Initially a small group of like-minded students began their work with the young and the poor. Today it is a movement of lay people with more than 60,000 members in Rome and throughout 73 countries worldwide – in service to the poor and marginalised.
DREAM (Disease Relief through Excellent and Advanced Means) is a programme created by the Community of Sant’Egidio to fight AIDS in sub- Saharan Africa. DREAM started in Mozambique in March 2002 after two years of preparatory work. The project adopts a holistic approach combining antiretroviral drugs with the treatment of malnutrition and other infectious diseases. Particular attention is paid to health education at all levels.
The DREAM program has adopted an innovative approach to public health to ensure maximum results with minimal costs. This ‘light’ system is based on small health centres spread across the countries, to reach rural areas, moving medical support towards the patients who often have economic and transportation difficulties.
All patients under the program also participate in health education courses that teach how to manage many aspects of everyday life. Involving the patient with health education, creates a new culture where AIDS is no longer a death sentence and can be treated. Patients also become aware that free care is a right. Millions of people have benefitted from the DREAM programme (including health training, water filters, nutritional support, mosquito netting, prevention programmes publicised on radio & television).
A key component of the DREAM strategy is the prevention of mother to child transmission.
Visit website: www.dream.santegidio.org