Thursday, August 22, 2013

Some Real Challenges Facing The HIV And AIDS And Poverty Alleviation Development Charity In South Africa

By Celina Heath

People might be surprised to know that many major challenges facing the HIV and AIDS and poverty alleviation development charity in South Africa do not relate only to health. Some real social and economic challenges have arisen from this illness that has so radically affected the lives of many South Africans.

Symptomatically the condition will devastate the lives of those who have contracted the illness and has caused enormous numbers of deaths prematurely. In the absence of proper care and medication it gives rise to horrific symptoms that destroys lives. New figures announced which reveal a lowering of infections must be welcomed. Yet as mentioned there is far more to be concerned about than the physiological aspect. Support personnel report that there are mental, sociological and impacts on population development often not understood in other societies.

There is an economic toll to this crisis as a large number of deceased have come from amongst those who were in gainful employment. Business has been negatively affected by the loss of workers with skills occupying critical jobs. Replacing these personnel has been a costly and lengthy process. Mines, critical to the economy of the country, have been particularly hard hit by this development.

This sector of the population are also, to a large degree, the parents and breadwinners of dependent children within the nation. Many of these children have now become the responsibility of their grandparents or extended family members. Of these groups many will have been pensioners or would shortly become of pensionable age. As such few are equipped financially or in terms of resources and facilities to deal with this new role.

Another matter is the regular occurrence of both the mother and the father in a family being deceased. It is extremely difficult for a child to grow up without influence of either parent. Frequently in such circumstances children lacking any role model, easily become influenced by social pressures. It comes as no surprise to see how alarming numbers are lured into criminal activity made worse through drug and alcohol misuse. These trends seem to be exacerbated when failing economies create financial difficulties.

Poverty is a major factor affecting the success of efforts to combat the condition. There tend to be proportionally higher numbers of infected people in stricken areas and efforts to teach prevention, detect and treat are less effective. The success of the work depends on people becoming aware of the risks and taking precautions. This message is more difficult to impart in less developed and less educated communities which tend to be where poverty prevails and is felt most severely.

Social stigmas also hamper progress. Sufferers are often reticent to check or reveal their positive status due to fears of being shunned and ostracized by the community, and become reluctant to seek treatment if infected. Once more this trend seems to be more prevalent in poorer areas where it is more difficult to inform and run awareness campaigns.

These aspects of the work facing the HIV and AIDS and poverty alleviation development charity in South Africa might surprise those of us not directly affected, but it shows why their efforts and ongoing support are so necessary.

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