First Pediatric HIV/AIDS Center to Open in Botswana With Major Support From Bristol-Myers Squibb's Secure the Future Program

Center to Offer Promise of Better Future for HIV/AIDS Pediatric Care In

Southern Africa



Jun 19, 2003, 01:00 ET from Bristol-Myers Squibb

    NEW YORK, June 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A unique partnership between a
 government, a corporation and an academic institution has led to the opening
 tomorrow (June 20, 2003) of the first center in Africa focused exclusively on
 caring for children with pediatric HIV/AIDS.  The Botswana-Baylor College of
 Medicine Children's Clinical Center of Excellence at Princess Marina Hospital
 in Gaborone, Botswana, is being supported with nearly $10 million in funding
 from Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:   BMY).  The center will also train health care
 professionals about the disease and conduct clinical research for this
 vulnerable population.
     "Botswana has been one of the countries hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS
 pandemic, with about a third of its population between the ages of 15 to
 49 who are HIV-positive," said John L. McGoldrick, executive vice president of
 Bristol-Myers Squibb.  "Many thousands of Botswanan children are infected with
 HIV, and many have become orphans.  The need to do something has never been
 greater.  Working closely with our partners, the Botswana government and
 Baylor, we are proud of developing this pioneering effort in pediatric AIDS
 treatment, training and research, as part of our innovative SECURE THE FUTURE
 initiative."
     SECURE THE FUTURE is a five-year, $115 million program of Bristol-Myers
 Squibb, the largest corporate commitment of its kind, to support projects that
 help women and children affected and infected by HIV/AIDS in southern and West
 Africa. With over 130 grants of various types and some $65 million committed
 to date, SECURE THE FUTURE focuses on community-based education, support and
 prevention projects and medical research and support, primarily in
 resource-limited, community settings.  Its ultimate goals are to build
 capacity and sustainability of the programs funded.
     In addition to the Bristol-Myers Squibb grant, which provides funds for
 the center's construction and operations, resources are being supplied by the
 Baylor College of Medicine's International Pediatric AIDS Initiative and the
 Republic of Botswana.  The center is to be dedicated by His Excellency
 President Festus G. Mogae of the Republic of Botswana at ceremonies at the
 newly constructed facility.
     According to Mark Kline, M.D., director of the Baylor International
 Pediatric AIDS Initiative and chief of retrovirology at Texas Children's
 Hospital, "This center would not have been possible without the assistance of
 Bristol-Myers Squibb and its Foundation. This is an enormous amount of money
 for the region and the ongoing support from Bristol-Myers Squibb not only
 aided in the construction of the facility, but also will aid in its operation
 over a number of years to come," said Dr. Kline.
     "We're also pleased about the unique collaboration this has allowed
 between our institution, a corporate foundation and the government of
 Botswana, aimed at addressing the principal health care needs of the region,"
 Dr. Kline said. "This center is absolutely unique, the first state-of-the art
 pediatric care and treatment center on the continent.  I hope one day that it
 will serve as a model for a network of centers where African and American
 physicians and scientists can work together and develop best clinical
 practices."
     Botswana, even as it has been hit hard by the disease, has moved into the
 forefront in seeking to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS.  In January 2002, children
 in Botswana, for the first time, got access to anti-retroviral therapies.  The
 appropriate care and treatment of children using these medicines will be a
 major focus of the center.
     Mr. McGoldrick added: "This center will be an opportunity to combine high
 quality patient care with much needed research efforts and professional
 training, providing the proper infrastructure for the research and for the
 necessary medical support and monitoring."
     SECURE THE FUTURE has also provided funding to support the creation of the
 country's first HIV Reference Laboratory in partnership with the Harvard AIDS
 Institute, also located on the campus of the Princess Marina Hospital.
     Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical and related health care
 products company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life.
 
        Visit Bristol-Myers Squibb on the World Wide Web at: www.bms.com
 
     Bristol-Myers Squibb
     Overview of Secure the Future
     Since the start of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the 1980s through the end of
 1999, approximately 15 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have died from the
 disease -- the equivalent of the combined populations of New York City and Los
 Angeles.  During this period, more than 20 percent of those who died were
 children.  Even though sub-Saharan Africa has only one-tenth of the world's
 population, almost 80 percent of all AIDS deaths worldwide and about
 70 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are found there.  In the region,
 there has been a sharp decline in life expectancy as well as a dramatic
 increase in the number of orphans, which have contributed to economic havoc
 and civil disorder.
     By 1999, Bristol-Myers Squibb, a leading global provider of
 antiretrovirals and other pharmaceutical and health care products, was
 searching for an additional role to play in fighting the pandemic.  In May
 1999, with encouragement from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the company
 established Secure the Future, the largest corporate commitment up to that
 time in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
     Secure the Future initially involved five countries in southern Africa
 (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland), and in 2001 was
 extended to four countries in West Africa (Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali
 and Senegal).  It is a five-year, $115 million commitment that focuses on two
 areas: community outreach and education as well as medical research and care.
 Secure the Future seeks to prevent HIV/AIDS and STD transmission; to reduce
 the impact of HIV/AIDS on individuals by empowering infected and affected
 women and children; and to expand real access to treatment in a number of
 ways.
     A key aim of the program is to develop private/public partnerships to help
 the hardest hit populations in the region -- women and children.  At least
 half of all infected adults in the region are women ages 15-49, and in some
 countries more than 25 percent of pregnant women are infected. Over 90 percent
 of all AIDS orphans are in Africa.
     Since its inception, a number of principles have guided Secure the Future.
 First, it must be conducted to the highest ethical standards and with the
 welfare of patients held paramount.  Second, ideas should come from the
 "field" where local staffs are hired and local independent advisory boards
 formed.  The active participation of ministries of health of the affected
 countries, local medical and educational institutions, and local NGOs are
 integral elements of project creation and funding.  Third, independent
 auditors should ensure financial and other controls in funded agencies, and
 the Yale School of Public Health will direct and train evaluators on the
 ground to assess program efforts.  And very importantly, all grants should
 focus on innovation, replicability and sustainability.
     Simply stated, the aim of this program -- from its very beginnings -- has
 been sustainability and capacity building.  The questions it must address are:
 What models could be developed that are capable of enduring long after this
 program has ended?  Could sustainable institutions be created and fostered
 that would allow the people being served to learn to cope with the tragedies
 of HIV/AIDS?  How could small organizations grow into larger organizations,
 attracting additional funders?  Could programs be appropriately evaluated by
 independent professionals?  How could financial and other controls be ensured?
     Since 1999, about 130 Secure the Future grants have been made.  Just to
 indicate their range, these grants have: helped underwrite programs that offer
 economic opportunities and training for the grandmothers who have now become
 the caregivers for the millions of AIDS orphans in the regions; led to the
 discovery of new lower-cost tests to monitor HIV blood levels; and sponsored
 theatrical troupes that tour villages to promote HIV and sex education and
 awareness and combat stigma.  They also support and underwrite public health
 fellowships and programs that help orphans deal with the loss of their
 parents.  Other grants have been made for training lay health workers and
 providing a new, specially tailored and user-friendly curriculum for nurses to
 counsel and care for the sick and dying, and for their survivors.  New
 approaches to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission have been explored.
     Grants have also been made for the development of home based care
 solutions, counseling programs, and orphan care.  Secure the Future has
 established the roots of a new NGO Training Institute, where the best
 practices of leading and established NGOs in the five southern African
 countries will be developed into training modules for existing and emerging
 community-based organizations. The program will also seek to develop a number
 of community-based treatment sites in the region that will serve as models for
 integrated drug treatment, along with holistic care and disease management at
 the community level.  This includes taking on the complex challenge of
 identifying the infrastructure necessary for proper management of
 antiretroviral treatment in communities where resources are extremely limited.
     The success of Secure the Future can be seen in the good it enables
 organizations and groups to do in contributing to their communities and
 helping the people affected by HIV/AIDS.  It will be measured by the ability
 to sustain those efforts and expand them -- and ultimately by its impact on
 reversing and, it is hoped, eventually defeating the pandemic.
 
 

SOURCE Bristol-Myers Squibb
    NEW YORK, June 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A unique partnership between a
 government, a corporation and an academic institution has led to the opening
 tomorrow (June 20, 2003) of the first center in Africa focused exclusively on
 caring for children with pediatric HIV/AIDS.  The Botswana-Baylor College of
 Medicine Children's Clinical Center of Excellence at Princess Marina Hospital
 in Gaborone, Botswana, is being supported with nearly $10 million in funding
 from Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:   BMY).  The center will also train health care
 professionals about the disease and conduct clinical research for this
 vulnerable population.
     "Botswana has been one of the countries hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS
 pandemic, with about a third of its population between the ages of 15 to
 49 who are HIV-positive," said John L. McGoldrick, executive vice president of
 Bristol-Myers Squibb.  "Many thousands of Botswanan children are infected with
 HIV, and many have become orphans.  The need to do something has never been
 greater.  Working closely with our partners, the Botswana government and
 Baylor, we are proud of developing this pioneering effort in pediatric AIDS
 treatment, training and research, as part of our innovative SECURE THE FUTURE
 initiative."
     SECURE THE FUTURE is a five-year, $115 million program of Bristol-Myers
 Squibb, the largest corporate commitment of its kind, to support projects that
 help women and children affected and infected by HIV/AIDS in southern and West
 Africa. With over 130 grants of various types and some $65 million committed
 to date, SECURE THE FUTURE focuses on community-based education, support and
 prevention projects and medical research and support, primarily in
 resource-limited, community settings.  Its ultimate goals are to build
 capacity and sustainability of the programs funded.
     In addition to the Bristol-Myers Squibb grant, which provides funds for
 the center's construction and operations, resources are being supplied by the
 Baylor College of Medicine's International Pediatric AIDS Initiative and the
 Republic of Botswana.  The center is to be dedicated by His Excellency
 President Festus G. Mogae of the Republic of Botswana at ceremonies at the
 newly constructed facility.
     According to Mark Kline, M.D., director of the Baylor International
 Pediatric AIDS Initiative and chief of retrovirology at Texas Children's
 Hospital, "This center would not have been possible without the assistance of
 Bristol-Myers Squibb and its Foundation. This is an enormous amount of money
 for the region and the ongoing support from Bristol-Myers Squibb not only
 aided in the construction of the facility, but also will aid in its operation
 over a number of years to come," said Dr. Kline.
     "We're also pleased about the unique collaboration this has allowed
 between our institution, a corporate foundation and the government of
 Botswana, aimed at addressing the principal health care needs of the region,"
 Dr. Kline said. "This center is absolutely unique, the first state-of-the art
 pediatric care and treatment center on the continent.  I hope one day that it
 will serve as a model for a network of centers where African and American
 physicians and scientists can work together and develop best clinical
 practices."
     Botswana, even as it has been hit hard by the disease, has moved into the
 forefront in seeking to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS.  In January 2002, children
 in Botswana, for the first time, got access to anti-retroviral therapies.  The
 appropriate care and treatment of children using these medicines will be a
 major focus of the center.
     Mr. McGoldrick added: "This center will be an opportunity to combine high
 quality patient care with much needed research efforts and professional
 training, providing the proper infrastructure for the research and for the
 necessary medical support and monitoring."
     SECURE THE FUTURE has also provided funding to support the creation of the
 country's first HIV Reference Laboratory in partnership with the Harvard AIDS
 Institute, also located on the campus of the Princess Marina Hospital.
     Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical and related health care
 products company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life.
 
        Visit Bristol-Myers Squibb on the World Wide Web at: www.bms.com
 
     Bristol-Myers Squibb
     Overview of Secure the Future
     Since the start of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the 1980s through the end of
 1999, approximately 15 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have died from the
 disease -- the equivalent of the combined populations of New York City and Los
 Angeles.  During this period, more than 20 percent of those who died were
 children.  Even though sub-Saharan Africa has only one-tenth of the world's
 population, almost 80 percent of all AIDS deaths worldwide and about
 70 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are found there.  In the region,
 there has been a sharp decline in life expectancy as well as a dramatic
 increase in the number of orphans, which have contributed to economic havoc
 and civil disorder.
     By 1999, Bristol-Myers Squibb, a leading global provider of
 antiretrovirals and other pharmaceutical and health care products, was
 searching for an additional role to play in fighting the pandemic.  In May
 1999, with encouragement from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the company
 established Secure the Future, the largest corporate commitment up to that
 time in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
     Secure the Future initially involved five countries in southern Africa
 (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland), and in 2001 was
 extended to four countries in West Africa (Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali
 and Senegal).  It is a five-year, $115 million commitment that focuses on two
 areas: community outreach and education as well as medical research and care.
 Secure the Future seeks to prevent HIV/AIDS and STD transmission; to reduce
 the impact of HIV/AIDS on individuals by empowering infected and affected
 women and children; and to expand real access to treatment in a number of
 ways.
     A key aim of the program is to develop private/public partnerships to help
 the hardest hit populations in the region -- women and children.  At least
 half of all infected adults in the region are women ages 15-49, and in some
 countries more than 25 percent of pregnant women are infected. Over 90 percent
 of all AIDS orphans are in Africa.
     Since its inception, a number of principles have guided Secure the Future.
 First, it must be conducted to the highest ethical standards and with the
 welfare of patients held paramount.  Second, ideas should come from the
 "field" where local staffs are hired and local independent advisory boards
 formed.  The active participation of ministries of health of the affected
 countries, local medical and educational institutions, and local NGOs are
 integral elements of project creation and funding.  Third, independent
 auditors should ensure financial and other controls in funded agencies, and
 the Yale School of Public Health will direct and train evaluators on the
 ground to assess program efforts.  And very importantly, all grants should
 focus on innovation, replicability and sustainability.
     Simply stated, the aim of this program -- from its very beginnings -- has
 been sustainability and capacity building.  The questions it must address are:
 What models could be developed that are capable of enduring long after this
 program has ended?  Could sustainable institutions be created and fostered
 that would allow the people being served to learn to cope with the tragedies
 of HIV/AIDS?  How could small organizations grow into larger organizations,
 attracting additional funders?  Could programs be appropriately evaluated by
 independent professionals?  How could financial and other controls be ensured?
     Since 1999, about 130 Secure the Future grants have been made.  Just to
 indicate their range, these grants have: helped underwrite programs that offer
 economic opportunities and training for the grandmothers who have now become
 the caregivers for the millions of AIDS orphans in the regions; led to the
 discovery of new lower-cost tests to monitor HIV blood levels; and sponsored
 theatrical troupes that tour villages to promote HIV and sex education and
 awareness and combat stigma.  They also support and underwrite public health
 fellowships and programs that help orphans deal with the loss of their
 parents.  Other grants have been made for training lay health workers and
 providing a new, specially tailored and user-friendly curriculum for nurses to
 counsel and care for the sick and dying, and for their survivors.  New
 approaches to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission have been explored.
     Grants have also been made for the development of home based care
 solutions, counseling programs, and orphan care.  Secure the Future has
 established the roots of a new NGO Training Institute, where the best
 practices of leading and established NGOs in the five southern African
 countries will be developed into training modules for existing and emerging
 community-based organizations. The program will also seek to develop a number
 of community-based treatment sites in the region that will serve as models for
 integrated drug treatment, along with holistic care and disease management at
 the community level.  This includes taking on the complex challenge of
 identifying the infrastructure necessary for proper management of
 antiretroviral treatment in communities where resources are extremely limited.
     The success of Secure the Future can be seen in the good it enables
 organizations and groups to do in contributing to their communities and
 helping the people affected by HIV/AIDS.  It will be measured by the ability
 to sustain those efforts and expand them -- and ultimately by its impact on
 reversing and, it is hoped, eventually defeating the pandemic.
 
 SOURCE  Bristol-Myers Squibb

RELATED LINKS

http://www.bms.com