Africa continent has undergone numerous challenges since the time of colonial era. Many countries in the continent have undergone severe economic problems. Majority of the countries are still languishing in the problems of poverty, illiteracy, diseases, and poor leadership (Heaton & Falola, 2007). So the emergence of HIV/AIDS in the mid-1980s added more problems to an already overstrained continent.
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HIV/AIDS spreads hugely vary between African countries. The country with the highest rate of HIV/AIDS cases is South Africa with a worrying rate of 18%. It is followed by other neighboring countries like Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland with 25%, 24% and 26% respectively (McCree & Jones, 2010). Countries least affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic include Somalia and Senegal with HIV prevalence of below 1%. Middy affected countries include Zambia and Zimbabwe with HIV/AIDS record of a range between 10-15%.
Though West Africa has been less affected by HIV/AIDS, some countries like Gabon has started to record significant rise in persons affected by the disease. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, the so called east Africa regions have the significant proportion of people living with HIV/AIDS (Heaton & Falola, 2007). It is estimated that the three countries have records of over 5% of the population living with the disease.
There is a range of social and economical problem that has affected many African countries as a result of HIV/AIDS epidemic. Some of the key provokers of this problem include poverty, illiteracy levels amongst old people in many part of Africa especially in remote areas, government unfavorable policies towards the fight of the disease, lack of proper training and informative channels to educate infected women on how to safely deliver their babies and also drug abuse among young people which leads to irresponsible social behavior (McCree & Jones, 2010).
Sub-Saharan Africa is the most heavily affected by HIV/AIDS in the world. It is estimated that around twenty-five million people living in the region are HIV positive (Heaton & Falola, 2007). This proportion represents almost two-thirds of the global total population living with HIV/AIDS. Since the beginning of this epidemic in the mid-1980s, almost fifteen children have lost one or both their two parents out of this disease.
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The Significance of the Problem
The social and economic effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic are hugely felt in Africa. This epidemic has not only affected health sector in the region, but also has immensely affected other key sectors in the economy of these countries like education, human resource, agriculture transport, and the economy in general (McCree & Jones, 2010). This pandemic has hugely devastated communities thus highly rolling back decades of development progress in the region.
The disease has hugely affected the productivity of the region. It has rapidly affected young people thus lowering the labor availability needed in various sectors of the economy. This has slowed down economic activity and overall social progress in the region. Secondly, the epidemic has hugely affected the health cares across the continent. A lot of people are seeking medical attention in already strained health centers thus putting more strain on the general health sector of these countries(Heaton & Falola,2007).
Lastly, AIDS epidemic has caused severe suffering of different households in Africa. Many families severely suffer when their bread winners succumb to the disease. The family members also suffer a lot as they try to provide home based care to their sick relatives.
The cause of the problem
HIV/AIDS is transmitted from one individual to another through exchange of body fluids during sexual intercourse, through infusion of blood of an affected person, and from mother to unborn child during birth or at the stage of breast feeding if precautionary measures are not taken to curb the problem (Heaton & Falola, 2007).
Ways of Eliminating the Problem
A number of countries have come up with initiatives to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in their respective countries. Senegal, a country in West Africa region came up with strong community and political leadership in attempts to control the issue (Heaton & Falola, 2007). Some countries can opt to use informative posters to inform people on how to avoid this epidemic of HIV/AIDS. For example by the use of posters like
People are able to know how to carefully trend on their social life so as to avoid ways that can lead to catching up the disease.
Secondly, these countries can opt to offer voluntary counseling and testing services to people living in remote areas. This will help the uneducated mothers to know safe methods of delivering their unborn babies, and also help them know how to carefully rise up their children (Heaton & Falola, 2007). Governments of these respective countries can use different strategies to inform the residents in rural areas about the existence of these services. For examples a government may opt t use posters such as; this will attract the attention of many villagers, thus allowing them to get tested. This act of encouraging ruralites to get tested will significantly contribute in curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Another crucial way to improve and contain the Africa HIV/AIDS situation is for the developed countries to increase their funding to the continent. Improved funding for HIV/AIDS would give the continent more funds to improve their prevention campaigns.
This will see a lot of Africans get informed on how to avoid contracting the disease, thus hugely controlling it spread.
Secondly increased funding will allow the government of respective countries in the continent to improve their health centers thus creating an ample environment for the provision of treatment and care for those living with HIV/AIDS (Heaton & Falola, 2007). This will alleviate some of the problems the epidemic is causing to helpless people in these regions.
The first two tasks should be crashed together in an attempt to inform the rural dwellers about the existence of the disease. Within those first four months, governments should carry massive campaigns in rural areas in its attempt to enlighten people on how to control their social life so as to avoid getting the disease.
Task three and four should be simultaneously taking place. Here these governments should focus their campaigns in urban dwellers especially in slums. The governments’ agents should visit different urban areas in their attempt to enlighten the people especially in slums on how they can prevent themselves from contacting the disease.
The last two tasks, five and six, should be used by governments in trying to avail VCT in prone areas. The government should deploy specialist in public places like church areas, and in colleges. These temporary centers will allow many people to get tested so as to know their status. And as a result; the majority who will get tested will take necessary precaution to avoid irresponsible behavior in their attempt to avoid contacting the disease.