More updates from the ground in western Kenya:
1. AMPATH is up and running. Joe Mamlin reports from Eldoret: "The first week of the violence resulted in less than 10% of patients and staff able to find their way to clinic. But the very next week a remarkable rebound occurred in nearly all of our sites. We have multiple large displaced persons camps [many housing 10-20,000 people] all around us now. We have been able to work closely with all relief agencies and have AMPATH teams engaged in every large camp. We clearly have hundreds of patients in the camps and many others [unknown numbers] moved far beyond our reach. But every day our register of displaced patients becomes more complete." In order to reach those who are displaced, AMPATH has created a hotline number for patients and launched a successful media message campaign advising HIV patients how to access medicine. A U.S. State Department Travel Alert has led to the cancellation of Indiana University student and resident travel to Kenya for January and February, but we expect our faculty and staff who reside in Kenya to return very soon.
2. The Kenya Recovery Fund has benefitted from your remarkable generosity. Many individuals and organizations have given to the new Kenya Recovery Fund, established to help patients and staff who are now in dire need of housing, medicine, food, clothing and other support. We thank especially Abbott Laboratories, a longtime partner of AMPATH, who donated $25,000, and to the friends of ASANTE partner Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. Total pledges to this fund have exceeded $100,000, so AMPATH has already been able to provide desperately-needed help. If you or others still want to contribute to the fund, please visit our website, www.iukenya.org.
Thank you so much for all your donations, prayers and good wishes. And thank you for sticking with our program through this challenging time. As Joe wrote today, "We're keeping our eye on the target: Careful attention to those infected and affected by HIV in western Kenya. That problem has not gone away, and neither will we."