San Francisco-Area Group Donates Hospital Equipment to Ethiopian Health Centers in Effort To Fight HIV/AIDS, Other Diseases
The San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday profiled World Family -- a Bay Area group that collects "outdated" hospital equipment in the U.S. and donates it to health clinics in Ethiopia in an attempt to combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases in the country. World Family, which was formed in 2003 by Emebet Bellingham and Joseph Zeleke, since its launch has donated more than 34 shipping containers of hospital equipment and furniture worth $5.4 million to Ethiopia, as well as opened a community center project for orphans. In addition, the group has worked with the National Dental Association to open two dental schools in Ethiopia based on U.S. standards. According to Zeleke, poor dental care is one of the most common ways of spreading HIV.
World Family works with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and has received about $260,000 from the Clinton Foundation. According to Edward Wood, director of the foundation's Africa projects, more than 2,000 health centers and hospitals in Ethiopia need medical equipment. Bellingham and Zeleke next month plan to start building a community center in Gara Dima, a village in the East Show region of Ethiopia, at an estimated cost of more than $100,000. USAID statistics indicate that one out of every 22 people in Ethiopia is living with HIV, and UNICEF estimates that about 334,000 children under age five died in 2007 from preventable causes like malaria (Ustinova, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/16).