South Africa has the largest HIV epidemic in the world. There are more than 7.1 million people living with HIV in our republic, with over 110 000 AIDS-related deaths reported annually. Those numbers are staggering, but with each year, more than 270 000 new HIV infections are documented.
We all treasure this beautiful country in which we live, along with the amazing rainbow of diverse people. Watching lives deteriorate underneath the hushed and relentless force of this disease is heartbreaking, yet most of these devastating stats could have been avoided with the right guidance, treatment and care.
The Muslim AIDS Programme (MAP) stands up to this shattering scourge by supporting those who are affected and scatter glints of hope to their families. Established in Johannesburg in 1997, MAP is a joint project of the Council of Muslim Theologians (Jamiatul Ulama), Islamic Careline and the Islamic Medical Association. They have since expanded to three other provinces. This non-governmental organisation works for the common good of the community, and utilises their collective resources and expertise to make changes and improve lives.
The organisation provides assistance to people living with HIV, AIDS and TB, regardless of their colour or creed. They also nurture many women, orphans and vulnerable youth while individuals living with HIV are cared for through treatment mobilisation, counselling and basic needs. MAP extends their services to local communities through awareness campaigns and educational initiatives.
Advocating the concept that prevention is better than cure, MAP subscribes to an abstinence-based programme that promotes chastity, fidelity and faithfulness in relationships.
Founding members, Dr Ebrahim Mohamed and Suraiya Nawab earnestly drive this programme and are committed to making a positive contribution to the management and prevention of HIV/AIDS among both infected patients and affected individuals and families.
The Muslim AIDS Programme’s ongoing projects include:
- Awareness programmes
- Life skills and abstinence-based programmes
- HIV/AIDS training
- An orphan and vulnerable children programme
- An ARV clinic sandwich programme
- Community outreach and home-based care
- A food security programme
- A care centre for HIV-infected and affected mothers and children/orphans
- A school uniform programme
Each of the three founding organisations offers their expert counsel and distinctive skills to the programme.
- The Islamic Careline volunteers capacity development in the form of training, caregiving and counselling.
- The Islamic Medical Association lends medical expertise in the management of the pandemic to people living with AIDS, as well as attending to the medical needs of the MAP Care Centre residents. This is an in-house care facility for mothers and children infected or affected with HIV and AIDS.
- The Council of Muslim Theologians (Jamiatul Ulama) provides support to MAP for all the programmes offered, as well as the day-to-day activities and requirements such as office space, equipment and general administration needs.
MAP is grateful to have the backing and financial support of various governmental structures, whose generosity is conducive to the successful running of the project. By working with them, the organisation aims to help restrain the epidemic on a national level. MAP receives funding from:
- The National Department of Health – sponsors R800 000 annually.
- The Department of Social Development (Gauteng) – donates R800 000 for the OVC program.
- The Tibb Institute – contributes +/- R250 000 yearly towards the residential children’s care centres.
The Muslim AIDS Programme, along with Islamic Careline, have received favourable evaluation and feedback from national and international sources for their great work. These projects can only grow stronger and progress to become integral psycho-social resources for the Muslim community and beyond. MAP is an aid to the ailing since it provides dignity and care to those living on restricted time and gives the afflicted a chance to live a longer, healthier and fuller life.
For more information, please contact Suraiya Nawab on 011 373 8080 / 082 785 0858 or email email@example.com