Bike appeal to aid Zambian health volunteers

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In response to Sandy Neil’s excellent article (Southern, September 20) on work done by Borders General Hospital’s team in Zambia as a part of the twinning link with St Francis Hospital, Katete, the Scottish Borders Africa AIDS Group (SBAAG) wish to start a public appeal to fund 50 bicycles at £50 each for use by TB treatment support volunteers.

The bicycles would be bought in Africa, helping the local economy in Zambia, and as 80 per cent of TB sufferers there are also infected with HIV, this appeal is in line with our commitment to help those in sub-Saharan with HIV/AIDS.

Started in 2002 following the death of a BGH physician from AIDS transmitted via a needle-stick injury in Africa, SBAAG raises funds to support HIV-related projects in several African countries. We like to ensure the money received goes directly to those running the projects through well-established contacts or professionals from Scotland, as with the twinning team, who go where there is a need.

Bikes for Africa will certainly save lives, including those of children. If you would like to support the appeal, please contact Isabel Gordon (SBAAG secretary) on 01573 224753, or use the donation form on our website (www.onlineborders.org.uk/community/sbaag). Please, if possible, also sign the Gift Aid section to increase your donation at no cost to yourself.

One of our pre-Christmas fundraising events is a two-course dinner at Quin’s in Galashiels on December 7, for which £5 is donated to SBAAG (see website).

Oliver Eade

(chairman, Scottish Borders Africa AIDS Group)