Monday, March 9, 2009

FHSSA Calls Attention to National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

FHSSA Announces Three Partnerships in Kenya and One in Uganda

(Alexandria, VA) - On March 10, women and girls throughout the United States and around the world, join together to encourage dialogue on the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS. Why is this awareness needed?

  • an estimated 61 percent of adult women (age 15+) live with HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan African;
  • globally, the number of woman and girls infected by HIV continues to rise; and
  • women now comprise half of adults living with HIV.
The focus of the fourth annual National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is HIV is Right Here at Home. The focus is two-fold, to raise awareness and to encourage women and girls to take action - within their communities in which they live.

In honor of this global day of discussion and awareness, the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa's (FHSSA) is proud to announce four more partnerships that join FHSSA's partnering initiative:

  • Hinds Hospice of Fresno, CA with KITOVU Mobile AIDS Program in Masaka, Uganda.
  • Hospice of Lancaster County, Inc. of PA with Kenya Hospice and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Hospice of Washington County, Inc. of Hagerstown, MD with Coast Hospice in Mombasa, Kenya.
  • VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of Chicagoland, Lombard, IL with Eldoret Hospice in Eldoret, Kenya.
FHHSA's unique partnering initiative links African hospices and palliative care providers with American hospices and organizations. The partners offer technical support, financial assistance, and perhaps most importantly, encouragement and friendship.

Currently, 78 U.S. organizations in 27 states are partnered with a hospice in one of 16 African countries. These U.S. and African care providers have joined together to make a difference for those suffering with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life threatening illnesses.

In many countries in African there is little or no access to adequate pain medication, little or no access to hospice and palliative care and desperate situations of suffering, stigma, poverty, and isolation. This is particularly acute for women and children.

"The Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care team of Santa Barbara, CA is extremely impressed by the progress and achievements made within the past 18 months by our Kenyan parter, Viagenco Integrated Comprehensive Care Program," said Susan Saperstein, RN, of Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care. "The organization provides a holistic interdisciplinary approach to health care and social programs for the community. We feel proud of our involvement and support of Viagenco." 

J. Donald Schumacher, FHSSA presidend and CEO, remarked, "FHSSA's partners are making a profound difference through their efforts and on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we are all working to draw attention to the needs of those who are bravely living their lives in spite of incredible suffering and limited resources. The humanitarian needs are overwhelming but we are seeing partners in the U.S. responding in creative ways. And the support and learning goes both ways. Those in the U.S.  reach out and our friends in sub-Saharan African return the caring and support through powerful lessons we share every day."

To learn more about FHSSA and the partnership initiative or to support this important work, please visit, email, or call 703/647-5176


Media Contact: 
Alexzandra Shade
FHSSA Partnering Manager
Ph: 703/ 647-8506

Founded in 1999, FHSSA is working to support organizations in their development and provision of hospice and palliative care in sub-Saharan African.

For more information visit,

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