Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Give Directly toward Medical Relief in Eldoret

Indiana University has a permanent staff, office, housing, and programs based in Eldoret, Kenya. The focus of IU's AMPATH program is a holistic approach to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, for which they have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. See the nomination letter at: http://www.iukenya.org/pdfs/nobel.pdf. IU's program operates in Kenya's government Rural Health Centres in a 200 km radius from Eldoret, and their medical networks are ideally poised to provide relief to the needy during this post-election crisis.

Update from Dr. Joe Mamlin
Indiana University Medical Staff in Eldoret
Working with AMPATH and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital

Moi University School of Medicine

January 2, 2008

Dear Friends,

I find comfort as I take a moment amid the madness here to catch you up a bit on what we see on the ground.

First, let me assure you that Sarah Ellen and I are safe and fine. We feel fortunate in getting the US community out of here for the time being. Our British friends will fly out on a charter today if we can find fuel for the plane.

As far as I know, we have not lost a single AMPATH staff member or patient. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to run clinics since there are no matatus [van-taxi] running. It took almost three hours for one of our pharmacist to walk by foot to give us access to drugs. Most staff are busy securing safety of loved ones and most patients are either afraid or can’t travel. We will have some fairly unique decisions to make if we can’t move supplies around safely and soon.

I took heart in an ER this morning when I no longer needed to step over a body. Eldoret is quiet today but all roads in and out remain blocked by unpredictable gangs. Many residential areas of Eldoret are insecure and many of our friends are simply scared to death. We are doing all we can to help with the many needs of our Kenyan friends seeking safety.

We can find food as of today since a few markets reopened. And we have our farms. Can’t get the food out to patients so will harvest food to help feed our compound and the many refugee centers that have popped up in churches and jails.

We have seen some things over the last few days that cannot be described in this note. We have witnessed sad evidence that we as a human family have a lot of growing yet to do. When you think a moment, you realize the IU-Kenya Program is at its core symbolizes what is so critically needed by Kenyan leadership. This is not a program dedicated to building medical schools or even stamping out a pandemic. At its heart, it is a program that screams “Yes” in a world to ready to say “No”. This program puts love and compassion front and center. Those values build the rest. When that message is embraced here, we can go home. We are unable to stop what is now happening, but we are rock solid in keeping to our core message.

Deep in our heart, Sarah Ellen and I believe Kenya will find a way to move back from the abyss now staring them in the face. As they reclaim their lives, programs and pride the IU-Kenya program will be there for them. Please do not be discouraged. Stay with us as we stay with our Kenyan family. Shortly they will need us all more than ever.

Pray for each other as we go forward with hope one day at a time.
Joe and Sarah Ellen

Note: The IU-Kenya Partnership has set up a special Kenya Recovery Fund to meet the many needs for the people of western Kenya in the wake of the recent violence. To contribute, simply click on the "How to Donate" button on the IU-Kenya website and follow the process indicated on screen.
Once you have been redirected to the IU Foundation Giving page please note “Kenya Recovery Fund" in the area which asks for additional comments. Thank you.

No comments: