GAIA Vaccine Foundation

Our mission is to promote prevention of infectious diseases (HIV, TB, and HPV) in Mali while working to develop vaccines for distribution on a not-for-profit basis in the developing world. The Foundation's activities are centered on four themes: education, prevention, access to care, and vaccines. Through our active, ongoing collaboration with West African physicians and support for prevention-related clinical activities in the region, we work to improve the health of Malian children and their parents while setting the stage for ethical vaccine trials.
Jun 1, 2016

A wealth of ideas

Teens drumming
Teens drumming

2015 was a great year for our Teen Education program and 2016 is off to a great start! 1,041 teens participated our program in 2015: 67% were girls, and 20% of all participants were girls who are not currently in school.

The teen participants continue to meet weekly at the clinic to learn about reproductive health with Socrates, our peer educator, but we’re full of ideas for how we can expand this program! 

One idea is to use traditional elements of Malian music, song, dance, and theatre to spread our health messages to a broader audience of teens throughout the city. We’ve discussed these plans with drummers, contemporary dancers, and other enthusiasts. This would be a fantastic opportunity to engage teens and help them formulate a cultural message that would have a big impact on their peers.

Another idea is to implicate teen girl graduates of this program in our cervical cancer prevention campaign that we are planning for 2017. As health officials in Mali prepare for a national HPV vaccination campaign, teen educators could play a key role in informing girls about vaccination days and answering any questions they might have about the vaccine.

There are many interesting directions that this program could grow. We’re happy with the base we’ve established, and we’re proud to have reached over 2,000 teens since we launched in 2014.

 With your help, we’re taking this program to new heights!

School attendance among participating adolescents
School attendance among participating adolescents
Jun 1, 2016

Sharing our results in Europe!

Drs. Kone and Tounkara with the GAIA poster
Drs. Kone and Tounkara with the GAIA poster

We’re pleased to announce that our long-term allies in the fight against HIV in Mali, Dr. Koné, HIV specialist at the Hope Center Clinic; and Dr. Tounkara, GAIA’s National Director, shared GAIA’s research at the International Symposium for HIV and Emerging Infectious Diseases (ISHEID) in Marseilles, France!

In fact, your support helped us create the success stories that these doctors were able to share at the conference. During our 10 years of HIV prevention in Sikoro, over 15 thousand pregnant women received HIV testing! Dr. Koné was asked to lead a discussion on this research at the ISHEID conference.  This was his first time traveling outside his home country of Mali, so it was a fantastic opportunity to meet his international colleagues in the realm of HIV/AIDS prevention. 

With your help, we are embarking into our second decade of HIV prevention in Mali! Let’s reach new heights together!

Links:

Apr 26, 2016

The results are in! The Story-telling Cloth works!

Patient at the clinic wearing the cloth
Patient at the clinic wearing the cloth

We are excited to announce that 3,271 women were screened from April through October 2015; a 5-fold increase in rates through the efforts of the campaign!

While cervical cancer screening had been available in 2014, rates were low due to lack of demand for the procedure, lack of staff training, and lack of supplies. We were able to address all these issue through low-cost interventions. We ensured that screening supplied were monitored and restocked at each clinic. By training healthcare staff in partnership with public health officials, we ensured that all changes and improvements were accepted and monitored. These officials were able to help us overcome barriers when issues arose. All the midwives who were trained to do screening have continued training new midwives to perform the procedure. 

The momentum gained during our campaign is continuing! Women are still requesting screening, and even clinic night staff report getting requests for screening. 

Interestingly, we were encouraged to see high rates of HIV testing at all clinics (77% of 500 women surveyed), including the clinic where GAIA has run an HIV prevention program for over a decade. While only 13% of women had heard of HPV, the majority of women had heard of cervical cancer and there was a strong desire for HPV vaccination.  Of the women who wanted their daughters vaccinated 73% specifically mentioned “prevention” or “protection”, and 11% responded using the Malian proverb that was printed on the cloth, “It’s better to prevent than cure”.

Due to the scientific nature of the print, we also asked women how they interpreted the design. After they had learned about HPV and cervical cancer during an education session, 99% (of 238 women who participated in an education session) were able to correctly identify the imagery in the cloth pattern (although 20% also said it looked like “flowers in a field” and 10% said “stars in the sky”, demonstrating that the pattern has some abstract interpretations that make it more decorative and wearable). Since the fabric was widely distributed, we witnessed a much broader uptake than expected. Many men and children also wore the story-telling cloth regularly. It was spotted in the central market place, and always generated questions and curiosity. 

As news and imagery of the “story-telling cloth” spreads, it is gaining recognition and interest. In a recent discussion with a researcher in Ghana, there is significant interest in establishing a similar method of community-led education using the cloth pattern to raise cervical cancer screening rates. 

With our success in the first campaign, we are eager to gain support to continue to expand this program. The next step is to run a similar campaign in rural parts of Mali where women have even less access to care. Please join us, and remember, you can sport you own style of "story-telling cloth" by ordering it through the website here!

Screening rate increase at each clinic
Screening rate increase at each clinic
One of our surgeons with her HPV cloth bag
One of our surgeons with her HPV cloth bag

Links:

 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    (USD)
    give
  • $30
    (USD)
    give
  • $100
    (USD)
    give
  • $400
    (USD)
    give
  • $5,000
    (USD)
    give
  • $10
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $30
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $100
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $400
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $5,000
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of GAIA Vaccine Foundation

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about GAIA Vaccine Foundation on GreatNonProfits.org.
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.