The purpose of our first trip to Uganda in 2005 was to assist with the trial of a simple vitamin and amino acid supplement for people living with HIV/AIDS. This project was organized by the Victoria-based organization, Friends of Mengo Hospital Canada.
The study was led by Canadian Respirologist Dr. Jim Sparling and Ugandan HIV specialist Dr. Edith Namulema. Dr. Sparling and the Friends of Mengo have been very supportive of the work that PODA has been doing in Uganda. Friends of Mengo continue to do meaningful work at Mengo Hospital. Learn more about their current projects at mengofriends.ca.
We also spent time with the Saturday Club. This is a support program for 4 to 10 year old children living with HIV, most of whom have been orphaned by the disease. The program is designed to provide the children with a chance to play in an accepting environment, and to learn about their special personal care requirements. These children are often marginalized by their peers and neglected by caretakers who are reluctant to invest precious resources in children considered to be without a future. For these reasons, the club is an important part of their lives.