Sydney, Australia, — SIMaid is pleased to announce it has appointed Rebecca Dawborn as its 2012 Orange HOPE Ambassador. Orange HOPE is SIMaid’s fundraising campaign to support its global HIV and AIDS programs and throughout 2012 SIMaid will be focusing on its work in Malawi.
Malawi is one of the countries in Southern Africa and therefore lies within the epicentre of the HIV epidemic. HIV prevalence increased sharply in the late 1980s and 1990s, and has stabilized around 12% since then. A total of 840,156 adults and 111,510 children were estimated to be living with HIV in Malawi in 2009. There are more than 1.2 million orphans in Malawi as a consequence of the HIV epidemic.
The already stretched health system in Malawi is unable to cope, with 70% of hospital wards filled with HIV patients and many patients are turned away from overloaded hospitals. These patients often have no family to care for them. SIMaid is establishing Home-Based Care programs in five communities where volunteers make regular care visits to the sick and offer health advice to families.
Without family to support and care for them many orphans are exposed to potential child labour and abuse. SIMaid is supporting an Orphan Care program in Malawi, helping families who have taken orphans into their care through advocacy, nutrition, respite for carers, and education for the orphans. Day care is also provided for those orphans under five years of age.
SIMaid Projects Director Ross Britton noted “This appointment is an important step in the promotion being placed behind our HIV/AIDS projects which are achieving positive results in Africa and Asia. We are delighted to have Rebecca join us and to focus on raising awareness of this work among the Australian community.
Rebecca will be visiting SIMaid HIV and AIDS Home-Based Care and Orphan Care projects in Malawi in 2012. She will carry the message of SIMaid’s work to the Australian community, showing how the support of the SIMaid HIV and AIDS projects can make a significant difference in Malawian communities. Support for these projects can be directed at any time to the SIMaid website www.simaid.org.au. The Orange HOPE site is at www.simaid.org.au/hope
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