Today, approximately 91% of the world’s children living with AIDS live in Sub-Saharan African countries. In 2005, the American Foundation for Children with AIDS saw an immediate need to provide antiretroviral (ARV) medication to thousands of children infected with HIV/AIDS. During that time, there were not many organizations meeting these needs for children and babies born with the virus. Desperate parents seeking medical attention for their sick children were often turned away due to lack of pediatric medicine. Adult formulations made it so that careful administration of medication to children meant constant surveillance to assure the proper dosages (pills were crushed and, based on a child’s weight, dosages were given from the medicine powder), measuring weight and tracking vitals were a priority for safety and effectiveness.
Thankfully, pediatric formulated antiretrovirals are more widely available today and medical advancements assure that children have a better chance at living full and healthy lives. In many cases, the governments of African countries now provide and distribute antiretrovirals to stop the virus from replicating in the bodies of patients, but in some areas that lack infrastructure and funding, gaps in critical AIDS care for children and their caregivers continue to be an issue. AFCA is committed to procuring pharmaceuticals and testing kits at the request of our partner hospitals who don’t have governmental or other funding to assure all children have access to these life saving medications, and to help contain the spread of the virus between mother and child during birth.
Medicine and Testing Kits
Through the request of our partner hospitals, AFCA provides antiretrovirals and other medications to fight opportunistic infections for children with AIDS. Children who are infected with HIV/AIDS are more susceptible to other diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, thrush, and even certain types of cancers. Partner hospitals prescribe, treat and monitor pediatric patients to provide them the best care available.
Maternal and Infant HIV Care
Maternal and women’s health continues to be a priority for AFCA. Mother to child or “Vertical” transmission of AIDS puts infants at risk. Through partnership with local hospitals, AFCA works to meet the demand for the medications and testing kits necessary to keep children healthy. In addition, AFCA also provides testing kits to pregnant women, to assure the safest birth and maternity care is provided to a mother and her unborn baby. Testing infants when they are born also assure treatment can be administered immediately for the best outcome.
Medical Supply Recovery Program
Every day, US hospitals prepare for surgeries and procedures by opening instruments and supply packs. A great deal of these valuable tools are never used and due to government regulations, these supplies must be discarded. AFCA collects these supplies, which never had patient contact, so they can be used to save lives in some of the countries where we work. While American doctors throw away sutures that have never been used, medical professionals throughout the world are washing, sun-drying and reusing sutures and gloves on numerous patients, a dangerous and risky practice that needs to end.
AFCA collects opened but unused and new but unneeded medical supplies and equipment from hospitals, manufacturers, and distributors, diverting them from landfills and shipping them for use in the countries where we work.
AFCA’s work saves thousands of pounds of excess medical supplies and equipment from landfills and incinerators that, for various reasons, hospitals and medical companies discard. We work with hospitals in Pennsylvania to set up recovery programs, so the hospital staff can efficiently recycle their surplus medical supplies. The program includes regular pick-up service of donated supplies. We also work with hospitals in Africa so that we are not sending items they don’t need – why create a landfill problem by sending items that are useless to them? We visit the hospitals and communicate closely through email, noting what is lacking and what we should send. Our biggest need is for maternity wards, as we are working closely with partners who are determined to stop the transmission of HIV from mother to child.
Donate Medical Supplies and Equipment to AFCA
We accept donations of unused, unexpired medical supplies and used but functioning biomedical equipment through our medical supply recovery program.
To make a donation of surplus medical supplies or equipment, or to request further information, please contact us at 717.489.0206 or at info@AFCAids.org. You can find our full list of equipment and medical supplies below.
AFCA MEDICAL SUPPLY NEED LIST
AFCA MEDICAL EQUIPMENT NEED LIST
Donate to Support Our Program
In addition to providing partner hospitals with medicine, testing kits, supplies and equipment, you can help by donating to AFCA to assure we can continue to provide these lifesaving measures, as well as paying for coordination and shipments of containers supplies and equipment that save lives.