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 Link to ICMDA Dignity and Right to Health Award winners - https://www.healthserve.org.au/icmda-hiv-initiative.html


Dear ICMDA colleagues, friends and supporters,

The review committee of the 2017 Dignity and Right to Health award of the ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative has worked prayerfully and well together.
The “Dignity and Right to Health Award” is an activity of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative. The award provides an essential opportunity to recognise, support and publicise the most outstanding role models and champions acting to address health and development issues including the HIV global epidemic. The Dignity and Right to Health Award aims to model, mobilise and encourage creative and sustainable ways that enhance the dignity and human rights of people, all made in the image of God, and communities living with a range of health and development challenges. The award which commenced in 2006 is given to individuals and/or community based and national organizations for excellence, outstanding leadership and compassion in responding to various health challenges.

We are delighted to announce and celebrate with you that the 2017 Dignity and Right to Health award winner is Project Burans – a mental health project in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, a partnership between the Emmanuel Hospital Association and the Uttarakhand Community Health Global Network See:  https://projectburans.wixsite.com/burans

The Burans team has demonstrated visionary and innovative leadership.

Noting the huge burden of untreated mental disorders (90% of people with mental disorders receive no treatment) in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Dr. Mathias convened a team of experienced community workers who assessed the needs and then devised an ambitious but yet achievable strategy to increase access to mental health care and promote good mental health in the district of Dehradun.  This involved identifying and collaborating with implementing partners who had previous experience in community work in the area, and with community groups (namely people with psycho-social disabilities, their caregivers, community leaders, government grassroots workers and government health services).  Since its launch in 2014, Project Burans has strategically and carefully built relationships with respected partners to achieve significant and measurable outcomes, which have been regularly monitored and evaluated. Dr. Mathias, a New Zealander who is fluent in Hindi, has very capably and humbly led the team in setting up and implementing this project from the start, drawing on research, evidence and community expertise throughout.  Project Burans is an excellent example of modern Christian leadership in an area of huge need in community health, and I would hope other Christians who wish to improve community health will learn from Project Burans’ example.

People with mental disorders face much stigma in India (like in most places in the world), which puts them at great socio-economic disadvantage.  Many are home-bound due to stigma and psycho-social disabilities from their mental disorders.  With about 20 psychiatrists in a population of about 10 million people in Uttarakhand, treatment for mental disorders is not easily accessible.  Furthermore, in a region with endemic poverty and inter-religious tensions, life for many is challenging, even without mental disorders to contend with.

In choosing the places in which to set up its programmes, Burans deliberately chose communities with high needs and socially marginalised, including a peri-urban area with seasonal brick kiln workers, a rural Muslim area and a slum area with very high numbers of people from the most oppressed castes. In the team composition, Burans has also sought gender equality in leadership, representation of oppressed castes and excluded religious minorities.

Burans has sought to overcome these multiple and great barriers to train community health workers, who often travel by foot to reach people with mental disorders and their families, then educate them and bring them to seek treatment.  I have seen the enthusiasm and dedication of these community health workers who put aside caste and religious differences, and often willingly use their own resources to assist people with mental disorders and their families.

Project Burans’ achievements in include:
*       Identifying more than 650 people with psycho-social disabilities and bringing them for mental health treatment, some of whom have dramatic stories of improvement (re-integrating into family and community life) after accessing appropriate treatment after many years of suffering from mental disorders.
*       Forming multiple support groups with people with psycho-social disabilities and their caregivers, many of whom now access peer support that they did not previously have.
*       Forming resilience groups for girls at government schools and girls who have dropped out of school, some of whom have then initiated petitions to local government authorities (prior to Project Burans, they would not have felt empowered to do this).
*       Training of community health and development workers from 50 Christian NGOs and over 800 government community health workers in mental health.
*       Providing leadership and training in the Dehradun church forum on mental health to church volunteers in mental health, attended by more than 400 people.
*       Developing educational resources about mental health in Hindi and English, some of which are available to download from the Burans website.  One manual (Nae Disha) is being used by the Catholic Health Association of India for a nation-wide adolescent mental health and resilience programme.
*       Patient care plans developed by Burans have been adopted by the state Department of Health residential mental health institutions.
*       Successfully advocating for the provision of free psychiatric medications (as stated by Indian law) in government hospitals for people with mental disorders.
*       Successfully gaining the recognition and partnership of government health entities at a high level.

These are only some of the many achievements of Project Burans, which have clearly improved the access to mental health care, empowered, integrated and increased the dignity of people with mental illness.

The organisation leads in bringing justice and the unconditional love and care of the Living God to many people.  The organisation is undoubtedly a Christian one, with Christian leadership, but working with a variety of partners and clients of different religions (Hindu, Muslim, Sikh etc.), in a region where religious co-existence has socio-political sensitivities.

Project Burans impresses greatly as an excellent example of how health outcomes can be improved in a very systematic way that demonstrates best-practices in community development and health systems strengthening.  We pray and hope that many will learn from the way the Project Burans team serves a very marginalised population in Uttarakhand.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

In Christian service,

Dr Michael Burke
On Behalf of the review committee of the 2017 Dignity and Right to Health award
of the ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative

 


 

Dear friends and colleagues,

We received two nominations for the Dignity and Right to Health Award 2016 of the ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative.

With much reflection, discussion and prayer, we reviewed each of these deep and inspiring stories of God’s grace in action. We struggled and discussed and went back and forward. Slowly in our common mind we came to see the broadness and reach of Anil’s work both in Africa and India having wider circles of influence.

Dr Anil Cherian is the winner of the Dignity and Right to Health Award 2016 of the ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative and Mrs Aida Mtega is a most distinguished runner up.

Let me share with you again the excellent story of Anil Cherian.

Criteria 1.     Leadership

Demonstrated visionary and innovative leadership

Dr Cherian is from the state of Kerala in South India and qualified in 1989 in the Christian medical college , Vellore.

After a junior doctor year he returned to Vellore and successfully trained as a paediatrician. This was followed for many years by service for a total of 20 years  with the Emmanuel Hospital association , national organisation serving mission hospitals in India. He was director  of the organisation in the last two years. During his service he had also become very involved in community health. His wife Shalini, an obstetrician was not only supportive but  a very able co-worker.

His involvement in the Sudan started in  2011 when he was invited by ICMDA  to join a team  of five given the task of how South Sudan could be helped in the development of their health services. They felt that teaching local staff would be the best contribution  and the institute of health sciences was born . Dr Cherian was asked the following year 2012 to lead and develop this project. Anil and his wife moved to South Sudan at this time both feeling the call of God to serve in Sudan maybe for 7 years.

The initial plan was to have the teaching institute in  a town called BOR but the following year  intense fighting occurred in Bor making it utterly impossible to have the teaching there.

The responsibility of an alternative  venue for the institute  of health sciences largely fell on Anil and the teaching commenced in Mengo hospital in Kampala in early 2014. (Mengo is an Anglican mission hospital on one of the hills of Kampala).

There are, I think 51 students in training. Most are high school graduates but around  20% have some experience maybe in community work, nursing or midwifery. There are three teaching streams, clinical medicine and public health,  nursing and midwifery.every attempt has been made to attract women students and at present 30% are women. These will complete training in a year’s time.

A team of teachers has been formed mostly full time but with some part timers  and volunteers.

It is obvious that Anil has made a huge contribution to the success of this venture though you would not get that information directly from him.

Criteria 2.     Target group – Marginalised / Hard to Reach Communities

Provision of health services for communities who have difficulties in  accessing care due to ethnicity, caste, behaviour, and or other reasons, or are hard to reach due to geographical difficulties, violence or conflicts.

In Sudan talking about communities who have difficulties accessing health facilities is irrelevant as the while health system has broken down and everything everywhere is in a mess and not likely to improve any time soon as now there is intense tribal warfare. This means that all the population are in dire need and every small contribution is of value. The Cherians are without doubt doing all they can.

Criteria 3.     Program outcomes

  • Significant impact at local and wider level,
  • Empowers others in integrated community responses,
  • Facilitates church integration and participation in best practice models of care
  • Demonstrates excellence in full community involvement and empowerment of the target communities
  • Works, facilitates and advocates for gender equality in community participation and response to issues faced by the target communities
  • Links well with government and other actors in a comprehensive approach to issues faced by the target communities
  • Models creative and compassionate responses that inspire many to similarly enhance the dignity and human rights of the target communities

The hope is that these students when they graduate will return to Sudan to serve there. The training was set up in full co-operation with the government. The plan has been that some should work in clinical settings and some in mission hospitals and others in the community. Every effort will be made to fulfil this aspiration and indeed commitment but the situation in South Sudan is such that anything could happen.

Anil and Shalini will continue their commitment to the country when the training is completed.

Funding has been difficult and the best contribution has come from the Anglican church.

Anil has co-operated with other NGOs whenever appropriate and contribution to refugee (mostly I.D.Ps) work is being considered

Criteria 4.     Personal Life

Exemplifies a life that does justice, loves kindness and walks humbly with God

Assists individuals to be worshipers of the Living God

The story I have covered very superficially speaks for itself. Anil and Shalini have not just engaged in a project  but have given themselves to the service of the people of South Sudan. This has continued work the work they did in India but it has meant changing home and country to a most insecure situation . To enable this  they left their two sons in India to complete their education

There is much to celebrate and learn from this extraordinary life.

Michael Burke

On behalf of the steering committee

ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative

 


Dear ICMDALeadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative friends and colleagues,

I am happy to share with you that we have received seven nominations of the highest calibre this year for the tenth year of our award, the  2015 Dignity and Right to Health Award of the ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative. Hence this has been a difficult task.  We have had reviews from five committee members based on four continents. Hence the task has been a challenging yet immensely rewarding one.

The winner of the 2015 Dignity and Right to Health Award of the ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative is Dr Andrew Reid of Champions For Life, Zimbabwe.

Let’s celebrate with Dr Andrew Reid of Champions for Life Zimbabwe.

I would like to thank Mr.  Kelvin Mutize  for nominating Dr Andrew Reid of Champions for Life Zimbabwe and for the accompanying write-up.

Visionary and Innovative Leadership

I would like to nominate Andrew Reid as a deserving recipient of the ICMDA Dignity and Right to Health Award 2015. This candidate has been influencing the professional practice of medicine and the public’s image of healthcare and HIV/AIDS through excellence in leadership since 1999 when he moved from his country of birth New Zealand to practice medicine in Zimbabwe.

This nominee exemplifies selflessness and unwavering commitment in the HIV/AIDS domain and is clearly recognized as a role model in the medical profession by both peers and junior doctors alike.

In 2005 Dr Reid founded Champions For Life which is a faith-based PSS-psychosocial-spiritual program for children, adolescents, and young adults who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.

He is also a lead researcher in Africa’s largest research study of HIV/AIDS, the DART Program (Development of AntiRetroviral Therapy) alongside Professor JG Hakim; and is also an exceptional lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe’s medical school.

Target group – Marginalised / Hard to Reach Communities

Dr. Andrew Reid has worked on productive community initiatives and has been instrumental in the delivery and success the Champions For Life team has achieved in the 10 years since its inception. Dr. Reid has worked hard to tear down the barriers and stigma surrounding those living with HIV/AIDS across 11 African countries.

In 2005, Dr. Andrew Reid was part of the core team that founded what is now Africa’s largest psychosocial spiritual programme Champions For Life, a programme that targets the marginalised living with HIV/AIDS.

Today, once every 3 months, Champions For Life Day Seminars are held across 11 African nations. These events see as many as 100 -600 children infected and infected by HIV come together with leaders from the community, health clinics and even business community for a day where barriers are broken down and they receive the psychosocial spiritual support that they need.

During the day seminar the children enjoy dramas, games and receive a hot meal and at the end are taken to a central bus terminus where they are each given bus fare to get home. Dr. Reid and his exceptional team of leaders ran such a program in one of the toughest African economies before they decided to expand into the SADC region.

Today more than 15, 000 children from 11 African nations, coming from poor marginalized backgrounds have been reached and served thanks to Champions For Life.

I am very proud of Dr. Reid’s achievement and he fully deserves recognition for this.

Program outcomes

The vision that was cast in 2005 for Champions For Life continues to grow and expand and increase its impact on a local and regional level. In 2010, the largest Champions Event in Zimbabwe was co-ordinated and organized at Hopely Farm where thousands of displaced Zimbabweans are living.

The event drew more than 5,000 people and each child was ministered to receiving a plate of warm food, sanitary ware for the girls and blankets for each child. The Christian Medical Fellowship of Zimbabwe has always partnered up with Champions For Life from the start and this event was no exception and they came in to provide a free health clinic for the parents and children’s caregivers.

Senior Pastors of Celebration Church Tom and Bonnie Deuschle came to minister at the event and were helped by their five children who sang and prayed for the children. It was truly an event that set the pace for the hundreds of events that would soon follow around the 16 sites Champions is operation at in Zimbabwe and the scores of other sites in South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Kenya and Uganda.

Champions For Life under the leadership of Dr Andrew Reid has partnered with Avacare and other respectable businesses in the community to help bring awareness and support to children living in these marginalized communities affected by HIV/AIDS. In each and every African nation that Champions operates in, they are always working with the local Christian Medical Fellowship and its junior doctors as well as the local church. This has made it easier for the program to be replicated across Africa.

When you ask Dr Reid why he encourages working with ICMDA in the Champions Programmes he is quick to point out that at medical school time is mostly spent acquiring head knowledge only but with a platform like Champions for Life, student doctors learn to develop a heart of compassion as they interact with patients outside a clinical set up.

The system of leadership that Dr. Reid has developed has seen scores of young leaders being developed and built in the process. He truly is a leader extraordinaire and a visionary of great repute.

Dr. Reid is an exceptional selfless person who has managed to link people from all walks of life together in the cause of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable suffering from HIV/AIDS. He is a Champion of champions and a leader who deserves to be recognized for his labour of love.

Personal Life

Everyone who meets Dr. Reid will be quick to point out his humility and his burning love and zeal for the things of God. He has led many to Christ and been the father that many never had. He has seen hundreds of lives changed and transformed by the power of God’s love because he has been a willing vessel and channel of rudo rwaMwari (God’s love).

A man who loves to give gifts, Dr. Reid is known for presenting people with worship music from Pastor Bonnie Deuschle as well as for praying and ministering to all regardless of where he is or with whom he is with. He is the embodiment of Christ’s love and a humbler man you will not find than Dr. Andrew Reid.

His inability to tolerate injustice is what led him in part to founding Champion for Life in 2005 and is what continues to drive him every day. He is a man of the Word and one who lives out the truth every day of his life.

An excellent Christ-centred life and a wonderful example to all!

The “Dignity and Right to Health Award” is an activity of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative. The award provides an essential opportunity to recognise, support and publicise the most outstanding role models and champions acting to address health and development issues including  the HIV global epidemic.

The “Dignity and Right to Health Award” is an international award acknowledging the importance of the contributions of Christian doctors, dentists, nurses and other health workers  to address health and development issues including HIV.

It is well positioned to continue as an important symbol for ensuring that voices from diverse communities and countries are acknowledged and championed. The Dignity and Right to Health Award  aims to model, mobilise and encourage  creative and sustainable ways that enhance the dignity and human rights of people, all made in the image of God, and communities living with a range of health and development challenges including the  HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Kind regards,

Dr. Michael Burke and Mr Steve Fouch

ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative.

 


 

Dear ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative friends and colleagues,
We are happy to share with you the name of the winner of the 2013 Dignity and Right to Health Award of the ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative.

The Beacon of Hope Centre (Jane Wathome and her team) have been chosen this year in a very closely matched review. We thank Dr Anne Merriman of Hospice Africa, Uganda and Mama Wandoa Mwambu of the Upendo Centre, Tanzania for also inspiring all of us with their powerful and encouraging stories.
Today I am delighted again to share with you the story of Beacon Of Hope (BOH) whose director is Jane Wathome.

The Beacon Of Hope Story

Criteria 1.     Leadership – Demonstrated visionary and innovative leadership

Beacon of Hope (BOH) is a Resource Center for HIV affected women and children in a slum area, Ongata Rongai, on the western outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.  A Kenyan woman, Jane Wathome, after seeing women in her work and
church worlds going around and around the cycle of poverty, HIV and the sex trade felt God’s call to leave the marketplace and equip herself to walk with these women toward physical and spiritual health.

She says that the vision for BOH came from the women themselves. When she asked them what they needed to get out of this cycle of HIV and poverty, they knew, empowerment, including skills to earn a living, medical resources
and health information for themselves and their families, as well as schooling for their children.

Jane also said that the women had the vision of outreach to eventually become a training site for other communities in Kenya and eventually other regions of Africa.  The diagram /vision was the biblical vision Jesus cast,
“you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth”, which put into their world.Ongata Rongai, their slum home, then other communities in Kenya and then other countries of Africa.

BOH is in its 11th year..  Jane leans heavily on her church, friends and business community.   The vision is always to make BOH a Center of Excellence with everything done so that BOH becomes self-sustaining and God is glorified.

Criteria 2.     Target group – Marginalised / Hard to Reach Communities
Provision of health services for communities who have difficulties in accessing care due to ethnicity, caste, behaviour, and or other reasons, or are hard to reach due to geographical difficulties, violence or conflicts.
There were no clinics in Ongata Rongai that these women could afford.  Jane began by driving them across Nairobi to a free clinic, but then a nurse volunteered to set up a small clinic at BOH so that VCT could be offered as well as basic care provided.

The Japanese Embassy selected BOH to support and finished the clinic, staffed it and stocked it, including a CD4 machine.  The clinic has been open to all the women of Rongai, no matter their faith.  A large Muslim community across the road asked if their women could come for care.  This was the answer to the prayers of the BOH women to reach all women in their community with the love of Christ.

Criteria 3.     Program outcomes

.       Significant impact at local and wider level,
.       Empowers others in integrated community responses,
.       Facilitates church integration and participation in best practice models of care
.       Demonstrates excellence in full community involvement and empowerment of the target communities
.       Works, facilitates and advocates for gender equality in community participation and response to issues faced by the target communities
.       Links well with government and other actors in a comprehensive approach to issues faced by the target communities

.       Models creative and compassionate responses that inspire many to similarly enhance the dignity and human rights of the target communities

There are well over 1000 women on the BOH inventory with their families. These are women who were dying, had lost family members and most were unable to care for their children or themselves.  These women are now trained in
several career choices, are empowered and have marketable skills. Many are part of small micro finance groups that have been set up at BOH.  They have many and varied businesses after entrepreneurial training.  They have been
taught how to create gardens in a big plastic bag that are able to feed up to four.  Seedlings are free from BOH.  These women, teens in the teen clubs and their children in the schools now have a vision of their own and a hope for a future.

BOH’s vision from the beginning was to be a training center for other communities within Kenya and then the rest of Africa. BOH teams work with these communities to help set priorities, and review their capabilities and resources.  They help them to establish goals, become trained and remain accountable as they grow. BOH is committed to stay connected with them until they become a center of excellence, their own Beacon of Hope.

Beacon has first and foremost presented themselves as Faith Based.  They are an outgrowth of Nairobi Chapel and last year The Chapel started a church plant in Ongata Rongai.  From the initial contact with BOH, each woman is
encouraged to become a part of discipleship, biblical counseling and bible study programs.  In the spring of 2013, BOH was able to recruit their own pastor on site and spiritual care programs are being run right on site.

From the beginning, Jane has leaned heavily on the Kenyan community.  She has networked within Kenya, and within her Christian community, the business community and volunteers. This has established the preschool classrooms, the
nursing station, and the weaving, tailoring and other courses.  Initially, there was no money to pay salaries, but when potential funders saw what was happening and the way it was being done as, A Center of Excellence, food,
children’s chairs, computers, and innumerable other necessities began arriving.  Jane has met the government medical departments with a request that they fulfill their duties to provide ARV’s. They have the order ready
for Beacon when they arrive to pick it up.  Jane is a woman who has no fear when it comes to helping these women and communities break out of thepoverty cycle and live healthy, empowered lives.  Always upfront it is God
that empowers and deserves the Praise.

You cannot comprehend the impact of this group of once poverty stricken women until you walk around Beacon.  It is Africans doing the right thing for their own, in the right way and God receives the glory.
The result is healthy, women, children and families who are very aware that God is responsible for this, by using willing people and resource’s to change their lives.

At this time, there are 12 communities from Kenya that have asked for help to empower their young people, and at least one that has asked for help to develop a medical care program. There have been requests from communities
from at least 2 other countries in Africa wanting to know more after hearing about BOH.

Criteria 4.     Personal Life
Exemplifies a life that does justice, loves kindness and walks humbly with God. Assists individuals to be worshipers of the Living God

Jane, herself is an amazing visionary and a very capable delegator. She has been purposeful in gathering board members and staff to move BOH toward this Center of Excellence vision that the women along with Jane have set. She
leads by example both at BOH, in her church community and in the partners that have come alongside.

Jane Wathome, her husband Ken and their 3 children could have walked by all this and would have been seen as upstanding Christians and leaders in a growing and multiplying church.  No one would have criticized them.   They have chosen a different path.  Their faith and passion are catchy.  They are sold out to obey and follow Christ.  They have heard God’s heart to take care of the widow and orphan in a sensitive and very empowering way with alot of input from the women of Ongata Rongai themselves.

Final Comments…BOH is one amazing place.  To see the way these women who were so broken now walk so tall, is a credit of what God can do through men and women who are willing to obey his call to minister to the least of
these.

Thank you for the opportunity to share this story,

Michael Burke
ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative

 


 

Dear ICMDA friends and colleagues,

The “Dignity and Right to Health Award” is an international award established to address health and development issues including HIV. The “Dignity and Right to Health Award” is an activity of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA) Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative.

The committee this year has been challenged by the difficult task of choosing a winner for the 2012 award. All four nominations have more than adequately met the various criteria of the award.  Finally, we have chosen to announce joint winners for the 2012 Dignity and Right to Health award of the ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative.

Please join with us in celebrating the outstanding, inspiring and faithful Christian work of our joint winners, both from India – Drs Isac & Vijila David and Dr. Saira Paulose.

Drs Isac & Vijila David have clearly demonstrated visionary and innovative leadership from the time they graduated as Family Physicians by stepping out in faith to take on a very difficult, yet rewarding role among a diminishing people group called Maltos in a very remote and neglected area in Jharkhand, India. On their exploration within the context of their call and vocation over fifteen years ago, they found the need to step in to change the course of life for these people.

Let me also introduce you to the wonderful work of Dr. Saira Paulose of India Dr. Saira Paulose -leads the SHALOM Delhi HIV/AIDS Unit of the Emmanuel Hospital Association of India.

Dr. Saira through her quiet leadership has knit together a team which has significantly impacted many HIV-affected individuals and families, both directly, and also indirectly through training of other organizations for Home based care, and other HIV-related interventions (including clinical care).

The majority of SHALOM’s Home Based Care program beneficiaries are of migrant origin (neighboring States) and live in poverty stricken communities in North West Delhi, SHALOM’s area of focus. Stigma and discrimination are still a very live issue, as attested to by case stories that continue to emerge from SHALOM’s work.

Further details of these inspiring lives can be shared by visiting www.icmdahivinitiative.org.au

These stories are a wonderful encouragement to us all.

Michael

Dr Michael Burke

ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative tel + 61 2


 

Dear Friends and Colleagues of the ICMDA HIV Initiative,

I am delighted to announce that this year’s winner is Dr Olive Frost.

Dr Olive Frost, a retired obstetrician and gynaecologist from north Wales, is the winner of the 2011 Dignity and Right to Health Award of the ICMDA HIV Initiative.

We acknowledge the excellent and faithful work of Dr. Saira Paulouse in Delhi, and also the comprehensive and continual growth of the ministry of Andi and Sheeba Eicher from Thane – Mumbai and their organization which is called Jeevan Sahara Kendra. Both ministries and their programs are exemplary.

The story of Dr Olive Frost is quite unique. Olive now well into her seventies has for many years been working quietly “a humble plodder” in her own words, in several countries in Central Asia where humanitarian work is important, and where  there is an emerging just and compassionate response to those who struggle with the disease caused by HIV. She has sown many seeds and though small, there is an emerging growth of many new programs. These programs are often led by women in situations where there have been many difficulties. Yet through a powerful commitment to stand with the stigmatised and discriminated, the power of humanitarian responses are being demonstrated in an important way in several countries including Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine.

Olive has worked for nearly twelve years across several Central Asian republics. In that time she has worked on the challenges and issues of women and teenagers’ health, sexual health and HIV prevention training in various community groups.  In all of these countries there are now autonomous non-government organisations (NGOs) working with the wider community, and two of the first leaders have gone on to form NGOs of their own. Olive has always take a supportive role, and has contributed to the development of independent movements and organizations that are carrying on the work.

The community groups in all  settings have been at the heart of Olive’s work since she began, and continue to be the main route through which wider prevention and care and support is offered to the wider national communities.

In the context of Central Asia Olive has focused on inspiring and encouraging a response from community organisations. This has included involvement and leadership of a task group aimed at equipping and informing community leaders on HIV AIDS since 2006. In particular this has led to seminars and conferences held within Central Asia for leaders and workers to be informed regarding HIV and  AIDS and envisioned as to involvement and a response.  Olive has taken a lead in arranging and teaching at these.

In her work in Central Asia and beyond through the impact of her wide travel and teaching connected to maternal and child health Olive has been seen to empower PLWHA. As an older female doctor Olive has been well respected within Central Asia and has been able to advocate gender equality in response to the epidemic.

Olive has sought to involve other key players in Central Asia including ACET as well as other local NGOs.

We can be greatly encouraged by this important and inspirational work!

Best wishes,

Dr Michael Burke

MBBS, PhD, FRACGP, FAICD

ICMDA HIV Initiative

 


 

 

Dear ICMDA HIV Initiative friends and colleagues,

After much discussion and prayerful reflection, the 2010 Dignity and Right to Health award of the ICMDA HIV Initiative is to be jointly awarded to Dr Yu of Taiwan who has worked for many years in Malawi and Dr. Schneider who has worked for twenty years in the Gambia and many years in Uganda.

Dr Gisela Schneider – Gisela has worked for many years in West Africa,  East Africa and now more recently in Europe. She has worked in multiple settings and has been and continues as a strong advocate and role model for many with her excellence in several fields of the HIV challenge including clinical work, community engagement and mobilisation and teaching. Dr Schneider is an exceptional woman who has demonstrated an incarnational ministry in Gambia and Uganda and now continues to seek to bring Christian healing and compassion to people in many other countries through the work of Difaem, the German Medical Missionary Association. Gisela continues as a great role
model for all. Her work in the many fields of HIV medicine and community responses has been of the highest calibre.

Dr. Joseph, Kwong-Leung YU has done excellent work in both his home country of Taiwan and also for many years in the nation of Malawi. He strongly tried to set up an example of how to eliminate the discrimination and stigmatization of HIV/AIDS in the public. He actively participated with PLWHA groups to encourage and ensure the enhancement of public awareness. DrYu is an exceptional man who ministry is growing and he now represents Kingdom values in many other countries as well as continuing to serve the people of Malawi. He has established and strengthened a comprehensive multi-level program in an area of great need in Northern Malawi working closely with government and local church communities. A journal article on the challenges facing Malawi prisoners spoke to me of a Christian man with a great heart to better the lives of those who are marginalised and rejected by many.

It is a great honour to have both Dr Yu and Dr Schneider join the ranks of earlier nominees and winners of the Dignity and Right to Health award of the ICMDA HIV Initiative.