1-877 BLACKPR (252-2577)
For Immediate Release
October 29, 2014
Contact Information

AHF
Ged Kenslea
Senior Director, Communications
Telephone: 323.308.1833
or Mobile: 323.791.5526
Email: ged.kenslea@aidshealth.org
or
Christopher Johnson
Associate Director, Communications
Telephone: 323.960.4846
or Mobile: 310.880.9913
Email: christopher.johnson@aidshealth.org

(BPRW) Ebola: AHF & Holman United Methodist Church Partner in Community Town Hall Forum""Thurs., Oct. 30th, 7:30pm-9pm

- Dr. Penninah Iutung Amor, Africa Bureau Chief for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, will anchor a panel discussion and community forum on the Ebola virus and deficiencies in the global response with local medical, community, public health and religious officials. AHF, which cares for over 350,000 HIV/AIDS patients in 36 countries, has lost two physicians to Ebola; Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, the physician who had been leading Sierra Leone's response to Ebola and who also served as Medical Officer for AHF's Country Program there, who died July 29th; and Dr. John Taban Dada, a Ugandan national living and working in Monrovia, Liberia, who died from Ebola on October 9th. -

(BLACK PR WIRE) – LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, is partnering with Pastor Kelvin Sauls and the Holman United Methodist Church in the West Adams District of Los Angeles to host a panel discussion and community town hall on Ebola, the deadly virus that has killed nearly 5,000 people in West Africa since March and, with its more recent arrival in the U.S., exposed significant shortcomings in the government and private hospitals’ public health response. The Ebola Community Town Hall will be held in L.L. White Hall on the campus of Holman United Methodist Church (3320 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, 90018).

Dr. Penninah Iutung Amor, Africa Bureau Chief for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, will anchor the panel discussion and community forum on the Ebola virus and address deficiencies in the global response with local medical, community, public health and religious officials. Other panelists and speakers will include: Pastor Kelvin Sauls, Holman United Methodist Church; Michael Weinstein, President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation; and Parveen Kaur, M.D., Chair, Infection Prevention and Control Committee, AHF.

WHAT: EBOLA TOWN HALL Panel Discussion & Community Forum

WHEN: Thursday, October 30th, 7:30pm to 9:00pm (light refreshments at 7pm)

WHERE: Holman United Methodist Church, 3320 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018

WHO: Reverend Kelvin Sauls, Pastor, Holman United Methodist Church
Penninah Iutung Amor, M.D., Africa Bureau Chief for AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Michael Weinstein, President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Parveen Kaur, M.D., Chair, Infection Prevention and Control Committee, AHF
& other panelists to be announced.

MEDIA NOTE: There will be a prayer offered at the intersession of the forum: “A Litany in and Call to Prayer for Those Affected by the Ebola Epidemic” [by the Reverend Frederick Yebuah]

AHF, which cares for over 350,000 HIV/AIDS patients in 36 countries, has lost two physicians to Ebola; Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, the physician who had been leading Sierra Leone’s response to Ebola and who also served as Medical Officer for AHF’s Country Program there, who died July 29th; and Dr. John Taban Dada, a Ugandan national living and working in Monrovia, Liberia, who died from Ebola on October 9th.

“The deaths of Dr. Khan, who had been leading heroic efforts against Ebola in Sierra Leone since May, and Dr. Taban Dada, a fellow Ugandan caring for Ebola patients in Liberia are devastating losses not only for AHF but for the entire African community and indeed the world,” said Dr. Penninah Iutung Amor, Africa Bureau Chief for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who is based in Kampala, Uganda and will be participating in the Ebola town hall at Holman United Methodist Church. “In countries with only a few hundred doctors serving their entire public health sectors, the loss of even one doctor is a loss too great. To date, at least 450 health care workers in West Africa have been infected with Ebola, and 244 have died. If we have no doctors and no nurses who will treat our people? How will they survive this? We need to radically rethink the roles of organizations like the World Health Organization and others in order to vastly improve the response to this escalating public health and humanitarian catastrophe in Africa.”

“The Ebola outbreak in West Africa unfolded for far too long without an appropriate global response,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Until Americans fell ill, there was little to no concerted or organized global health response—including from the World Health Organization. Now, the mishandling of the handful of cases here in the US has fed a media frenzy which in turn stoked fear—some rational, some unfounded—among the general public. Government and public health officials need to dramatically step up their game and professionalism in the response to this crisis at home and abroad.”

“In the midst of hysteria and anxiety around Ebola, stigma and discrimination must not become our destiny. As people of faith, we are called to respond with intercession, preventative education and compassion,” said Reverend Kelvin Sauls, Pastor of Holman United Methodist Church. “Given this reality, our best response is love rather than fear. Our accompaniment with the infected and affected needs to be characterized by comfort for the bereaved, and dignity for those who continue to suffer. Together, we shall overcome!”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 355,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.

Source: AIDS Healthcare Foundation

View this news release online at:
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20141029006241/en