Our goal, this year, is to purchase an Ultrasound Machine for Good Shepherd Mission Hospital which will greatly improve patient care. We will continue to use donations for medical supplies, medications and other needs to help improve the quality of life for the Swazi people.
Let us introduce ourselves.
We are Al Hartmann MD and Kathleen Hartmann RN and have been volunteering in Swaziland, Africa with the support of Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) since 2001.
We work with the Home Based Care (HBC) team, comprised of seven Swazi nurses, at Good Shepherd Mission Hospital in Siteki, a rural town in Swaziland. This team brings medical aid to people in the poorest region of the country who have difficulty accessing medical facilities. Without HBC, many would never receive medical services.
Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis in the world. Kathleen assisted in establishing the HBC program in 2001 at a time when the AIDS epidemic was at its peak. Poverty, lack of clean water, a recent drought, and poor nutrition complicate the devastation of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, TB, Cancer, Strokes and Diabetes. The HBC team travels daily to rural homesteads to provide care, teaching and support to patients and their families who are suffering from these illnesses.
Through the support of CMMB, Kathleen has returned multiple times in the past 15 years to work with the HBC team to expand their work and support their efforts. Then, in 2011, we retired from our medical work in New York State allowing us to spend six months each year working with the HBC team.
This extended period in Swaziland has allowed Al the time to help start a Palliative Care program at Good Shepherd and he is working with the Swaziland National AIDS Program to help establish other Palliative Care programs throughout the country. This initiative is critical in reducing the suffering experienced by those patients who have life threatening illnesses.
When not working with the HBC team we also help provide food, shelter, school fees, water and other quality of life interventions to families in need.
Progress is slowly being made. Now with the availability of antiretroviral drugs, education, and prevention programs the rate of HIV has fallen from 46% to 26% of the adult population. Much work still needs to be done.
We cannot do this alone. We would deeply appreciate any donation in order for us to continue helping the Swazi people.
Siyabonga kakhulu( Thank you very much)
Al and Kathleen
CMMB wrote -
CMMB is an NGO focused exclusively on global healthcare for the world’s poorest populations. We believe in a world in which every human life is valued, and health and human dignity are shared by all. Every year, generous, courageous people step forward and volunteer their time and expertise in areas of the world where it is most needed.
And while doing what they can to improve the lives of the most vulnerable populations in the world, they notice the needs around them and they are moved to act. Our Building a Legacy fundraising campaign aims to help individual volunteers share stories about a particular area of need and join forces with people like you to make a real difference. Each project will be different. Each project will bring change where it is needed most. Be a part of the change.
To learn about CMMB's volunteer program, visit our website: http://www.cmmb.org/