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.
Jan 15, 2016

Keep the ball rolling

Dr. Fanta wearing the HPV cloth
Dr. Fanta wearing the HPV cloth

Our 6-month cervical cancer screening campaign in Mali ended in October. We are proud to say that over 3,000 women were screened and rates increased 6-fold since the previous year!

Good news for HPV vaccination: 92% of 200 women who answered questionnaires wanted the HPV vaccine to be available in Mali.

Our HPV "Story-telling cloth" was a big hit at the 5 clinics, and both midwives and patients are all still wearing their stylish new fashion. The pattern includes a slogan in French; “I protect myself, I care for myself, and I get vaccinated” as well as a local proverb in Bambara; “ It’s better to prevent than cure”. By connecting this commonly known proverb with the information about HPV, CC, screening and vaccination, women were encouraged to take preventative measures. When asked if they would get their daughter vaccinated, 89% of women said yes, and when asked why, many specifically mentioned “prevention” or “protection”.

Now, even though the study is over, women are still coming to the clinic for screenings, and the midwives are making every effort to ensure that all women get screened (even the night staff have been doing some screening!) However, the last of the supplies are running low, and if they are not re-stocked, women will have to be turned away. News travels fast through the grapevine in Mali, and women won’t waste their time coming to the clinic if they hear that the supplies ran out.

That is why it’s of utmost importance to find a way to keep these cheap and basic supplies in the clinic. With only a liter of acetic acid (concentrated vinegar) and iodine, over 200 women can be screened each month. 

The cost for one clinic is only $160: to get 200 women screened.
If you make a donation today, your gift will save a woman from cervical cancer.

Let’s keep our midwives busy!

Thank you for your support

Increase in screening rates from 2014 to 2015
Increase in screening rates from 2014 to 2015
Dec 21, 2015

Only a few days left to get matching funds!

Keeping an eye on the temperature!
Keeping an eye on the temperature!

While the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has dwindled to a few isolated cases, the deadly virus has left an indelible mark on public health practices.

In Mali, frequent temperature checks before entering clinics and airports are a daily occurrence since Ebola cases could still arrive over the border from Guinea. 

However, while some practices such a temperature checks still continue, others such as frequent hand washing have dried up so to speak. The public water basins and soap bottles are no longer maintained, although this initiative probably brought on a whole slew of other health benefits...

So, the work that still remains to be done is education, as far and wide as possible. 

In the last few weeks of the December, there are still matching funds available! Please consider making a donation that will support our education initiative.

Many thanks for your support!

Oct 27, 2015

Help us reach the target population

Young Girls at the clinic
Young Girls at the clinic

Our Teen Peer Education program has been moving forward with great success!

We are reaching our target age group of girls between the ages of 14 and 18. One in 3 of our attendees is not in school; this is a very vulnerable sector of the population much in need of this program.  By keeping this program co-ed, we are ensuring that boys also have access to relevant reproductive health information.

Teens are enjoying their weekly education sessions with our expert Peer Educator, Socrates. They are able to sit together and learn about challenging subject matter like teen health issues, STDs, HIV and HPV without embarrassment. Socrates facilitates this open approach to learning with jokes and laughter. Parents have informed Socrates that their teens have begun behaving in a more mature manner. Some participants have asked Socrates to come to their classrooms to lead an education session. 

Now, it is time for us to think about the next steps. Interested teens will start to be trained to manage and run the sessions themselves. This program is very much appreciated by the participants, but we are planning strategically to keep this program rolling and allow it to have greatest effect among teens.

Join us in increasing teen’s access to health care information and empowering adolescents to be leaders among their peers!

Age of participating adolescents
Age of participating adolescents
School attendance among participating adolescents
School attendance among participating adolescents
 

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