Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Selenium Project...continued

Mothers with children waiting for appointments
at the Kinyinya Clinic

The research also hopes to find selenium as both a sustainable and cost effective treatment. Anti-retinal treatments which is the current standard of care for AIDS patients is a cocktail of manufactured pharmaceutical drugs which is expensive and has dramatic side effects. Although Rwanda as a nation has promised these treatments to an infected population at not cost, the costs are still there. They may be buried under a level of government subsidies, international aid or drug manufactures discounts but they are there…and they are staggering. The goal is not to replace ART as treatment, but to perhaps delay it use between infection (HIV) and the breakdown of the body(AIDS). Selenium has a extremely low cost of manufacture and distribution as well as no side effects making it a potential dramatic course of treatment for a developing nation such as Rwanda.

As I sat with each member of the trial medical staff, one common theme emerged. An overwhelming excitement and desire to improve the quality of life of there fellow Rwandans. This nation has long been know for the genocide that occurred here in the mid 1990’s where nearly 1 million individuals lost their lives – not of infection or disease, but of the depravity of man. The thought, or even perhaps the dream, that this nation has the potential to radically change the quality of life of a massive population living with HIV/AIDS was central to these medical professionals. Each one talked about the potential outcome of the study radically altering not only the nation of Rwanda but those of surrounding African nations and potentially the world. 

Dr Vincent Mutabazi M.D. - Co-Investigator of the Selenium Project

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