Humanitarian Exchange articles tagged:HIV/AIDS

Faith-Based Communities (FBCs) provide 40% to 50% of healthcare in developing countries and contribute greatly to HIV responses. One in five organisations working on HIV programmes are faith-based. Yet, during large-scale emergency responses, humanitarian actors have not realised the potential of FBCs to undertake HIV programming, nor have they utilised it by supporting or partnering with them. This may be due to humanitarian organisations’ preconceived ideas about FBCs’ capacity and their approaches to HIV services.A collaborative study between ODI, World Vision and Tearfund in 2009 aimed at understanding the role of Christian FBCs in responses to HIV in humanitarian settings,…
Zimbabweis facing an extraordinary and multidimensional crisis. An estimated three million Zimbabweans have crossed the Limpopo river into South Africa as a matter of survival; more than three-quarters of the remaining population of nine million face serious food shortages; maternal mortality has tripled since the mid-1990s; a cholera epidemic has infected over 90,000 people, killing over 4,000; one in five adults are HIV positive, and one person dies every four minutes from AIDS; 94% of the population is officially unemployed; and thousands were beaten and intimidated by government security and paramilitary forces during last year’s elections. Political instability and mismanagement…
Myanmar has one of the most serious HIV epidemics in Asia. Contrary to many perceptions, the response to the epidemic is expanding. Funding for the response has gradually increased over recent years. However, coverage remains unacceptably low, donors seem largely unwilling to inject the resources needed to meet health needs and the government itself significantly under-invests in health. The National Strategic Plan on AIDS 2006–2010 issued by the Ministry of Health provides the reference framework for the response. Despite what might be expected given the environment, the Plan was developed in a participatory fashion, is multi-sectoral and up to date…
Although acute physical injuries are the leading cause of human mortality and morbidity in natural disasters, a significant proportion of deaths are a result of poor hygiene and sanitation, inadequate nutrition as well as insufficient health care services due to the destruction of healthcare structure and resources to cope with the diseases prevalent in the affected area. Whilst the provision of basic care following disasters usually focuses on the treatment of acute conditions like injuries, diarrhoea and respiratory infections, as well as more recently on psychosocial and mental health services, the provision of care for chronic diseases is rarely seen…
My niece was sick and died last year. I looked after her because nobody else was interested… She didn’t say that she had AIDS, but I knew and she knew … My main worry is that I won’t be able to work, and then what will happen?… I tell my kids that one day we will have a problem: I will die and they need jobs. But they have stopped looking… 54-year-old Zulu seamstress from Warwick Junction’s, Berea Railway Station, Durban, South Africa   For those of us who live, spend time or work with vulnerable groups in southern Africa,…
Zimbabwe has long been known for its rich agricultural potential. However, multiple shocks over the past three years, including widespread rainfall deficits, the impact of HIV/AIDS and political turmoil have resulted in a livelihoods crisis for the majority of the country’s rural and urban poor. Since 2002, the Consortium for Southern Africa Food Security Emergency (C-SAFE) has been addressing acute food security problems in Zimbabwe and other southern African countries. In addition to food aid interventions, C-SAFE has also piloted and implemented a market intervention programme, one of the first of its kind in an emergency context.   The Market…
Humanitarian response in Zambia is currently managed and coordinated by the Office of the Vice-President, the second-highest political position in the country. This level of political clout was assigned to humanitarian response following the devastating drought of 1991–92. The drought caused food shortages across most of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, from Zambia to South Africa. The food crisis required extensive food imports and foreign donations. It also demonstrated how unprepared Zambia was for disasters of that magnitude. Developing a management structure Following the drought, the government set up a permanent structure called the Disaster Management Unit within…
The ‘new variant famine’ (NVF) hypothesis was first published in The Lancet in 2003: Our hypothesis is that the generalised HIV/AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa, first, helps to explain why many households are facing food shortage, and second, explains the grim trajectory of limited recovery. Four factors are new: 1. Household-level labour shortages due to adult morbidity and mortality, and the related increase in numbers of dependants. 2. Loss of assets and skills due to adult mortality. 3. The burden of care for sick adults and children orphaned by AIDS. 4. The vicious interactions between malnutrition and HIV. The NVF…
In 2001–2002, Southern Africa experienced its worst food crisis since 1992. Most assessments have understood this crisis to be as much a crisis of livelihoods, or of development in general, as a simple food shock. In the decade leading up to the crisis, increasing vulnerability to the changing political and socio-economic environment was not adequately understood or addressed. This meant that a modest external threat, such as erratic rainfall, was all that was required to trigger widespread suffering. Numerous studies have since revealed the complexity of the crisis, which is now recognised as having both acute and chronic dimensions. In…
Over the last decade, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has had devastating economic, social, health and psychological impacts on older women and men, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. International statements such as the UN Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing explicitly commit governments to addressing the particular needs of older people affected by HIV/AIDS. Yet the impact of HIV/AIDS on older people remains under-reported, and has not been properly addressed. HIV/AIDS affects older people in two main ways: it places a burden on them as carers, and it poses a direct infection risk. A research…
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