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HEAL Africa provides holistic care for the people of Democratic Republic of Congo
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Dr. Eulalie Vindu always wanted to help people, from the time she was a little girl.  She went through medical school in Congo and a Family Medicine program with HEAL Africa through the Medical University of South Africa.  In 2006 she began a clinic at HEAL Africa for children suffering from HIV.  There was nothing like it in eastern Congo.  Goma, where she lives, is right on the border with Rwanda.

Dr. Eulalie Vindu Leader of HEAL Africa's  Children's AIDS ClinicRwanda is a country in the PEPFAR region, and had more medicines (antiretrovirals) than they could use. Through Global Strategies for HIV Prevention, the Clinton Foundation provided medicines from the overstock in Rwanda. This made it possible for the first time to start to treat those children who needed it.

While Dr. Vindu and her dedicated team developed a program to monitor children’s health and counsel their parents, they noticed that many of the children were not eating enough. A nutrition program was developed with the help of partner Global Strategies for HIV Prevention. Families who were not economically viable were encouraged to join a savings group. Mothers, fathers or grandparents (many of of the patients are being cared for by grandparents because their own parents have died of AIDS) were given appointments to bring the child back-and they came, riding on trucks or walking miles. Word has spread, and there are now well over 700 children being cared for. 717, last time I talked with Dr. Vindu on the phone. But there are so many others.

Dr. Vindu knows what it’s like to take care of others. She’s been taking care of her own siblings since their parents died. This is personal for her and for her team. Felicien Maisha has been taking courses to get an MA in caring for people with HIV. They’re keeping records, and know their patients’ stories well. They’ve networked with Partners In Health in Rwanda to learn and exchange experiences. This is the largest program of its kind in the world. There just isn’t any other option for children in eastern Congo.

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