Worldwide, around 38 million people are infected with the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected, including more than 2 million children. The number of newly infected people in 2019 was 1.7 million, more than two-thirds of the newly infected live in sub-Saharan Africa. In Kenya alone, more than 1.4 million people are infected. According to estimates by the UNAIDS organization, about 39 million people have already died of AIDS.
The HI virus weakens the immune system, which makes the body unable to defend itself against pathogens. One speaks then of a AIDS disease (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), which is fatal in most cases.
Read here how our doctors in Nairobi are fighting the spread of HIV and supporting AIDS patients in Africa.
Developing countries are heavily affected by HIV
Aids is a humanitarian catastrophe with massive economic consequences. The disease is simultaneously Consequence and cause of poverty. This is also the case in Africa, where the prevalence of AIDS is particularly high," reports.
Children in particular suffer
In Africa, AIDS is still one of the most greatest social challenges and obstacles to development. Although the mortality rate could already be reduced considerably, millions of people still fall victim to the epidemic. Many children are left orphans or have contracted HIV themselves. Almost 14 million people live in sub-Saharan Africa AIDS orphans and 85 million infected people are younger than 15 years of age. Children often have to take care of their sick parents and end up on the streets after their parents die.
Why does AIDS spread mainly in developing countries??
The reasons for a strong spread of the HI virus are mainly:
2. Lack of prevention and ignorance
3. Prostitution and violence against women
Poverty as a reason for the spread of AIDS in Africa
Poverty increases the risk of contracting AIDS. Those who live from hand to mouth cannot afford contraception with condoms. Also, there is often not enough money for an HIV test, let alone therapy. In addition, the medical infrastructure The health situation in large parts of Africa is still very poor. There is a lack of doctors and medical facilities in many places, respectively. the extremely needy cannot afford medical treatment.
Lack of prevention and ignorance
Many people also become infected with HIV because the Education about modes of transmission and consequences is insufficient. In addition, many governments keep quiet about the issue and the general lack of awareness Access to education is inadequately. In addition, many of those affected conceal their illness for fear of stigmatization – even from their sexual partners, who then infect them, causing the virus to spread further.
Prostitution and violence against women
Another reason for the spread of HIV/AIDS is that many women, because of their abject poverty, decide to become Prostitution forced to see. Due to lack of contraception through condoms, they become infected this way and transmit the virus to many more johns. At the same time Violence against women high. many contract AIDS because they are infected by an HIV-positive perpetrator raped become.
Fighting Aids in Africa
Since 2001, the German Doctors e.V. as an aid organization in the fight against HIV and Aids in Nairobi. There, too, he provides help for the poorest of the poor. At Mathare Valley slum, the second – largest slum in Nairobi (estimates are 430.000 residents, exact figures are not available), the association has Baraka Medical Center founded. Every day, more than 300 patients visit the center, who would have no access to medical care if the German Doctors were not there. The treatment is free of charge for them thanks to donations from Germany. The doctors who have made it their business to fight HIV and all other diseases in the Mathare Valley slum work for free. They use their annual vacation or. times of retirement to be able to help the poor in Africa.
"In the summer of 2017, I experienced my first six-week assignment with the German Doctors. My place of work was the Baraka Health Centre in the Mathare Valley slum of Nairobi. In the second week, after the initial uncertainty had subsided and something like routine set in, I was confronted with a situation that reflects well how complex the situations in the slum sometimes are and how important the role of our outpatient clinic is for the people there.", reports Dr. Michael Klemt-Kropp on his mission in Kenya.
On our blog you will find numerous impressive reports and experience first-hand how our doctors fight against HIV/AIDS on a daily basis.
What do the German Doctors do to fight HIV??
The German Doctors fight against the spread of HIV in Africa with the Baraka concept. The Baraka concept to fight HIV/AIDS is built on two pillars:
1) A voluntary counseling and HIV test (VCT)
2) A comprehensive care and treatment program for HIV-positive individuals
In this project, German doctors work very closely with local staff. It is important to them to be there for the inhabitants of Mathare in a holistic way, which is why the Health program through a Nutrition program is supplemented.
VCT – Voluntary-Counselling and Testing
Due to the fear of a positive result and certainly also due to the fear of stigmatization, the inhibition to get tested for HIV is very high. Therefore, it is not only important to offer a test, but also to educate about it comprehensively and with the necessary sensitivity. The VCT offer is aimed at:
- People with HIV symptoms
- pregnant women
- Women who want to have children
- Patients with venereal diseases
- Relatives of HIV-positive patients
specially trained staff, so-called Counsellors, Several times a week, they counsel patients at the German Doctors’ health center, and they give talks to those waiting to be tested about why HIV testing is important. This increased the number of people who agreed to be tested after education from 64 percent to 98 percent. This is a huge success! Because only after a reliable diagnosis can HIV-infected people be treated effectively.
Care and treatment services
The focus of the services developed by German Doctors for HIV-infected patients is on medical care. Currently, the doctors from Germany and the local forces treat around 1.800 HIV-positive patients. In addition to HIV treatment, clinical screening for tuberculosis and regular weight checks are also provided. Thus, people with Malnutrition and Pregnant women additional nutrients. Furthermore, there is a separate program for pregnant women to prevent the unborn child from being or. the infant becomes infected with HIV.
For the German Doctors, it is important not only to provide health care, but also to help people in need Long-term perspectives to offer. In order to promote positive interaction with those suffering from AIDS, the Self-help groups founded. In addition, the association offers "Small Income Generating Activities", i.e. courses in which patients are instructed in business activities, such as making soap and selling it. Further courses in this direction are planned to make people employable and to improve their overall situation – because HIV/AIDS unfortunately remains one of the deadliest diseases in developing countries.
HIV infection is often accompanied by long-term tuberculosis. Learn more about this disease here.
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