The last quarter has been bittersweet. Our HeroRATs have continued their lifesaving work around the world, and as you may have seen in the news, in January, our much beloved Magawa passed away peacefully in his sleep. It was very sad, especially for the handlers and trainers who worked so closely with Magawa, but he did live to a grand old age of eight and in his memory, our supporters raised over $10,000 to help support future HeroRATs.
At our Tanzanian Training Center, we have just had a new litter of HeroPUPs born - they are still nestled up with mum and will begin the process of socialization at 4 - 5 weeks of age. Socialization means that APOPO trainers gently carry them around, introducing them to sights, sounds, smells, and noises, to adapt them to the training environment and their human trainers. Our HeroRATs are always so friendly and adaptable with people, and it is this crucial part of the training, which makes this the case.
The total landmines and other explosives cleared, and safe land released throughout last year, has benefitted both direct and indirect beneficiaries, allowing children to play freely and creating safe paths to school and work. Thank you.
Next month on the 24th of March, it is World Tuberculosis Day, which is where we join the thousands of other health agencies to raise awareness and promote donations to those helping in the fight against tuberculosis. Fighting tuberculosis in countries such as Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Tanzania, is more important than ever with the emergence of COVID19, adding another severe acute respiratory illness into the mix. It is more important than ever that our work detecting missed tuberculosis samples continues.
The fight to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) involves the combined efforts of clinics, programs, and volunteers working together to address the diagnosis and treatment shortfalls. APOPO's TB detection HeroRATs do their part by helping find undiagnosed cases of TB. After a positive sample has been confirmed, the partner clinic is notified so that patients can start treatment and begin feeling better. Once the clinic receives the notice of a positive diagnosis, APOPO's community partner steps in to help provide additional education and support and ensure that medications are completed. APOPO has volunteer healthcare workers who provide much-needed outreach to underserved communities and rural areas where there is a high gap from diagnosis, to linkage, to care.
Many of these volunteer healthcare workers have themselves suffered tuberculosis or provided care to families afflicted with the debilitating disease. Knowing the hardship tuberculosis imposes, they now help those in need.
Our HeroRATs detect 40% more cases of tuberculosis than microscopy alone, meaning your donation not only saves lives from the horrors of war, but also from the horrendous symptoms associated with tuberculosis. Thank you.
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