In an effort to counter the devastating effects of the AIDs virus on
Nigeria using his strong ties to the Austin health community, Sunny Uzuh,
through the Rosy Health Care Foundation, has begun a very personal mission
to traverse much-needed medical supplies and donations from the United
States to Nigeria, where he would hand deliver items to Nigerian healthcare
facilities, eliminating the numerous middle persons who often hinder these
Working with doctors and health care providers who have already gone
great lengths to improvise proper healthcare, Uzuh will be getting funds,
supplies and drugs directly to Nigerian citizens awaiting them. Uzuh would
like to especially attend to the dire reports on the Aids and Africa website
stating, "The availability of affordable drugs for AIDS patients
should be seen as an urgent situation that needs the attention of African
governments, pharmaceutical companies and the international community.
What good is a drug, if 95 percent of the people it was meant to help
cannot afford it?"
Nigeria, one of Africa's most productive economies, falls as short as
its continental peers in attracting a necessary amount of funding to counter
the AIDS epidemic. A report by the UNAIDS at the 2002 World Aids conference
in Barcelona indicated a "gloomy picture." According to Peter
Plot, Executive Director of UNAIDS,"…Of the US $10 billion
that are necessary every single year to offer treatment to people with
HIV, to organize prevention, to take care of orphans in low and middle
income countries, today we've got about 3 billion, so the 30 percent mark,
to get to the US $10 billion mark by the year 2005 as all countries have
committed themselves, we'll need an increase by about 50 percent every
year for the next four years," The attitude of the World's richest
nations towards the Global AIDS fund as encouraging and the news would
lead the U.S. public to believe. President Bush's announced Emergency
Plan for AIDS Relief, a five year, $15 billion initiative to combat the
HIV/AIDS pandemic targets specific countries in Africa and the Caribbean.
But rather than working through the Global AIDS fund the United States
"will work with private groups and willing governments to put in
place a comprehensive system for diagnosing, preventing and treating AIDS."
Problems exist when criteria like this is enforced. Recently, westerners
have been accused of projecting western ideals in the solution of the
AIDS crisis in Africa, enforcing an "ABC" policy say a Washington
Post article from November 29, 2003, Abstain, Be faithful and use a Condom.
But, such panacea's says the article's authors, Edward C. Green and Wilfred
Mlay, are "U.S. solutions to an African problem." They say,
in fact, the African countries with the highest levels of condom availability
--Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and Kenya-- also have some of the highest
HIV rates in the world.
So, how do American industries, non-profits and community support groups
contribute to the amelioration of the onset of so many AIDS cases in Africa…the
obvious way - by "thinking African," says economist and health
care provider Sunday "Sunny" Uzuh. But, Uzuh's campaign is not
limited to drugs for HIV infection. Simple antibiotics are necessary for
tuberculosis break outs and other bacterial infections. All these medications
cost more per day than what an African makes on average (the drugs can
cost between $500 and $1000 a month.)
In fact, quantities of mainstream pharmaceuticals could be thoroughly
applied to a number of African maladies. Simple drugs for high blood pressure
are applicable to a number of African health issues related to poor diet
as are other treatments and pharmaceuticals aimed to aid malnourishment,
diabetes and certain types of cancer. Simple antibiotics and painkillers
are in demand and are always useful in small ill-equipped Nigerian clinics.
Of course, the relevancy of HIV treatments are invaluable.
Says Uzuh, "Yes, it would be easier to send funding to my home country
of Nigeria to have a complex built or medical supplies purchased, but
there are too many hands ready to take a piece of such contributions for
themselves. My goal is to be a small scale liaison between American support
and the actual implementation of projects, health services and construction
to create an improved atmosphere of healthcare, not only here in Austin
where I've had great success, but back in Nigeria where I understand there
to be such a dire and urgent need for this kind of follow through."
Sunny Uzuh travels to Nigeria two to three times a year at present. His
initiative will be a closely watched one. As the construction of the clinic
comes to a finish, travel will also continue with more frequency on a
AUSTIN - Proposal:
For Those Falling in the Cracks