Enhancing The Pharmaceutical Infrastucture in Africa

Our guest speaker for the February 2009 Breakfast meeting was Dr. Rolande R. Hodel, the founder and president of AIDSfreeAFRICA.

Dr. Rolande received the 2009 Astellas USA Foundation humanitarian award for her work as founder and president of AIDSfreeAFRICA, a non-profit organization based in New York. http://www.aidsfreeafrica.org/ Born in German, Rolande is a US citizen and a legal resident of Cameroon. She has worked for companies such as BASF/Germany, Nanocrystals Technolopgy/NY, Pharmaceutical Discovery Corporation/NY (today Mannkind/CT) and Emisphere Technologies/NY. Education: She received her Masters of Science in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1995 and her Ph D in Organic Chemistry from the City University of New York, Queens College in 2005. American Chemical Society (ACS). Activities: Member since 1991; Director at large NY Section 2010 asked to run and 2004 served; Westchester Chemical Society, Director 1995-1997 and treasurer since 1998 to present. ACS Committee on International Activities, appointed Associate 2009. National Tour Speaker for ACS speaker’s bureau speaking on “Drug Production in Africa”. Other activities: Serves on the board of directors of Chemists Without Borders. Represents Servas, an international peace organization at the United Nations. She is active in Rotary.

It was very appropriate that since our breakfast meeting is held at the German Mission Dr. Rhonde sent the quote "The humanity of our world will be measured against the fate of Africa," from Horst Koehler, German President and former managing director of the Washington, DC-based International Monetary Fund, in his inauguration address in 2004.
AIDSfreeAFRICA, a 501-c-3 non-profit organization, recently advanced into the semifinals of the Buckminster Fuller Design Challenge: An annual distinguished award of $100,000 prize to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. The goal is the emergence of a pharmaceutical infrastructure that provides Africans with access to affordable drugs, diagnostics and tests. AIDSfreeAFRICA gives technical advice and management expertise, arranges for training, provides donated equipment and makes capital available. AIDSfreeAFRICA facilitates the utilization of donor money in projects that have an immediate and profound impact on the lives of the recipients, their families and communities on a local level through microfinance programs.
Also at the breakfast meeting was Melissa Kushner of the Goods for Good organization. As stated on their web site: Through partnerships with companies in the United States and local organizations in Africa, they are able to provide much needed school supplies, clothing and health and hygiene products to orphans and vulnerable children, while at the same time reducing waste at home.
Goods for Good rely on donations of surplus goods from a wide range of companies. Their volunteers help to sort the items and donors fund the shipment. In Africa, they build on the success of local schools and community centers by supplying them with the tools they need to care for and educate children.
Many of the items we ship to children were gathering dust in warehouses or were slated to be destroyed. On the other side of the world, these same products have an immeasurable worth to disadvantaged children.