Improving access to health services, especially in view of the treatment of the HIV virus, paying particular attention to teens and women. This was the subject discussed during the important conference held on 22 June in Maputo, with the participation of “Champions for an AIDS-free generation in Africa” – former African statesmen who dedicated themselves to this important aspect of healthcare and who were able to bring substantial improvements to the field, thanks to their good governance during their mandate. It was an occasion to unite influential and respected personalities able to steer and improve the health policies of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The next day, a large delegation of the “Champions” visited the DREAM center “Para Criança” of the Community of Sant’Egidio in Maputo, to see this reality up close, as well as the “best practice” example offered by DREAM: the former presidents Alberto Chissano (Mozambique), Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe (South Africa) and Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe (Uganda), together with the institutional representatives of Lesotho, Swaziland, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. They were welcomed by the DREAM team, who showed them the health services offered by the center, where thousands of patients receive free treatment, and the highly specialized molecular biology laboratory annexed to the health center, one of 7 built by DREAM in the country.
The whole delegation appreciated the services offered and in particular President Chissano wanted to check his blood pressure and, referring to the many patients present, called for everyone to carefully follow through with the treatment and adhere to the check-ups and medical prescriptions. The President then wished to remind everyone how he has always appreciated the DREAM Program and accompanied it since the beginning, when anti-retroviral drugs were still not available in the country and how the Community of Sant’Egidio were pioneers in introducing therapy for the treatment of AIDS. One of the patients who regularly receives treatment in the center told the President how the DREAM center is like a home and a family. A family not only in Mozambique anymore, where it took its first steps, but spread across 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. A “best practice” that the Champions agree should be spread and replicated so that an AIDS-free generation in Africa becomes a reality, following the footsteps of the thousands of children born healthy and free from the HIV virus, thanks to the treatment protocol carried out on the mothers in this DREAM center.