Kenya Recovery Fund Provides Welcome Relief to Victims of Political Unrest
IU School of Medicine Feb 13, 2008
The Kenya Recovery Fund was created to assist Kenyans employed or assisted by AMPATH and the Moi University Teaching Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. AMPATH (Academic Model for Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS) provides life-saving treatment and short-term food assistance for 60,000 HIV-positive Kenyans. The program has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Many Kenyans have been victimized by the recent unrest related to the contested presidential election, in need of housing, medicine, food, clothing and other support. Homes have been burned, individuals displaced, jobs disrupted and travel made dangerous and difficult by bands of rival tribes.
The Kenya Recovery Fund assists the AMPTH staff and patients in need of basic necessities. In the month following the Jan. 1 outbreak of violence, pledges to the fund have exceeded $100,000. Long-time IU-Kenya partners Abbott and Eli Lilly and Company made significant donations.
Friends of IU and Moi University partner The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University also have made significant donations.
“We are very grateful to the individuals and organizations who have responded so quickly and so generously to the needs of the Kenyan people,” said Robert Einterz, M.D., director of the IU-Kenya Partnership and a professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. “These donations will be immediately translated into clothes on people’s backs, food in their bellies, and a safe and warm place for families to sleep.”
Hundreds of patients and staff left homeless by the post-election violence have already received desperately needed assistance through the contributions to the Kenya Recovery Fund, said Joe Mamlin, M.D., field director of the IU-Kenya Partnership.
“We’re keeping our eyes on the target and paying careful attention to those infected and affected by HIV in western Kenya,” said Dr. Mamlin. His faith in the resiliency of the Kenyan people has not diminished but he is concerned that an interruption of life-saving medication may have a long-term negative impact on the success of the treatment program.
The Kenya Recovery Fund continues to accept contributions, which are directed through the Indiana University Foundation. To contribute to the fund or for more information on AMPATH and the IU-Kenya Partnership, see www.iukenya.org.