South African HIV/AIDS Clinic Receives Donation of More Than $9,000 From Bank Employees
Employees at Absa bank in Nelspruit, South Africa, have raised more than $9,000 for an HIV/AIDS clinic in Mpumalanga, African Eye News Service/AllAfrica.com reports. The bank raised the money through its "Give as you earn" program, which encourages employees to donate a portion of their salary to a "good cause." The donation of roughly $9,350 will be given to the AIDS Care Training and Support community clinic in Mpumalanga, which is run by the Africa School of Missions and provides antiretroviral therapy to HIV-positive people. Dr. Margie Hardman, a doctor at the clinic, said that the facility's staff is "stretched thin" because the clinic's two doctors and four nurses serve an area with a population of more than 250,000 people, 30% of whom are HIV-positive. Hardman said that the clinic serves an average of 40 HIV-positive patients per day and must provide follow-up care for nearly 5,400 patients. The Greater Nelspruit Rape Intervention Project operates a room at the clinic, through which it provides trauma support, counseling, care packets and post-exposure antiretroviral treatment to rape survivors (Ntuli, African Eye News Service/AllAfrica.com, 9/16). Last year the South African government evicted GRIP from two public hospitals because the organization was providing post-exposure prophylaxis treatment to rape survivors, an initiative the government argued would create "expectations that the government should provide anti-AIDS drugs it could ill afford" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/9/01).