God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

HOPE Cape Town is developing…

Tomorrow is the Annual General Meeting of the HOPE Cape Town Association, the working arm of HOPE Cape Town which consists of two arms: aforesaid HOPE Cape Town Association which is combining all the project work on the ground and HOPE Cape Town Trust, which is leading in fundraising and marketing of the work done. Together with the German AIDS Foundation, the HOPE Cape Town Trust has a common “child”, called HOPE Kapstadt Stiftung, a dependent trust governed by German law.  To complete the picture the HOPE Cape Town family has also very close relatives:  the Kuratorium Deutschland, which relates to the HOPE Cape Town Trust and is looking together with Viola Klein to support the HOPE Gala Dresden (26.10.2013). The Freundeskreis HOPE Cape Town Trust Olching e.V. is another German and Bavarian support group of the HOPE Cape Town Trust. Not to forget HOPE & Future e.V. in Münster (Germany), which is an essential part of our supporting family. And we HOPE to give birth in the near future also to an US American entity relating to HOPE Cape Town.  And locally our brainchild is also the Ball of HOPE together with the Southern-African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, next year taking place on the 11th of May 2014.

There is the idea of spreading the word about the “friends of HOPE Cape Town” and if you think, you can get some people together forming a small group supporting the goals of HOPE Cape Town, then feel free to contact me for further information. HOPE Cape Town depends like any other public benefit organization on the support of many – so HOPE Cape Town understands itself as much more than a local organization – we are a network of people trying to better the lives of South African’s living with HIV and TB and everything related to it.
Sometimes I am asked why TB and why we not concentrate on HIV? The answer is very simple: TB is the twin-sister of HIV in South Africa and to combat only HIV would not making sense. They are interlinked, and so are the other social problems attached to it. Studies have shown that poverty, unemployment and unfavorable conditions lead to early death even if treatment is available. So there is so much more to HIV and AIDS. And there is so much more to do – whatever we can do as HOPE Cape Town depends on resources, manpower and funds. We have grown to 31 employees and our portfolios range from the vegetable garden in Blikkisdorp to academic research @ the University of Stellenbosch. It will depend on the ongoing and additional support of people like you, the reader of this blog, whether we can enhance our work and do more to give people hope and future.  We are willing to go the extra – mile; come and join us in one of the many ways possible:

* Donation: All our donation options are summarized on our website under donation

* Tell friends about HOPE Cape Town and ask them to have a look at our website

* Maybe you consider to donate to capital (Zustiftung in German language) and make you money work for a good cause for eternity…
* Find a circle of friends to become ambassadors of HOPE – we can assist you in this…

* Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Cause, share the links and stories and follow us

For all donations and donations to capital applies in Germany and South Africa: We are able to issue a tax-deductible receipt for the respective county.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, HOPE Gala Dresden, Medical and Research, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, Religion and Ethics, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bridge between grass root and sciences

Civil and state flag of Brandenburg.

Civil and state flag of Brandenburg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today HOPE Cape Town is graced by the visit of a delegation from Brandenburg in Germany. 55 delegates will come and hear about our work, but also the work, the University of Stellenbosch is doing. More and more we discover how important it is to connect sciences and grass root and create a synergy which is beneficial for both sides. Prof Erasmus, Prof Wolfgang Preiser and myself will present this afternoon and the accompanying minister will then visit the Ithemba Ward. So for HOPE Cape Town an exciting start into the week. Other developments are also to be reported: We welcome our new two doctors and with Izane Reyneke we also have now a program coordinator on board to oversee all our working arms, assess and streamline them. We also bid farewell to Prof Bernd Rosenkranz, who resigned from the Board of the HOPE Cape Town Association and thank him for all his good work, support and advice. It is always sad to let people go, but there is, as Kohelet in the bible already said, a time for everything in life. During the Ball of HOPE Monika Rosenkranz as well as Ryan and Dennis presented each their donation result about the support projects they had run till now for HOPE Cape Town. Also here a word of thanks for the creation of wonderful trappings with the mummies for hope and the hard work of running for HOPE. As one can see, there are so many ideas how to support the good cause and there is no limit to creativity in doing so.

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Reflection, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When wild garlic makes you pregnant

Pius Fasinu(left), Prof Bernd Rosenkranz (right) and those involved in the research

Pius Fasinu(left), Prof Bernd Rosenkranz (right) and those involved in the research

HOPE Cape Town is not only working on grass root level but also involved in academic research; a holistic view of HIV and AIDS has been at the core of the work of  HOPE Cape Town since the beginning. With the permission of the author we publish this article explaining an exciting research on muti – the medicine of sangomas in South Africa through the PhD student Pius Fasinu:

When wild garlic makes you pregnant

Pius Fasinu

People who use traditional remedies together with conventional medicines may want to rethink their strategy, because the combination of these substances might be doing them more harm than good.

Researchers have found that certain African medicinal herbs, including wild garlic and the African potato, could interfere with how conventional drugs work in the body. The herbs included in the study are traditionally used to treat diseases such as fever, pain, diarrhea, asthma, cold, cough, infections, hypertension, depression and ailments related to HIV and Aids.

Preliminary results of the study being conducted by the Division of Pharmacology at Stellenbosch University (SU) have shown that the herbs can quicken or delay the elimination of conventional drugs from the body. “This adds to the risk of treatment failure or toxicity,” says Pius Fasinu, a doctoral student in pharmacology.

“Patients should tell their doctors if they are taking any herbal medicine, or at best avoid taking the herbs and conventional medicines together,” is Fasinu’s advice based on the findings.

Traditional medicine and especially the use of medicinal herbs are popular in South Africa. “While the use of medicinal herbs predates the emergence of HIV and Aids, a number of indigenous herbs are widely consumed as immune boosters and to manage the symptoms of this disease,” explains Fasinu, who is completing his research under supervision of Prof. Bernd Rosenkranz and Prof. Patrick Bouic of the SU Division of Pharmacology in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The high disease burden and the strong attachment of traditional medical practices to culture and tradition have prompted various African governments to start integrating traditional medicine into the mainstream healthcare.

”Nearly two in every three people who live with HIV and Aids combine their antiretroviral drugs with medicinal herbal products,” adds the doctoral student who is doing an in vitro assessment of selected traditional medications used in South Africa and their pharmacokinetic drug interaction potential.

For purposes of his study, Fasinu consulted traditional healers and used available literature to identify and source the most popular herbal remedies used by people who also rely on conventional healthcare.

African potato (Hypoxis hemerocallidea), fat hen (Chenopodium album), devil’s thorn (Emex australis), cancer bush (Sutherlandia frutescens), sweet thorn (Acacia karroo) and wild garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) were included in the study, and were shown to interfere with the functioning of conventional drugs in the body.

The herbs were not tested for their therapeutic benefit or for their potential toxicity when they are taken on their own. Rather, herb extracts were tested to see what their effect was on the enzymes in the body that are responsible for metabolising and eliminating conventional drugs.

Fasinu’s tests showed that the herbal extracts inhibited the majority of these enzymes. “This suggests that conventional drugs taken with some traditional herbs may accumulate in the body because of the enzyme inhibition,” Fasinu believes. “This leads to toxicity.”

In some cases, herbal derivatives also had the opposite effect, in that it induced the production of more enzymes and therefore sped up the metabolism of the drugs. This could lead to the failure of conventional drug treatment because it is cleared from the body far too quickly to be beneficial. Samples from human livers that contain the active enzymes were used to assess the impact of herbal extracts on drug clearance. It provided the closest scenario to herb-drug combination in humans.

“Hypertension may persist if herbs are taken together with anti-hypertensive drugs, and pregnancy may occur when they are taken with contraceptive pills,” he cites some of the inadvertent consequences of using traditional and conventional treatments together.

“Despite the popularity among South Africans to use herbs and conventional medicine side by side, there is little information available on how safe this practice is,” a concerned Fasinu says. “Considering the potential consequences, it is best to exercise caution.”

 “Pius Fasinu, with the support of HOPE Cape Town”, phasynou@gmail.com

Filed under: HIV Treatment, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Medical and Research, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenNovember 16th, 2019
31 days to go.

Ball of HOPE 2020

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 23rd, 2020
7 months to go.
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