Oct 31, 2019

The Importance of the HPV Vaccine

The Human Papillomavirus, also known as HPV, is a common virus in which an estimated 80% of sexually active Americans contract at some point over the course of their lives. HPV has been linked to the development of six different types of cancers and currently, HPV is estimated to cause 35,000 cases of cancer in the United States every year. 

The Center for Disease Control advocates for the vaccination of all children ages 11-12 years old. The HPV vaccine offers nearly full protection against the virus. More than 90% of cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV and through vaccination, cervical cancer can be largely prevented. 

The HPV vaccine is widely administered to children across the United States. However, this is not the case in Mali. GAIA created the “story telling cloth” campaign which promoted screenings and vaccinations. The visual method of representation in a community in which 90% of women are illiterate. Today, GAIA continues to promote HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening at Hope Center Clinic. 

A donation today of $50 will cover the costs of HPV Vaccine doses for 10 adolescents. Through generous support, GAIA and our partners in Mali can continue to fight against HPV and cervical cancer.

Oct 28, 2019

World Food Day - Fighting Global Hunger

This October, GAIA Vaccine Foundation celebrated World Food Day, a day marked by the United Nations which seeks to bring awareness to issues related to food insecurity. Since 1982, World Food Day has aimed to bring people together across the world in the fight to end global hunger. At present, the Food Aid Foundation estimates 795 million people in the world to have inadequate access to the necessary food that is essential for leading a healthy and active life.  

The 2019 World Food Day theme is"Our Actions Are Our Future, Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World".The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) writes, "Achieving Zero Hunger is not only about addressing hunger, but also nourishing people, while nurturing the planet. This year, World Food Day calls for action across sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone."

A recent report estimated 600.56 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa to be food insecure. Food security does not only relate to having access to enough calories to consume, but also access to food that is nutritious and affordable. The FAO defines a healthy diet as "one that meets the nutritional needs of individuals by providing sufficient, safe, nutritious and diverse foods to lead an active life and reduce the risk of disease". 

GAIA Vaccine Foundation understands the importance of a healthy diet, particularly when undergoing medical treatment. This is especially true for our HIV+ patients at Hope Center Clinic in Sikoro, Mali, which is why in 2008 GAIA founded its' "Nutrition and Peer Support for HIV+ Patients" program.

Twice per week, HIV+ staff prepare a nutritious meal for HIV+ members of the community and their families. This program not only provides healthy meals, but also seeks to combat the stigma attached to HIV by bringing members of the community together. In 2019, GAIA and Hope Center Clinic have already served over 3,000 meals!

With your ongoing support, GAIA can continue to serve meals to some of the most vulnerable people in Sikoro. A donation of just $30 provides a weekly meal for 1 mother and 3 children. 

Thank you for your generous support to GAIA and our programs!

Oct 16, 2019

Day of the Girl - Celebrating Girls in Mali!

October 11 marks the “International Day of the Girl” as declared by the United Nations. The day commemorates the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995 which was considered a major milestone on the road to gender equality. It also seeks to highlight and address the challenges girls continue to face across the world, as well as promote women’s empowerment. 

In a 2017 report by the World Economic Forum, Mali ranked 139 out of 144 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index, signifying a severe divide in opportunities and representation between men and women. At present, 89% of Malian girls still undergo female genital mutilation, a tradition that remains legal in the country, but which can have painful and complex side effects. 

GAIA Vaccine Foundation is committed to the health, well-being and empowerment of girls and women in Mali. Since 2001, GAIA has worked closely with our partners in Mali to address health concerns that disproportionately affect girls including HPV, cervical cancer and HIV/AIDS transmission. 

In 2018, GAIA and Hope Center Clinic….

  • Held weekly “Teen Peer HIV-Education” programs which 1,225 girls attended.
  • Supported 1,428 women to receive prenatal care for their babies.  
  • Tested over 250 girls and women free of charge for HIV. 

Programs such as our “Teen Peer HIV-Education” program seek to educate and prevent HIV and infectious diseases. They seek to empower Malian teens, particularly girls. 

With your generous support, GAIA will be able to work toward health and equality for girls and women in Mali. A donation of just $25 today goes directly to GAIA’s programming.

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