Approximately 35 million people worldwide are infected with HIV. Nearly 60 percent of those infected live in sub Saharan Africa where there is very limited medical care. For the past 15 years, infectious disease specialist Kimberly Shriner, M.D., has been leading an effort to bring much-needed
medical care and supplies to impoverished communities in Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa and one of the poorest countries in the world.
Dr. Shriner is the director and founder of Huntington Hospital’s Phil Simon Clinic, a multidisciplinary facility in Pasadena, California, that provides comprehensive medical and psychosocial care for people infected with HIV. In response to the crisis in Africa, in 2002 she founded The Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania Project, a small, community-based and highly focused endeavor to assist in the control of one of the most devastating epidemics in the global community.
To date Dr. Shriner has made the 10,000-mile journey to Tanzania nine times, each time bringing with her a team that has included physicians, veteran surgeons, nurses, social workers, infrastructure personnel and laboratorians, a pediatrician, gastroenterologist, ultrasound technician, and veterinarians. Through The Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania Project, more than 100 Huntington Memorial Hospital employees and physicians have traveled to Tanzania over the years, providing basic healthcare, medication, HIV and
anti-retroviral education as well as manpower and support to the impoverished region. For two weeks the volunteers work side by side with clinicians in the communities of Arusha, Kisongo Village and Ngorongoro to provide state-of-the-art care to local citizens.
“The Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania Project continues to grow in its scope, outreach, talent and the extraordinary gestures of generosity of all its participants,” said Dr. Shriner. “It is an amazing example of global activism, cooperation and giving. I know I speak on behalf of all involved, both American and Tanzanian, that this project exemplifies what ordinary
citizens can do when they open their hearts and minds.”
An estimated 1.6 million Tanzanians are living with HIV/AIDS. Poverty and lack of adequate healthcare are among the greatest challenges to this population.
“In Pasadena we have a beautiful, state-of-the-art hospital,” said Dr. Shriner. “In Africa the physicians work without equipment, using their hands and minds; they have to improvise. We are so fortunate to be able to travel to support our friends and colleagues in Tanzania.”
Dr. Shriner is in the process of planning her tenth trip to Tanzania. For more information about The Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania Project, visit www.philsimonclinic.org/tanzania.