Friberg Update May 2024 

….and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 

The HIV epidemic in Uganda in the 1980s was devastating. The middle-aged and most productive generation was lost over a decade. Grandparents were left raising their grandchildren. Children had to work the family fields and gardens because there were so few adult laborers.  

As you know, the HIV virus destroys the T4 lymphocyte helper cells which coordinate the entire immune system. Gradually, the inflammatory process of the body fighting the virus causes scarring of the lymphatic tissue which supports all immune cells. The immune system collapses over approximately 10 years. Opportunistic fungal, viral, bacterial, and mycobacterial infections overwhelm. Beautiful bodies and vibrant lives of all ages are slowly destroyed. 

Fortunately in Tanzania, around the year 2000 the US  government started providing free anti-retroviral therapy  (ARVs) to people living with HIV. This program has been hugely  successful in keeping the prevalence of HIV to less than 5%.  Tanzania did not lose a whole generation of its population to  HIV as happened in Uganda. People using ARVs are living well  for decades, can continue working their jobs, and are far less  infectious to others. ARVs block the maternal transmission of HIV to infants. All pregnant women are tested for HIV in  prenatal clinic and are started on ARVs immediately if positive.   Our 8 small health centers on the Serengeti, in the Rift Valley, and on the South Maasai Steppe provide this essential care.  Your regular support is increased exponentially through  cooperation with large programs of the WHO, Tanzania Ministry  of Health, and the Tanzania Lutheran Church. The large  programs rely on motivated and competent staff on the ground.  

Our doctors and nurses encourage  drug compliance, treat underlying  infections, educate on healthy  nutrition, discourage addictions,  encourage faithfulness in marriage,  and listen to patients’ economic and  emotional struggles. Every patient  has unique issues. Many of our staff  are gifted and comfortable going  beyond medical care. They can  bridge people to holistic care available  through the local church.  

Thank you for partnering with us in  Tanzania. 

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