The Energy of Children

24 03 2013

The little people whose lives have been affected with an adult condition never cease to amaze us by the energy with which they tackle the many challenges that are put on their ‘path of life’.

In Africa a growing trend is the child-headed households.

Adolescents, and some as young as twelve, take over the care of their siblings when they have lost their parents to Aids related conditions.

In most cases these children do not want to go to orphanages or foster care because they do not want to be separated as families. These children have sacrificed their childhood to rear their siblings and we can just admire the energy with which they take over this heavy adult task.

The community, teachers, religious leaders and clinics must inform the authorities when these child-headed families are discovered. They need to be visited regularly by social workers, counsellors and nurses to assess their physical and psychosocial needs.

Every effort must be made to prevent the adolescents from dropping out of school. Without education the children face a dismal future and are open to abuse by unscrupulous adults.

There are many charities and churches that put a great deal of support and resources into these child-headed households, but much more help is needed. Unfortunately many still slip through the cracks and go undetected.

SOS Children’s Villages is just one of the many charities, religious groups and NGOs that is heavily involved in this project.

If we are unable to provide material aid we can at least remember these children in our prayers. They need our physical, emotional and spiritual support to provide them with a brighter future.

They need our energy!

©Teresa Denton


An Overview of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa

1 03 2013

UNAIDS has expressed the belief that the incidence rate (new infections) peaked in the late 1990s and has stabilised in many countries in the world. This phenomenon can be attributed to prevention programmes and changes in behaviour.

The proportion of people of people living with HIV has also levelled off. However the numbers of people living with HIV have continues to rise, due to population growth and the life-prolonging effects of antiretroviral therapy.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst affected region in the world.earth_planet

Declines in the national HIV prevalence in some sub-Saharan African countries are not strong enough or widespread enough to diminish the epidemic’s overall impact on this region.

Women in sub-Saharan Africa bear a disproportionate part of the AIDS burden. Not only are they more likely than men to be infected with HIV, but also in most countries they are also more likely to be the ones caring for people living with HIV.

In South Africa the very high incidence of rape is fuelling the transmission of the virus. We need stronger action and reaction from our law inforcement and the citizens to curb this crime.

Many men are moving to the cities in search of work and leaving their wives and children behind in rural areas. This leads to the use of prostitutes or involvement of girl friends in the cities. Until this situation is changed or the pattern of behaviour is changed, battle with HIV/AIDS will continue.

South Africa also has the added scourge that drug addicts are using antiretroviral drugs to add to their drug cocktails for heightened effect. They obtain the antiretroviral drugs mainly by stealing them from HIV patients. The resultant effect of this crime leads to the inadequate administration of the medication and possible drug resistance.4retroviral

Until the law enforcement agencies get to grips with this crime the situation can only deteriorate.

Recent statistics in South Africa show a decline in numbers, but the overall incidence of HIV is still unacceptably high.

Even if you reside in an area which has stabilized you can never let your guard down.

HIV is still with us. We have not found a cure so the HI virus lives on.

©Teresa Denton

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