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Community-Based Orgs and Local Govnts should Partner to Combat HIV/AIDS Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Neema Mgana, Tanzania Apr 30, 2003
Health   Opinions


Community-Based Orgs and Local Govnts should Partner to Combat HIV/AIDS The unprecedented human tragedy caused by HIV/AIDS on the African continent is one that can no longer be ignored. Sub-Saharan Africa has particularly been held hostage by this disease. Estimates show that nearly two-thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa are affected by the epidemic and over 90 percent of children orphaned in the world by AIDS live in the same region of Africa (UNAIDS Epidemic Update, 2004). With such daunting facts, it is important to recognize the growing numbers of community-based organizations that rise to the occasion in combating HIV/AIDS -- especially in caring for orphaned and vulnerable children.

Psychological and economic deprivation among orphaned and vulnerable children increases in Africa as a result of a lack of adequate social welfare services, especially among girls who are left to care for their siblings on a full-time basis, and reduce their chance for schooling. AIDS has reduced the ability of governments to care for the psychological and economic needs of the children let alone protect the children. As such, communities have become the primary caregivers of children whose parents have HIV or have died from AIDS.

Community-based organizations are often formed by an individual (or a group of individuals) who have no resources other than dedication and compassion to help children in their community. Although often lacking funds, these organizations have been successful in various activities, including raising awareness about HIV/AIDS, building support groups within the community, and including women and youth in leadership roles within the organization. What these organizations lack is the ability to communicate information/results about their activities, build partnerships with other community-based organizations, and raise funds and access to evaluation tools for sustainability of their work (currently, funds for these organizations are often from foreign sources).

The organization called the African Regional Youth Initiative, which I am involved with, has the mission of changing this. We believe that community-based organizations have an ability to work with the people they serve and are therefore able to form a unique level of trust not offered by programs designed by governments or institutions.



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Neema Mgana

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Good idea
Antony Felix O. O. Simbowo | Dec 29th, 2004
A good idea but are you doing something about it especially in the East African region where its practicalityis needed.

Neema is right but there is need to go beyond that.
THOMAS DAVID MAQWAY | Apr 13th, 2006
Myself I dont believe if there model in the fight on HIV/AIDS pandemic because it has something to do with belief and cultural pactice,thats one.In the second place I was impressed in 1999,when the former president,Ben Mkapa,retired but not tired,announced that HIV/AIDS is the National disaster,and he comment that the fight against this pandemic to be of multi-sectoral approach.But is that what is really happening on the ground?I think there is a need to get community response and the main stakeholders are Government,community based org,youth org,religious etc.If i would have my turn to Pesident JK,I heard him rarely talking of HIV/AIDS whenever he get access to wananchi.Yes it is true that there are somany things to be talked but HIV/AIDS is development issue.Me Im of the opinion that there is a need for the leaders raking frompresident to the district councilors to talk of this pandemic whenevewr they get access to wananchi,at least to be one of their agenda,and i think in this way we could have raised the awareness of wananchi on this devastating and silent tragedy in sub saharan africa.

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