In the early stages, AAH grappled with how to help children get an education when so many were sick and underfed. Children in the remote, impoverished region where we work often go to school on empty stomachs and remain hungry all day. Malaria and other serious but treatable illnesses cause long student absences, from which some children never return. When our school opened in 2004, AAH instituted a lunch program ensuring each student a free hot meal every day. Still there was no reliable medical care in the area. To address this need, AAH built and opened a clinic in 2006 with leadership support from Beatrice Tierney, a member of the AAH founding Board of Directors. Located on the grounds of the AAH primary school, the health clinic is open to the entire community and provides free medical care, immunizations and community health education.
The AAH Beatrice Tierney Health Center opened in 2008 in an even more remote area called Bupoto, home village of AAH Co-Founder Joyce Wanda. The health center is dedicated in loving memory to Joyce’s four sisters, all of whom succumbed far too young to treatable health conditions. In its first year, the health center in Bupoto handled more than 15,000 patient visits. Over half the patients each year are children aged five and under. The most prevalent illnesses include malaria, respiratory infections, diarrhea, skin infections and worms. In addition to two patient examination rooms, the health center in Bupoto has a maternity section with a midwife. For the first time pregnant women in the area, have access to prenatal care and assistance delivering their babies from a trained medical worker. The health center in Bupoto is managed by AAH and relies on donors in the U.S. to keep its doors open. The average cost of medical treatment at our health center in Bupoto is just $2.85 per patient. We need and welcome your contributions to help continue this program. Donate now and make a lifesaving impact. Indicate “Community Health Center” in the comments section of our online “donate” page or on your check and mail to: AAH; PO Box 7694; Arlington, VA 22207.