Race against time to help save 20,000 lives

Readers' news
Readers' news

A Horsham-based charity has launched a campaign to bring HIV treatment to 20,000 people in Malawi.

HIV and AIDS charity AVERT has set out to raise £6,000 by 1st July, to purchase the equipment needed to allow their partner organisation in Malawi, the Umunthu Foundation, to provide access to life-saving HIV treatment.

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with one of the highest HIV prevalence rates - 10% of the population are living with the virus.

Despite this, thousands of people in Malawi are currently unable to access HIV treatment due to poor coverage of services.

AVERT urgently needs your help. Are you an individual, business, school or college in the Sussex area? Why not get involved and support this life-saving campaign by fundraising or donating to the cause!

What is the campaign goal? AVERT is making a push to close this treatment gap, launching a campaign to bring HIV treatment and monitoring services to 20,000 people in rural Malawi.

AVERT and the Umunthu Foundation have been working together in this area since 2010.

They already provide free counselling and testing for HIV, support groups for people living with HIV, youth groups and initiatives to educate people about HIV and sexual health.

In order to provide life-saving HIV treatment, the Umunthu Foundation needs a CD4 count testing machine to monitor whether people living with HIV need to begin or change their treatment.

AVERT is raising money for this machine through the crowdfunding website buzzbnk.org, an initiative to mobilise large numbers of people to come together to support a project. The target of £6,000 must reached be reached by 1st July or funds will be returned to donors.

What will the impact be? This machine will have a huge impact on local communities – access to HIV treatment and monitoring services will ensure people start and change treatment on time, enabling people living with HIV to live long and healthy lives and reducing the risk of the virus being passed to others.

Get involved: Please contact AVERT’s Fundraising Officer (anisa.ahmed@avert.org) for more information about fundraising for, and getting involved in, this campaign. Direct donations can also be made via the AVERT buzzbnk page: www.buzzbnk.org/AVERT

David Odali, Umunthu Foundation Director, said: “We really appreciate your noble efforts to fundraise for the purchase of our CD4 count machine. The equipment will go a long way in creating a huge positive impact in our HIV/AIDS service delivery.”

Report contributed by AVERT.