12 - Mar - 2006
The new DREAM centre went into operation on the 13th March in Conakry, Guinea, a country of nine and a half million inhabitants on Africa’s west coast.
This is the first centre totally in DREAM’s management to open in French-speaking Africa. It represents a further crystallising of a bold dream of hope and life whose reach, having touched and changed the destinies of so many men and women in Mozambique, in Tanzania, in Malawi and in Kenya, now extends to Guinea and its people.
The new DREAM centre is another expression of Sant’Egidio’s love of Africa. At the same time, it is the offspring of an undertaking made in November of 2004, when the Community of Sant’Egidio was awarded the Balzan Prize for Peace and Brotherhood among Peoples. specifically for its combating of AIDS in Africa. On that occasion, when receiving the prize, it was announced that the sum awarded would go to initiating anti-retroviral therapy in Guinea Conakry.
And this is just what has happened. The premises opened in the Guinean capital was purchased and equipped for action using precisely those funds awarded to the Community back then.
Months of planning and work have given life to a large, attractive centre: a centre of excellence, a point of reference for other such projects to come in Western Africa. It testifies to the fact that it is both possible and a duty to extend the same quality of medical care to both Europeans and Africans, in the hope that these resurrections of African sufferers from AIDS may foreshadow the resurrection of the continent of Africa itself.
The new centre comprises a laboratory of molecular biology run by Guinean biologists and lab technicians who have received their training in the past months; a wing in which a programme to prevent the vertical (mother-child) transmission of HIV infection will be started, and another wing for the administration of anti-retroviral therapy to adult and child sufferers.
There are waiting rooms, a small seminar room for training activities, an office, and a store for nutritional supplements.
AIDS sufferers who have been in our clinic in the past few days have been astounde