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Africa Needs More Drugs For HIV

Regina is a volunteer of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) in Kenya’s west, and she ensures that the HIV patients in the area take their medication regularly, and also renders advice with regard to the disease. The chief difficulty // for those who are afflicted with the virus is getting to the clinic, finding a person who will take care of the patient, and coping with the large volume of drugs that a patient has to consume.

Volunteers help the nurses and doctors in public clinics who are overworked. They also render advice with regard to the proper diet a HIV patient has to consume. The Busia District of the country alone has an adult HIV positive population of 16%, mostly among fishermen who indulge in unprotected sex.

The ‘widow inheritance’ system prevalent in the country is also contributing towards this. There are 144 volunteers like Regina Ombita in Busia District, who contribute towards improving the life of the patients, who also serve to reduce the pressure that the hospitals face. The African Continent is faced with a HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the necessary anti-retroviral drugs are available to very few of the patients.

The TB epidemic is being driven by HIV in South Africa’s Khayelitsha Township. The disease itself has undergone a change with the appearance of AIDS on the scene, with many varieties like TB of the kidneys, TB of the breast, TB meningitis, and abdominal TB. It no longer confines itself to the lungs. The township has been hit hard by the TB epidemic, and people are increasingly beginning to associate it with AIDS.

The TB infection also spreads rapidly in congested localities. Over 2,000 AIDS and TB patients are being catered to at the Ubuntu clinic of the MSF in Khayelitsha, and the number of patients are rising, and there is an acute shortage of nurses and doctors for treating the patiens.

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