Malawian HIV/AIDS Advocate Catherine Phiri Dies
Catherine Phiri, founder of the Salima AIDS Support Organization in Malawi, died on May 11 from AIDS-related causes, London's Guardian reports. She was approximately 40 years old. SASO, a community organization founded in 1994 to help HIV-positive people who were "shunned and in need," now has more than 1,500 registered orphans and reaches an estimated 58,000 households. The group offers HIV testing and counseling, and volunteers visit people living with the disease and, if necessary, take them to hospitals. Phiri, whose name means "inspiration," said that she wanted to help give a "human face and voice" to people living with HIV/AIDS, the Guardian reports. Erasmus Morah, head of UNAIDS in Malawi, said of Phiri, quoting an African saying, "A big tree has fallen and now the challenge is keeping safe all that sheltered and thrived under the tree" (Boseley, Guardian, 5/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.