HomeDREAMConakry, Republic of Guinea – Visit of Prime Minister Lansana Kouyaté to Dream centre
09
Aug
2007
09 - Aug - 2007



On 7 August 2007, the DREAM centre of Conakry received an eagerly anticipated and important visit from Prime Minister Lansana Kouyaté, whose appointment as head of government put an end, last winter, to a period of strikes and violent unrest in the country. The Prime Minister, who was accompanied by the Health Minister and by the Executive Secretary of CNLS, was welcomed by dances and songs performed by infected people who frequent the centre, and who were there, as always, in large numbers.
The Prime Minister spent a considerable amount of time visiting the centre, showing interest in all aspects of the programme: treatment, laboratory, nutritional aid and support for sick people, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission. Then he took time to speak to the patients, many of whom wanted to express their gratitude to DREAM and to the Community.
Adama, a woman who speaks only poula, told how, before coming across DREAM, she had to choose whether to use the little money she had on food or medicines:
“Today I have both things free-of-charge and I thank God for this.” Ousmane Doukouré,
who held in her arms her baby daughter, born healthy thanks to the vertical prevention programme, drew attention to the reality that many people in the country are without treatment and are waiting for the good news – about care – to reach them.
Maria Mamy explained how healing was not only the fruit of medicines but also of welcome and friendship that taught one to hope. Djaka, an elderly woman, thanked the Prime Minister for his visit: “By coming among us, you have shown that you do not disdain us, as unfortunately is often the case. Many of us have been discriminated against, chased away and distanced by our very families; but in this centre we have found a new family, fathers and mothers who take care of us and do not abandon us.”
Lansana Kouyaté started his address by saying he was impressed by the atmosphere of serenity and welcome, and by the joy of the infected people: “There are many problems, but no problem is without a solution: God made you come across the DREAM centre and this is your resurrection.” Then he thanked the Community for its serious and concrete commitment to the poorest of the poor of the world, and because it represents a model of a new humanity.
He said he was struck by the “western” standards of the centre and added that DREAM should be the treatment model that all of Guinea should look to. “DREAM is a pilot project for Guinea and all of us should take it as an example, starting from the way in which sick people are welcomed and accompanied.”
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