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 29, 2015

African Day for Food and Nutrition Security 2015

Adult and Child participation
Adult and Child participation

Today, on African Food and Nutrition Security day, I would like to share some statistics from our Nutrition and Peer Support program for HIV+ patients:

Our program is constantly growing, and as you can see, over the past few months, kids account for over half of all participants. What do kids do while their mom's cook? Well, like kids everywhere, they get into trouble mostly! Luckily, there are plenty of older siblings and other adults around to keep an eye on them. (Alason, in the photos below, has a special way of constantly making a mess!)

Kids in Sikoro are growing up with GAIA's nutrition program. Last month we received a donation from an NGO called "Vitamin Angels" to provide multivitamins to HIV+ women and their children. This is a great initiative, but the scope of malnutrition in Mali is vast, and there is still lots to be done.

Eating together in Mali is not only crucial for families that suffer from lack of nutrition, but it is also a symbolic gesture that reduces stigma among the HIV+ population.  

On this day of food awareness, please consider supporting our program that provides twice weekly meals to HIV+ women and their children at our clinic in Mali. 

 "Bon appetit!" Your support means the world to us!

Kids sharing a meal at the clinic
Kids sharing a meal at the clinic
Alason knocks over the dishwashing bucket
Alason knocks over the dishwashing bucket
Alason gets his diaper changed
Alason gets his diaper changed
 
   

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