The West Africa AIDS Foundation was set up in 1999 by Eddie Donton, a Ghanaian born who eventually found himself in California USA. Having lived for a few years in the UK and eventually moving to the US, Eddie was a young man determined to make life be much better for him and future family than he had experienced back home in Ghana.
Like many Africans who find themselves in the US, Eddie worked hard trying to combine education and work. His hard work earned him some very interesting opportunities and it was not long before Eddie had built himself up to belong to the middle class American. Life was going well with Eddie and his now family of 4 until he lost his first son to complications of a condition he had no idea he was a carrier to – sickle cell.
Eddie’s life took a drastic turn and he immediately decided he wanted to do something different than accounting. He turned to public health with the goal of helping people with chronic conditions. Before long he opened his Hospice center in Riverside Ca known as Care One Hospice. Being the early 1990s it did not take long for the hospice to start taking in full blown AIDS patients and bit by bit Eddie became an expert in this field.
In the meantime, Eddie had made a trip to Ghana to attend the funeral of a friend and it was there that he was asked to replicate what he was doing in the US in Ghana. After lots of thinking and considerations, Eddie decided to move on with the plans and IHCC the onsite clinic of WAAF was founded.
It did not take long for Eddie to realize that unlike the USA, things were very difficult here with no insurance systems, much higher levels of stigma, people just being ignorant so the idea came about to have a foundation that would seek financial assistance to enable the clinic take care of the vulnerable as well as focus on prevention. The West Africa AIDS Foundation was born.
To set up comprehensive health care centres in all regions of Ghana and West African sub-regions to provide quality health care and to reach out to identified target groups in collaboration with local and international partners.
To help battle the spread of HIV/AIDS and mitigate its effects on communities by providing care and support centres, and developing and implementing pragmatic intervention programs.
The ultimate goal of WAAF is to establish and deliver prevention, behavioural, care and support services for the general population but with emphasis on the Most At Risk Populations (MARPS).
The organisation’s vision and mission guide daily and long-term operations, as detailed in the organizations strategic plan document. WAAF uses this plan to effectively set programmatic operational priorities and financial targets.
WAAF’s Core Values
The following core values reflect WAAF as an organization
- Human rights: We understand that each individual is entitled to fundamental rights regardless of their ethnicity, religion, language, location or health status
- Transparency and accountability: We ensure to be open and accountable to our members and partners through proper procedures and structures
- Respect for all: We ensure to treat all of our staff, patients, donors and partners with the respect and dignity they deserve
- Team work: We value the collaboration of all entities in working towards a common goal
- If you think education is expensive, try ignorance
- Time waits for no one
- Education is the key to success
- Prevention is the cure