The major good news and a tremendous milestone in our steady development is the fact that

Blessed Gérard’s Hospice
will start rolling out antiretroviral medication to HIV/AIDS patients as early as in 2004!

We could not believe our own ears when the project manager of the AIDS desk of the South African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Johan Viljoen, phoned us in September 2003 and informed us, that the Catholic Church in South Africa will become the pioneer of large scale antiretroviral medication (called ARVs) roll out in South Africa, through the support of international funders and that we have been chosen as one of the first five sites in the whole of South Africa to start with the programme immediately.

This contradicts the German saying “God’s mills grind slowly but surely”. This time God’s mills will be the first in place grinding the HIV virus in South Africa, for those who cannot afford to buy ARVs themselves. When after this announcement, our government indicated its readiness to also get involved, the Bishops’ Conference first thought our programme would not be needed any longer, but many different high ranked informed sources assured us that our pioneer project would surely far precede any practical implementation of ARV roll out plans of the public health sector.

We thank God on our knees that our efforts to help the needy and sick have been acknowledged in such a great way. When Johan Viljoen said to Lillian Molloy, one of our active members, in a private conversation last year, that he considers us the flagship of the AIDS work of the Catholic Church in South Africa, we thought, this might be just a nice compliment, but now we are humbled by this acknowledgement and ongoing financial support by the Bishops’ Conference and resolved to keep up with the trust which they put into us.

Although the medication, the testing and the personnel directly involved in the ARV programme will be sponsored, we also expect a major influx of such patients into our hospice, who do not qualify for ARV treatment, but still need palliative care.

Therefore we ask you kindly to support us financially to be able to cope with the increased volume and cost of our hospice work.

This page is part of the Newsletter No. 23 of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard

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This page was last updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 12:50:11