Arizona: Church Gives Aid to African Women
November 6, 2006
The 11,000-member Christ's Church of the Valley in northern Peoria wants to answer U2 singer Bono's challenge to churches to help fight HIV/AIDS globally. The church has adopted the Swazi community of Bulembu to help villagers there prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission.
"If there's proper prenatal care, the right drugs and right delivery, a C-section, there is a 95 percent chance the child won't be affected by the virus," said Larrie Fraley, church missions pastor. Otherwise, the odds decrease significantly, he said.
The church is airing a videotape of an interview with Bono and unveiling its prevention efforts at its Nov. 18 and 19 services.
The church wants to provide nutritional, medicinal and prenatal care to pregnant HIV-positive women. But first, it must hire local renovators to rehabilitate the town's 80-bed hospital, which should reopen by mid-2007. The hospital will be staffed on a short-term basis by missionary doctors, but the church's long-term hopes are to have Swazi doctors at the site. The church will also set up 11 orphanages and a church for the village of 700 people.
"Fortunately for pregnant women, the drugs are about 80 cents a dose and they need four doses, two for the mom and two for the child," said Fraley. "For under $4, you can perhaps save a child." Fraley said his job would, in the next few months, involve recruiting other churches in the effort. Fraley is hoping to raise $88,000 for the project. For more information, telephone 623-376-2444 or visit www.ccvonline.com.
Arizona Republic (Phoenix)
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.