APOPO was our Human Rights beneficiary for the fourth quarter of 2013. Development Manager Chris Hines shared this report on how APOPO will use the grant they received from FBB. FBB members donated $10,700 to APOPO last quarter.
Dear Foundation Beyond Belief Supporters,
Thank you for your generous donations to APOPO through Foundation Beyond Belief. Due to your generosity, Foundation Beyond Belief supporters raised $10,700 for APOPO and the HeroRATs! We believe that the sum of our efforts is truly magnified by the valuable contributions of people like you.
Your support will be used in Tanzania to train rats to detect landmines, a vital part of APOPO’s operations. The nine-month training program transforms the rats from tiny babies to confident, big, and friendly HeroRATs. For more information, see our training program infograph. We hope you feel like a part of our team and we invite you to share in our successes.
Our demining teams help return land to local populations, offering villagers safe return to their homesteads and access to vital farmland. To date, our Mozambique Mine Action program has destroyed over 2,900 landmines, released over 8.5 million square meters of mine-free land, and has handed over a mine-free Gaza province to the local communities over one year before the deadline. APOPO Mine Action has also started in Angola in partnership with Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), one of the leading humanitarian mine clearance operators in the country.
In Tanzania, we continue to address the challenges of screening for the deadly but curable disease tuberculosis (TB). To date, we have discovered over 4,700 TB-positive patients who were initially misdiagnosed by microscopy at local hospitals. This has helped increase the detection rates in partner hospitals by over 30%. To track and treat patients, APOPO recently established a partnership with a Tanzanian organization, MKUTA, which is composed of former TB patients for patient follow-up and support. APOPO has replicated the successful TB program in Maputo, Mozambique. In the program’s first year in 2013, over 500 TB patients have been found by the HeroRATs, along with establishing partnerships with eight local hospitals.
No need to worry about the HeroRATs—they are in no danger since they are too light to set off the landmines and we deactivate the tuberculosis samples before presenting them to the rats. Animal welfare is a top priority at APOPO and we make sure to pamper our rats so they can work hard to save lives!
Remaining true to our core values of innovation, social transformation, quality, and diversity, APOPO has 99% of its workforce in developing countries and 95% are hired from local communities. This significantly contributes to the economic development of the areas where APOPO maintains operations.
Your support helps APOPO to continue with our lifesaving efforts and we are truly grateful that you share our vision to help solve some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Together, we are saving lives and limbs.
Chris Hines on behalf of the HeroRAT team Development Manager, APOPO vzw