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FRANKLIN LAKES , N.J. and NEW YORK BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, and Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), a U.S.-based Catholic charity focused exclusively on international healthcare, today announce a continuation of their innovative collaboration that helps address HIV/AIDS in Zambia. For the second consecutive year, BD-supported employees will work in Zambian healthcare clinics as part of this unique volunteer program.
Four BD associates, including two returning volunteers, will work with CMMB staff at four rural healthcare facilities which are affiliated with The Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ): Chilibula St. Fidelis Mission Hospital, ChilongaMissionHospital, Mpanshya St. Luke's Hospital, and MwandiMissionHospital. The BD team arrived in Zambia on June 10, 2006. During the three-week program, the volunteers will serve in one of two functions: laboratory trainer (to focus on raising awareness and increasing best practices for routine lab and HIV/AIDS testing) or construction worker (to repair and renovate hospitals and clinics).
"CMMB is proud to partner with BD in this model employee volunteer program again this year," said John F. Galbraith, president and CEO of CMMB. "This initiative strengthens our longstanding global medical volunteer program, and will provide valuable support to rural Zambian healthcare clinics."
"It's a privilege to again collaborate with CMMB to send BD volunteers to Zambia," said Edward J. Ludwig, chairman, president and CEO of BD. "This unique program provides a significant opportunity to build upon last year's accomplishments and progress in developing a sustainable healthcare infrastructure in Zambia to help fight HIV/AIDS."
Both BD and CMMB recognize that the returning volunteers' previous experiences and local knowledge of Zambia will contribute to the sustainability of the project's progress, as they are well versed in the specific needs of each site. The two new BD volunteers will bring to the program the added benefit of their energy and abilities, as well as their passion for pursuing BD's purpose of "Helping all people live healthy lives."
The two-week inaugural volunteer trip in 2005 resulted in the construction of two medical waste incinerators, the training of more than 60 healthcare workers, and the eventual completion of a brand new laboratory. The five healthcare facilities assisted last year have experienced steady improvement as a result of the volunteer effort and report that they continue to rely on the products and equipment donated by BD. Goals for the 2006 trip include construction of three more incinerators, further product donations, and the continued education of and support for the Zambian medical community. BD has donated a variety of essential medical products to the Zambian healthcare facilities, including tubes, needle holders, sharps containers, pipettes, syringes, needles, lancets, alcohol swabs, and antiseptic scrubs.
"The successes from our project are readily visible," explained Dr. Elizabeth Musaba, country director for Zambia with the CMMB. "The trainings have resulted in our having more efficient staff. The laboratories at our sites work more effectively and medical services at Mwandi, Nyanje, Mpanshya, Chilonga and Chilubula have greatly improved."
BD plans to conduct additional volunteer programs in other locations in the future.