A Zambian caregiver and health-care company executives join forces with World Vision to advocate for increased funding to fight these diseases.
Zambian caregiver Lister Chingangu (center) stands with Robert Zachritz and Craig Jaggers (left) of World Vision, and Ron Simpson and Toby Capps (right), both of McKesson Corp. Capps holds a World Vision Caregiver Kit, whose contents are supplied by his health-care company.
Photo ©2008 Lee Love/Genesis Photos
In honor of World Malaria Day last month, a volunteer nurse from Zambia and executives from the health care company, McKesson Corp., ventured to Washington, D.C., and joined with World Vision's global health advocates.
Their mission: to press Congress for extended and increased life-saving funding to fight malaria and AIDS — the twin epidemics that cause more than 3 million deaths each year.
The union of these voices to advocate for AIDS- and malaria-affected children and families illustrates an invaluable partnership between nongovernmental organizations, government, and corporations.
From Zambia to Washington
Lister Chingangu is the founder of God Our Help Ministries, a home-based caregiver organization in Lusaka, Zambia. Seven years ago, as a pastor's wife witnessing the effects of AIDS on her congregation, Chingangu saw the need for such a program. With her background as a nurse and her passion for caring for the sick, she started working as a caregiver and recruiting others to join the cause. Through support from the World Vision-administered RAPIDS program, God Our Help has become a partner in a network of local aid groups implementing community-based care and outreach to orphans and vulnerable households in Zambia.
Chingangu represents the dedication of thousands of ordinary Zambians providing compassionate support for AIDS- and malaria-affected households in their communities. Assisted by U.S. funding, Zambian government support, and partnerships with businesses and community programs, these caregivers selflessly care for their neighbors.
First Lady Laura Bush acknowledges Lister Chingangu during her press conference on World Malaria Day.
Photo ©2008 Lee Love/Genesis Photos
On April 24, leading up to World Malaria Day, First Lady Laura Bush highlighted Chingangu's community work as an example of the importance of partnerships in saving lives.
"Today, with support from USAID and World Vision, [Chingangu's] organization reaches more than 300 homes to care for patients suffering from AIDS and AIDS-related diseases," said Bush at a briefing announcing the launch of the Congressional Malaria Caucus. "By distributing insecticide-treated bed nets to these households, God Our Help has been able to protect vulnerable individuals against malaria."
Corporate partner provides basic necessities
McKesson Corp., the health care company that supplies contents to create Caregiver Kits, plays an integral role in the ministry of people like Chingangu.
"It is a privilege for us at McKesson to play a role in helping others around the globe," says Ron Simpson, vice president of sales for McKesson's medical-surgical unit. The kits, built through the World Vision Caregiver Kit program, represent a first-of-its-kind endeavor to involve the American public in providing essential, basic items to care for ill people in poor communities.
Simpson explains that the kits "[help] caregivers assist patients with things we take for granted — items like soap and Vaseline that are scarce or expensive in some parts of Africa."
"When I see a person who was very sick and helpless comes back to life and continues her or his normal duties, I feel satisfied. When a child who had no hope of going to school starts going to school, I feel satisfied; and when a mother who had nothing to give to her family starts doing something, such as selling tomatoes at the market in order to feed her family, I feel satisfied."
Volunteers at American companies, churches, and community groups have provided more than 100,000 of these kits to caregivers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where World Vision has trained and equipped some 59,000 home visitors to assist the chronically ill and care for orphans and vulnerable children.
Partnerships change more lives
During their time in Washington, D.C., Chingangu and Simpson emphasized the importance of partnerships between corporations, nongovernmental organizations, and government to respond to the malaria and AIDS crises.
"We have seen first-hand how the devastating effects of malaria, HIV and AIDS in developing nations and communities can be overcome when governments, corporations, communities, and churches work together," says Joseph Mettimano, vice president of advocacy for World Vision.
"When U.S. government support is matched with the help and funding of corporate partners such as McKesson and others to procure medications, health supplies, bed nets, and other tools, the progress in fighting the spread of malaria and caring for the chronically ill picks up momentum and reaches many more lives."
World Vision is calling on the U.S. Senate to act quickly to reauthorize the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
(PEPFAR) before it expires this year. The House has already approved the bill, known as the U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act. It would extend and increase funding for PEPFAR and bolster the President's Malaria Initiative.
Read more about Lister Chingangu's ministry
in Zambia and her visit to Washington, D.C., to advocate for increased resources in the fight against AIDS and malaria.
Learn more about World Vision's efforts to combat malaria
, a disease that remains a leading cause of death for children under 5 in Africa.
Read about how AIDS and malaria
combine to form a deadly duo.
Four ways you can help
>> Thank God for World Vision's partnership with Lister Chingangu and McKesson Corp., which helps give voice to children and families devastated by malaria and AIDS. Pray that lawmakers would swiftly reauthorize and expand funding to fight these twin epidemics.
>> Take action now. Ask lawmakers to quickly reauthorize the Global AIDS, TB and Malaria Bill to ensure that children are not left behind in the fight against global malaria and AIDS.
>> Help provide tools to fight malaria. Your gift will multiply 3 times in impact to provide insecticide-treated bed nets, medical supplies, and more to children and families suffering from malaria.
>> Sponsor a HopeChild in a community affected by AIDS.