 20th anniversary, to be unveiled at a celebration in Uganda later this year.
The Foundation receives support in Uganda from USAID through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Since 2000, the Foundation has provided more than 1.68 million women in Uganda with critical PMTCT services in more than 400 sites in 27 districts, primarily in the country’s southwestern region. The Foundation also provides care, treatment, and psychosocial support for people living with HIV, as well as support to the Ministry of Health for the improvement of maternal and child health services.
For more information, visit http://www.pedaids.org/OurWork/InternationalPrograms/Uganda.aspx
About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
For the past twenty years, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation has been a worldwide leader in the fight against pediatric AIDS. Its innovative research programs, collaborative training initiatives, advocacy efforts, and rapidly expanding international prevention and treatment programs are bringing dramatic changes to the lives of children worldwide. For more information, visit www.pedaids.org/jointhemoment