– MALI –
YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT IS ESSENTIAL TO ARCAD/SIDA,
WHOSE COUNTRY IS EXPERIENCING A MAJOR HEALTH CRISIS
October 8th, 2012
ARCAD/SIDA was one of the first HIV/AIDS associations in Mali. It was created in 1994 to develop a global approach to managing the spread of HIV by improving access to care and treatment, and prioritizing research and communication. As a co-founder and member organization of Coalition PLUS, the association fights primarily for human rights and access to care and treatment for everyone. Their method is based in community action, and they focus on the inclusion of people infected with or affected by HIV in the development and execution of their programs and strategies.
A critical situation
Six months after a coup by a group of armed extremists “sowing terror,” according to Human Rights Watch, northern Mali is in the midst of a major crisis. Dr. Bintou Dembélé, Director of ARCAD/SIDA, is sounding the alarm about the dramatic health situation her country has been plunged into. In the Centre de soins, d’animation et de conseils (Cesac) in Bamako where the organization works to provide services to over 5000 infected people, funds are sorely lacking. In Bamako, the facility is open, but the patients are not coming. “Some people are scared to leave their homes. Others can’t go anywhere because of fuel shortages.” Their access to antiviral medication is also threatened. “We import antiviral medication from India, but if the fuel shortages continue, air ties will be cut. This is basic care, without which all our efforts will be for naught.”
In the northern region, held by rebels, the situation is even more serious. According to the news and information website Mali Actualités, 600 people with AIDS fled the Islamist rebels, and are now lost in the wilderness with no access to treatment. Political instability in the occupied zones has badly affected health services and caused a dispersal of medical staff, whose lives have been endangered by the theft and massive destruction by the rebels of the medication and equipment, which are critical for treating patients.