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 Africa.
Keys, who is supporting the project along with Oprah Winfrey, saw firsthand 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.