Not many of us can claim to have saved 100,000 lives. I recently spent a week in Rwanda photographing jointly for the Gates Foundation and the Global Fund, two of the greatest change-makers in global health today. The Gates Foundation is a major contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. Together they save an estimated 100,000 lives each month. Above, a child receives a polio vaccine in a public health center in Kabuga, Rwanda. While health care is a controversial issue across the world, especially in US politics, we in the West might view it differently if were we dealing with the same epidemics people face in places like Sub-Saharan Africa. Here, UN, PEPFAR or Global Fund-supported public health centers are the primary means for accessing care for diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV. Treatment for such diseases would be far out of reach for most[…]Read More
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After years of foreign aid pouring into the East African country of Rwanda following its 1994 civil war and genocide, its citizens are used to receiving help from those on the outside. Those tables could finally be turning, however. Recently I documented the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative, a program wherein food aid for Africa is bought, not from a farmer in Iowa or Australia and shipped thousands of miles to its destination, but from right here in Africa. Rwanda is home to some 55,000 refugees, most of whom are sheltering from ongoing turmoil in the Democratic Republic of Congo, its neighbor to the west. Most of these refugees are landless and unable to provide for themselves and their families. Consequently they’re reliant on food aid. Above, children race a homemade scooter through the streets of Kaziba refugee camp along the shores of Lake Kivu[…]Read More
Amuria Health Centre has been packed beyond capacity in recent weeks, with more people occupying the floors than hospital beds. As the rains continue to fall, more and more people here contract malaria. During the rainy season, when streams rise and lowland areas become flooded, mosquitoes breed in greater numbers. This health centre’s resources (Amuria has no official hospital) are stretched thin even outside the rainy season. The entire district of over 300,000 shares just one doctor for all its public health centres. He travels around from village to village and is rarely in one place for more than a day. When medicine and supplies are available, the cost is picked up by the government. When they run out, which is all too often, the only option for patients is to pay cash for drips, drugs, and needles from the local pharmacy and bring them to the hospital. “Most of[…]Read More