Aids Orphans in Africa
by Antony Mutwiri
Nyange sits outside their small mud house in Nyangweso village in Western province of Kenya. He can’t understand whether he is really alone. He weeps bitterly in the midday scorching sun as he recalls the past.
His father, Omwamuso died five years ago while his mother Chepkoo was only buried a few weeks ago. They all died of a strange illness that he can’t comprehend. At only ten years he is totally confused of the next step to take. Will he be the next victim?
Well, Nyange is one among many Aids orphans in Africa who have been succumbed to this epidemic which is not only threatening but also has created gates of vulnerability to human race. In the global village, Africa leads in the highest number of Aids victims especially Aids orphans.
This has called for immediate response from concerned parties, individuals, state, governments, non governmental organizations and other international bodies. In late 1980’s this catastrophe had not done more harm than now. In firm proper objectives, strategies and programs had been implemented by then, this epidemic would long have been curbed even though not at full swing.
Now that we are decades far from where a new day could have started, we must cement a uniform bond between different groups in order to spearhead the fight against Aids in Africa. We ought to create solidarity to address and help. Aids orphans in Africa. It should be put to the limelight that these are children who need care education, guidance and motivation from everyone.
It has been approximately that Aids orphans in Africa are two million, this is a very big number of orphans and proper mechanisms have to be put in place to reduce this rate in future. The leading countries include, South Africa, Zimbabwe among others.
The best and satisfying solution of helping a patient with a decaying tooth is to extract it completely, refilling it only brings\s short term recovery thus the problem of Aids orphans in Africa ought and foremost be addresses in order to curb this phenomenon, otherwise this would forever remain a non-stop cycle. There are key limiting factors that need be tackled if we want to realize a new day.
Poverty in Africa states has led to increase in Aids orphans. In average most people living South of Sahara earn less a dollar in their daily income that has been brought by the poor economy of relevant states. Due to this people have decided to do anything possible to enhance their survival.
We cannot deny that illegal businesses such as illegal arms, harmful drugs and commercial sex have erupted as a result. This is why Aids orphans cannot afford good care and attention particularly in medical care. The high cost of antiretroviral drugs cannot be bared not considering their unavailability to such communities. The government has a big role to ensure that their country’s economies are elevated through uplifting standards of living. Clear frameworks and programs regarding state resources could be enacted thus providing for job opportunities for the people.
It is also their responsibility to ensure that clear understanding concerning the Aids orphans is put into consideration as they set their social-economic development policies ion their countries. Of course to achieve full potential in the same, it needs initiative minds and determined parties to stand against all odds not only in need of current generation but also the future.
Lack of education to some communities has also contributed to number of Aids orphans for instance some literally know nothing about Aids. In fact some of them have HIV/AIDS. Again some believe in inheritance of wives after their husbands’ death.
This has been experienced for a long time in some African communities and still found its way even to date. They are unaware of dangers being posed to them and their children. These are communities, which firmly believe that HIV/AIDS is only a myth or witchcraft. They only run after unknown medicine men and witchdoctors for cure.
These people really need to be educated about Aids in detail in order to salvage them from this deadly monster. For this reason, it is the work of the government, the church, NGOs, individuals and other organizations to provide quality education and awareness of HIV/AIDS to these communities.
Thanks to some African states which have provided free education to everyone through building of schools and other related institutions in such areas and this has broken those traditions and taboos which had long tied them. Also the media has contributed greatly towards the awareness program by establishing and providing numerous TV and radio stations in such areas and of course through billboards as per their local languages.
Aids orphans need to be loved, treated with kindness and shown concern for their welfare. This can be done by making them feel that they are part of the community and the community needs them. They have potential to achieve their goals and they need to exploit it to optimum capacity if only necessary instruments will be put in place through joint effort starting from the grassroots-friends and relatives up to international bodies.
Due to stigmatization associated with HIV/AIDS most of them experience emotional pain and ought to be given hope, guided and counselled so as not to give up in life. Hope is the last thing one cannot afford to lose.
In Africa, we have personalities who have made positive impact to the lives of Aids orphans in their states and also this tune has reached the global village as Aids orphans in Africa are concerned.
It is in every chapter concerning Aids orphans that names of Kenneth Kaunda former President of Zambia and Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former President won’t go unmentioned. They have established foundations in support of Aids orphans. We need to support, encourage and motivate them in their work and in addition emulate them towards helping and supporting these victims.
This is not easy job, it needs perseverance and beyond this, determination. Aids orphans need much-adequate and balanced diet, hygiene and medical care. The government and non-governmental organizations are also heading the cry of the orphans in Africa and this also has improved their welfare.
As we focus our eyes upon the Aids orphans in Africa, especially Southern Sahara, more energy should be directed towards the epicenter - from which the earthquake generates. Our efforts should not be strong only when an earthquake has occurred but before it happens. We need to get to the root cause of Aids orphans in Africa. This will only be realized if we mean what we say. Therefore it is upon everyone to take responsibility to ensure that we do not talk of Aids orphans in Africa in the future generation. We are all in a battlefield to fight this scenario in Africa while we advocate “Aluta continua” – (the struggle continues).
Antony Mutwiri K
CENTER FOR CLINICAL RESEARCH, KEMRI KENYA