FHSSA and NASW Collaborate in Response to Needs in Sub-Saharan Africa

Jun 21, 2010, 09:00 ET from FHSSA

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The facts are overwhelming; in 2008 alone, there were an estimated two million AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. In many countries in this region 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.

FHSSA and the National Association of Social Workers have come together to share resources and information that may be potentially helpful to the other, to those providing care, and to individuals and families in sub-Saharan Africa suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-limiting illnesses.

"Both organizations are committed to similar ethical principles and professional values," said Elizabeth Clark, executive director of NASW. "Given our shared mutual interests in the humanitarian crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, we saw an opportunity for both of our organizations to benefit from an ongoing exchange of information on relevant issues and collaboration on possible activities that will support our missions."

The struggle for human rights remains a vital priority for the social work profession in the 21st century. Social workers promote greater education and awareness of international human rights issues and seek opportunities to actively address social justice issues worldwide.

NASW's Human Rights & International Affairs Division aims to maintain collaborative relationships with international development agencies, advocate and produce public education materials, and showcase the social work professional in the international development arena.

John Mastrojohn, III, FHSSA executive director noted, "As members of a global village, FHSSA and NASW both support compassionate care where the need is great and resources are few. We are pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with NASW and believe that our combined efforts will enhance the support we offer to our constituents, members, and partners."

FHSSA's Partnership Program connects more than 80 partners from organizations across the US with hospices in 13 African countries to promote comprehensive hospice and palliative care. Additionally, FHSSA supports its African partners to provide compassionate care to the entire family and community – and supports efforts to engage and empower vulnerable youth.

For information or to support FHSSA, visit www.fhssa.org. For information on NASW's work on human rights and international affairs, visit www.naswdc.org/practice/intl/default.asp.