GSK is a big company, with employees located around the world. We also have projects happening in communities all over the globe. Recently, Pete Hare, who heads our HIV and Immunology group, visited several sites in Africa where GSK is making a difference. We gave him a camera and asked him to report back on his trip.
While this report was made for employees, the stories are too good not to share (I've only used first initials to protect privacy). Take a look at Pete's story below:
"If it wasn't for the help I got from this clinic, I'd have turned to dust by now."
"A" stood before us telling his story in a cramped airless attic at Chreso Ministries in Lusaka, Zambia. Chreso is an outpatient HIV clinic serving some 8,000 patients of which nearly 5,000 are taking HIV medicines with an astonishing 97% compliance rate. GSK helped fund the opening of the clinic from an old building into consulting rooms and a pharmacy. We were there last week to celebrate the success of the clinic in the six years that it's been open
One by one, patients came forward and told their stories of how the clinic has saved their lives. A "J," 13 year old boy, lost both of his parents to AIDS. "M," a young woman, told how terrified she was of the disfigurement and body changes caused by her HIV treatment until they were changed by the doctors at Chreso and she returned to normal.
Learn more about Chreso Ministries in a brief videoclip.
We also traveled to Lilongwe in Malawi to visit St. Gabriel's Hospital, an HIV clinic where HIV patients walk or cycle hours to seek medical care. We celebrated the opening of a building sponsored by GSK to house visiting HIV doctors and nurses from around the world.
See the house that GSK built in Malawi.
Back in Zambia, "A" not only thanked Chreso, but he thanked the employees of GSK because two years ago, perhaps as a result of his HIV, he developed a large malignant tumor on his leg that he could not afford to have removed. Chreso used the funds that GSK employees had personally donated to a 501c3 and paid for "A's" surgery. This is a testament to the generosity of GSK, the skills of the HIV providers at the Lusaka clinic and the spirit of a brave man who came back from the brink.
See why GSK is sponsoring these clinics in the developing world.