Gish Abay HIV Education and Treatment Initiative
ICO is currently working with partner and community members in Ethiopia to implement an HIV/AIDS education and prevention program. The Initiative is based at Gish Abay Elementary School and serves a disadvantaged neighbourhood in Bahir Dar. Our goal is to increase awareness and understanding of HIV and to improve local health practices to allow the community to be healthier. Supporting the implementation of this Initiative is the local Roteract Club, community members, school administrators and Logan Cochrane, an ICO representative. This Initiative is currently being sponsored with a generous donation of almost $14, 400 raised in Canada.
The initiative will include a series of presentations to be delivered to parents, school staff and community members by qualified health professionals on the topics of general health, HIV/AIDS and discrimination. The first of these presentations has been completed with two more still to come. School administrators were also trained in first-aid. The first stages of the initiative plan have already been implemented and show promising results.
Sanitary conditions at the school were also a concern; therefore, new toilets have been constructed. A complete first-aid kit has been purchased for the school. Soap and toilet paper have been supplied to the school and are sent home with each student every month for use at home. In an effort to improve the health of the children, milk is also being provided on a daily basis at the school.
The success of this project depends on the continued support of generous donors. Our wish is to see the entire community benefitting from better education and awareness of HIV/AIDS and achieving a better standard of health. These improvements will help allow those who are HIV positive to live better lives.