MOMBASA, Kenya - American Grammy award winning singer Alicia Keys
followed up Thursday on projects that she has been funding in
Kenya with other celebrities through Keep a Child Alive, a
charitable organization committed to supporting HIV patients in
Keys, who is supporting the project along with Oprah Winfrey, saw
first hand how the money was being used at a pediatric HIV clinic
at the Coast Provincial Hospital in Mombasa, 275 miles southeast
of the capital, Nairobi.
About 400 children are currently benefiting from the program,
which is providing them with free anti-retroviral drugs, said Dr.
Anderson Kahindi, head of the clinic. He said Keys had been
buying the drugs herself and shipping them directly to the
hospital since 2004.
"She learnt about the plight of children from a medical doctor
who used to work at the hospital and is now studying in the U.S.
After the tour of the hospital she will also visit selected homes
of the children who are undergoing treatment to find out how they
are responding to treatment," Kahindi said.
Kenyan police and bodyguards prevented journalists from speaking
to Keys, whose representatives insisted she was on a private
visit and had nothing to say. News of her visit to the hospital
spread quickly and fans struggled to get a glimpse of the
musician. Her security had a difficult time trying to block
people from getting too close.
Keys was expected to later unveil a commemorative plaque, plant a
tree and address the local community at the Bomu Medical Clinic,
on the outskirts of Mombasa.