In 2002, MAGNA opens its first mission in Cambodia’s capital city Phnom Penh, where an HIV/AIDS pandemic has killed an estimated 20,000 people, with 180,000 infected with the HIV virus.
Hundreds of thousands of people have fallen victims to the AIDS pandemic, ravaging the country and causing huge loss of life. Parents dying of the infection leave behind children, many of whom were infected from birth and die on the street without any medical care. At this time there is no health care assistance in the world for these children – some international organizations are beginning to treat adults, while others merely look on. A non-functioning health care system, and the extreme poverty of the families the children come from, make it impossible for the families to care for them. There is no one to give the infected children of the so-called “second wave” the treatment and care they need.
We were the first treat HIV/AIDS among children.
“In Cambodia’s local orphanages we find HIV-positive children in Cambodia tied to beds, without medication or anyone to take any interest. This is decisive for us, and we set about creating a health care system that saved many of their lives.”
With pragmatism and considerable commitment we open an HIV/AIDS children’s treatment facility in the capital city Phnom Penh. We provide them antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, saving many of their lives. We call teams of health care workers from Slovakia and other countries to Cambodia while training local physicians too. We put our first patient on ARV treatment, and become one of the first organizations to treat paediatric patients.
Today, our first patient Rany is 20 years old, and lives and works in Phnom Penh, along with thousands of other children whose lives we helped save. MAGNA has become a leader in treating HIV/AIDS, and continues to provide help to HIV/AIDS victims in Cambodia.