I have been a medical missionary doctor working in East Africa the past 33 years. Also, I’m the founder and CEO of the two St. Mary’s Mission Hospitals in Kenya, which serve over 300,000 lower-income patients annually. It is indeed my pleasure to write this letter of recommendation regarding the American Foundation For Children With AIDS (“AFCA”). Over the past eight years that we’ve been receiving help from AFCA, our respect for this organization has only increased.
The AFCA is a small organization, strongly focused upon its mission goal as stated in its name. What I find especially admirable about AFCA is that it has avoided heavy administrative structures and excess personnel in carrying out its goal of helping kids with AIDS, with a resultant extremely low administrative overhead in its operation. Despite being a very small organization with minimal staff, the AFCA has made a huge impact in the lives of many people here in Kenya. Any assist we ask from AFCA they go out of their way to provide. For example, before government-run AIDS programs were in place here in Kenya, we relied heavily upon AFCA for all our antiretroviral meds. Similarly, they funded the HIV screening of pregnant women at our facilities, and the meds needed to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Tanya Weaver, the director, went far out of her way to help source a nutrition supplement that helps AIDS patients, and repeatedly arranged internal US and overseas shipping of this product to our hospitals in Kenya. That required a considerable amount of time and organization, which Tanya Weaver volunteered.
We of St. Mary’s Mission Hospitals have been working together with AFCA in providing medical education outreach (using volunteers from our Kenyan staff) to hospitals in several other countries in Africa. These educational seminars are organized by AFCA, and have been a tremendous success in upgrading medical personnel in the neonatal resuscitation of babies.
Similarly, AFCA has been of tremendous help to our low-income patients with HIV infection who develop resistance to first-line ARV medications. Just recently, AFCA was responsible for us getting free access to a new ARV medicine that is just coming out onto the market. This required a massive amount of communication between AFCA and the pharmaceutical company just releasing this new med.
The AFCA also assists our mission hospital by receiving and forwarding donations from our hospitals’ friends in the States on a monthly basis. This is a tremendous help, which the tiny staff of AFCA does for us out of good will.
In summary, the American Foundation For Children With AIDS has consistently demonstrated itself as an ethical, focused organization that truly lives up to its non-profit status. Although it is a small organization with minimal staff and administrative expenses, it has made, and continues to make a tremendous difference in the lives of the poor here in Kenya. This organization has my highest recommendation. It uses its donor funds extremely well in locally-relevant programs, with minimal administrative costs.
Rev. Dr. Bill Fryda, M.D.
Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine (Mayo Clinic)
Diplomate, American Board of Hematology (Mayo Clinic)
Recipient, Mayo Clinic Distinguished Alumnus Award for Humanitarian Service
St. Mary’s Mission Hospital, P.O. Box 3409 – 00506, Nairobi, KENYA