On February 23, a ceremony was held at Dar es Salaam, to inaugurate the delivery of humanitarian aid by the flagship boat, of the Italian Navy, Carabinieri. The ship has been used in the anti-piracy mission Atalanta, at the guide of the Euopean Union.
In the presence of Italian ambassador, Luigi Scotto – who during his time has visited the DREAM centers of Arusha and Iringa on several occasions – drugs for opportunistic infections, generic drugs, and medical supplies were donated; all intended for treatment of 3,700 patients in care the DREAM program of the Community of S. Egidio in Tanzania.
This donation is an important support for many sick people who do not have the financial means to buy drugs, which are often very expensive. Antiretroviral treatments are distributed free of charge to all people living with HIV, but HIV-positive people often contract other opportunistic infections that can seriously compromise their health, despite adhering to antiretroviral therapy.
Tanzania is a predominantly rural country, and therefore many of the patients of the DREAM center of Iringa and Arusha are from small villages. For most of them, the only economic resource is the local market of agricultural products grown in small plots. It is mostly the women who are dedicated to agriculture and sale. Many of DREAM patients are widows, because of AIDS, and support their entire families. Even the cost of transport to come to get treatment is a big financial burden for many, so the ability to receive all the drugs free of charge is an important aid in adherence to therapy.
(“Asante” means “Thank you” in Swahili )