Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Westporters Help Launch AIDS Clinic in Zimbabwe
Two Westporters are part of a team establishing an HIV/AIDS clinic in Zimbabwe where 13.7 percent of the adult population, or 1.1 million are infected by the virus.
A doctor explains the B.E.A.T. AIDS initiative and how to take precautions to prevent acquiring the HIV/AIDS virus to a group of Zimbabweans. Contributed photo.
Called World Health Clinicians, (WHC) Inc., the non-profit foundation has reached an agreement with the government of Zimbabwe to create an HIV/AIDS clinic at historic Victoria Falls
Westport resident Andrew Wilk is serving as WHC’s board chairman. He is the former chief creative officer of Sony BMG Music and before that, executive vice president at the National Geographic Channel.
“I can’t stand by knowing I can save a mom and her baby for $3 per day,” Wilk said.
Another board member is Westporter Dr. David Rubin, medical director of the the Special Care/HIV Center at the New York Hospital of Queens in Flushing.
It is the team’s intention to treat 500 patients the first year, 1,000 the second and 1,500 the third, WHC officials said. Its mission has been endorsed by Dr. Henry Madzorera, Zimbabwean minister of health and child welfare in the capital of Harare.
To endow the Victoria Falls center over the next three years, the group projects a $15.1 million budget and is in the process of soliciting funds from philanthropies, foundations, businesses and private donors, as well as through fund raisers.
Additional information is available online at www.worldhealthclinicans.org.
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The doctor pictured is Gary Blick of Norwalk. Gary
has provided much needed support for the
HIV/AIDS community in Norwalk and in Westport.
And he is the spark that brought WHC to life.