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$100K of Donation From 'Oprah's Angel Network' to 'Keep a Child Alive' Will Fund AIDS Treatment for New Patients at Durban, South Africa 'Ithembalabantu' AIDS Clinic Says AHF

Submitted by: AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Jan 10, 2005 – 11:00 PM EST


Oprah's Angel Network Awards $250K in Funding to 'Keep a Child Alive' (KCA) Through KCA Ambassador Alicia Keys. KCA's Donation Will Help Provide Anti-Retroviral Therapy and Care for Clients at Free South African AIDS Clinic Run by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the US' Largest AIDS Group, and the Network of AIDS Communities in South Africa(NetCom SA)

Jan. 10 /CSRwire/ - DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA and LOS ANGELES - The US-based non-profit organization, Keep a Child Alive (KCA), which is dedicated to providing life-saving medicine to children and families living with HIV/AIDS, has generously awarded $100,000USD to the Ithembalabantu (Zulu for 'people's hope') clinic, a free AIDS treatment clinic in Durban, South Africa. This donation comes from a previous $250,000 donation KCA received from Oprah's Angel Network. The money will be used to scale up treatment of life-saving anti-retroviral therapy (ARV) to 1,000 clients at the clinic, which currently has more than 3,000 additional people on a waiting list.

Ithembalabantu is a partnership between the Network of AIDS Communities in South Africa (NetCom SA), a respected South African non-governmental organization (NGO) and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the US' largest AIDS group which operates free AIDS treatment clinics in the United States, Africa, Central America and Asia.

Ms. Winfrey surprised KCA Ambassador and Grammy-winning singer Alicia Keys with the donation from Oprah's Angel Network to Keep a Child Alive on "The Oprah Winfrey Show: Christmas Kindess Follow Up" on December 23, 2004. On the show, Oprah highlighted KCA's success in treating children and parents in their Mombasa, Kenya site as well as Alicia Keys' journey to South Africa where she experienced the desperate need for ARVs.

"I am very pleased to announce Keep A Child Alive's donation to the Ithembalabantu clinic," said Leigh Blake, President and CEO of Keep a Child Alive, which also funds treatment clinics in Mombasa, Kenya, Soweto, South Africa and Kampala, Uganda. "I have just returned from South Africa where it was a privilege to see this innovative facility firsthand, meet the dedicated staff and some clinic patients and families who have already benefited from life-saving ARVs. I was humbled to also meet some of those who have been awaiting the chance to begin ARV therapy, and grateful to know that many of them will now have a chance to begin such treatment because of the generosity of Oprah Winfrey and her team."

Ithembalabantu, an AIDS treatment facility in Umlazi Township, KwaZulu Natal, Durban that provides medical care and free anti-retroviral therapy is a partnership between NetCom SA, and AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the US' largest AIDS organization under its AHF Global Immunity program. The KCA donation will allow additional patients - many of whom have been on a treatment waiting list for months - to begin life-saving ARV therapy at Ithembalabantu.

"We are incredibly grateful to Oprah, Keep a Child Alive and its founder Leigh Blake, Alicia Keys and all those who made this donation of treatment funding for Ithembalabantu possible," said Swazi Hlubi, Executive Director of the Network of AIDS Communities in South Africa. "As of December, we had more than 3,000 clients on our waiting list, many of whom are ready to begin ARV treatment immediately. They have unfortunately had to be placed on a waiting list due to our constrained resources. This is a wonderful gift - truly the people's hope - for many of those clients, as they may now also look forward to beginning ARV treatment."

"I've been to Africa many times and seen the desperate need for AIDS treatment there, and I was truly moved by Oprah's Christmas Kindness special. The importance of Oprah and Alicia Keys in helping to raise awareness and funds for AIDS is remarkable, and their ability to mobilize people into action unlimited. On behalf of the clients and families served by our Durban clinic, we thank Oprah and Alicia for the passion, commitment and the sense of urgency that they bring to the worldwide fight against AIDS," said Michael Weinstein, AHF's president. "Our thanks also to Leigh Blake and Keep a Child Alive for directing this Oprah's Angels Network funding to KCA to our Durban clinic which will allow us to bring many more people into treatment."

The Ithembalabantu Clinic
Ithembalabantu is located in the city of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal province, the region of South Africa hardest hit by AIDS. NetCom South Africa and AHF Global Immunity partner in this groundbreaking AIDS treatment facility to provide medical care and free anti-retroviral therapy. The partnership's goals with this clinic were to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of treatment for HIV/AIDS in a resource-constrained setting and to develop models for future expansion both in South Africa and around the globe.

Ithembalabantu Clinic began treating its first patients in February 2002. As of December 2004, Ithembalabantu has 542 patients who are taking life-saving anti-retroviral therapies; an additional 3,000 clients are on the clinic's waiting list.

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