GGHTx Uganda collaboration efforts led by Co-Founders: Kiyini Jimedine, Dr. Arash Hakhamian, and Avi Kerendian
Zidan Benevolence International — in partnership with GGHTx — a global health-oriented nonprofit organization and NGO, are teaming up to help eliminate stigma and vamp up the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS throughout central Uganda.
By providing volunteer efforts in the professional implementation of the project’s HIV/AIDS awareness model, GGHTx will help facilitate an increase in leadership within local communities and schools in response to the recent rebound in HIV, especially amongst pediatrics.
Project Status: Currently in design
Projected Start Date: May 2021
Project 1: GGHTx + Zidan Benevolence International: The Stigma Project
Vision: To eliminate stigma and vamp up the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS through disease awareness, disease prevention, professional community and adolescent education, while improving healthcare access and treatment services for underserved and vulnerable populations throughout central Uganda.
Preparation: Delegation will undergo pre-travel orientation with GGHTx staff led by Avi Kerendian and arrival training at partnership’s center and in collaboration with local professionals at Zidan Benevolence International led by Kiyini Jimedine.
Mission: To provide volunteer efforts in the professional implementation of the project’s educational awareness and destigmatization HIV/AIDS model.
GGHTx will help facilitate HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, and destigmatization by helping inspire leadership within local communities and schools in response to the recent rebound in HIV, especially amongst pediatrics.
Specifically, GGHTx will work in partnership with Zidan Benevolence International, a community-based nonprofit organization established in 2010 and later incorporated at the National level with the Uganda Registration Service Bureau (URSB) in 2019, in communities within the Buikwe District (central Uganda). Barring financial considerations, Uganda’s rebound in HIV/AIDS is still partly due to individual and community unawareness, neglect, and complacency in prevention strategies that are, unfortunately, still affecting community members in significant numbers. This collaboration will also help support people living with and at higher-risk for HIV.
By developing and increasing access to educational HIV programs that focus on prevention and awareness, GGHTx hopes this partnership will help in creating better health outcomes for individuals and families in Uganda. Zidan Benevolence International will help facilitate the work with providers, community leaders, patient advocates, and government officials to identify gaps, then develop and scale up the best practices to achieve sustainable and scalable improvements.
Avi Kerendian is the nonprofit co-founder and program director of GGHTx.
Previously an EMT-B, Avi Kerendian graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Biology and a concentration in Spanish from YU in New York. Avi Kerendian also participated at the prestigious Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) as an NE cancer-research intern in the Molecular & Pharmacology Dept under the auspices of physician-scientist, Dr. Blasberg MD at the renowned “Ronald Blasberg Lab,” training in multiple research-related specialties, where he used his skills to actively contribute towards two research projects that seek to reverse the progression of tumors in glioblastoma and breast cancer in terminal cancer patients.
Discovering that he had a great passion for helping serve others, Avi Kerendian decided to help put his time and energy into helping create GGHTx to the global success it is today. In the words of Avi Kerendian: Change the World for the Better
“Mission trips are an exciting way to travel the world and have a meaningful impact on it as well. That is why we created GGHTx. That is why we make a difference.”
– Avi Kerendian
“Gracias” Global Health Trip (GGHTx) guiding principle under the auspices of co-founders Dr. Arash Hakhamian and Avi Kerendian, is to team up with local volunteer centers in developing areas to bring together the volunteers, donations, and necessary resources that local communities need, with an eye towards fostering self-sufficiency. We specifically choose to work closely with local partners:
Because, first, we value humility.
Understanding the local culture is a process; we help to provide the volunteers and assistance that the community wants.
And, second, our goal is to promote sustainability.
That is why we either join our partners’ existing projects i.e. ASSADE, Zidan Benevolence International, etc. or work with them to create new ones – with an eye toward communal independence.
Project 2: Avi Kerendian Telehealth Initiative with Dr. Arash Hakhamian
To help combat the alarming rise of COVID-19: Dentulu, GGHTx, and Avi Kerendian have additionally teamed up to work on a telehealth collaboration that connect medical professionals with a proven telehealth platform, which provides remote and immediate accessible care to underserved populations in serious medical and dental need in Uganda.
“Instead of providing global health support dependent on traditional modes of humanitarian support mission trips, GGHTx and Dentulu will leverage sustainable global health support by enabling telehealth to bring medical and dental expertise to the underserved regions it assists,” Avi Kerendian, Co-Founder, and Program Director of GGHTx, said in the nonprofit’s release statement last month when asked about Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Avi Kerendian telehealth program is set up to connect clinician volunteers at care centers throughout Latin America and Uganda with telehealth clinicians at healthcare facilities in the United States to remotely collaborate on examination, diagnoses, and procedural care plans that are in the best interest of the patients involved. Included in the program is a revolutionary, supplementary intra-oral camera produced by Dentulu that acts as an educational tool for patients to be able to provide a “dentist’s view” of their mouth. These FDA-approved oral cameras provide a quick and informative way for clinicians to look at patients’ teeth, gums, and other oral structures that can help improve oral health. At the same time, the global health telehealth Initiative is also launching programs to bring medical supplies, medicines, and health-related educational resources to communities of need in Uganda and Guadalajara, Mexico.
“By leveraging the innovative technology we’ve created at Dentulu, we plan to focus on changing and improving as many patient lives as possible through the Dentulu Smile Foundation’s work and those organizations and volunteers we partner with,” said Dr. Arash Hakhamian, CEO, and Executive Director of Dentulu.
“We are privileged and honored to combine forces that will bring appropriate medical supplies, while at the same time connecting highly-trained U.S. clinical specialists to support those who lack a basic human right: access to safe and reliable healthcare. We are thrilled to fight for a brighter global health landscape that is equitable and accessible to all.” – Avi Kerendian