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Hiv and Aids in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Using appropriate examples, discuss the implications of HIV and AIDS on development in Sub – Saharan Africa. HIV and AIDS is a critical issue for development in Sub – Saharan Africa because of the scale of HIV infection and the numbers of deaths that occur in the main productive and reproductive age group 15-49 year olds (Jackson, 2002). The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare (2004) donates that the epidemic has caused and is continuing to cause untold suffering among those infected with the virus and among those otherwise affected by the epidemic.

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The epidemic also has pervasive impact on society and economy. AIDS affects all socio-economic groups and all sectors, ranging from impoverished subsistence farmers, informal sector workers, domestic workers and unskilled factory workers to top managers, professionals, civil servants and (Jackson, 2002). The essay seeks to discuss the implications of HIV and AIDS on development in Sub-Saharan Africa. The paper attempts to discuss how HIV and AIDS have influenced negatively on health, agriculture and food security, education, economy and just to mention a few.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, it appears that HIV and AIDS have profound social and economic effects which impact on development. Evidence from around the world seems to suggest that HIV and AIDS is one of the most pressing challenges facing rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The most affected households are heavily dependent on agriculture. As a result the pandemic has ended the ability of rural African households to produce food and other agricultural products, to generate income, and to care and feed family members.

Parker, Jacobsen and Komwa (2009) assert that while prevalence rates have declined over time in some regions, and while availability of antiretrival drugs (ARVs) has reduced the effects of infection in communities where ARVs are widely available, recent studies have shown that the pandemic continues to exert significant negative economic and social effects in affected areas. Parker, Jacobsen and Komwa further assert that HIV and AIDS affects not only the health of infected individuals, but the socio-economic status of the individuals, their families, and their broader community.

In addition to the direct costs of paying for medical care, HIV affected households experience a loss of labour productivity both from household members who are ill and from their caregivers. Furthermore Parker, Jacobsen and Komwa argues that in rural areas where farming is the primary source of income and food, decreases in household labor supply can lead directly to reductions in the nutritional status of all household members.

Aim deaths from AIDS related illness have drastically affected household economies, reducing human capital, agricultural productivity, and lobour supply, and in turn reversing progress towards meeting other development challenges. Continuous sickness and death in these families reduces the ability of affected households to participate in community and national development.

Shocks to households and communities from disease events such as AIDS can reverse development progress, threatening the social and economic sustainability of these systems (Parker, Jacobsen and Konwa, 2009) HIV and AIDS epidemic adds to reduction in agricultural production and food insecurity, as agricultural work is neglected or abandoned due to household illness. According to Avert (2013) in other countries such as Mocambique, Botswana, Nambia and Zimbabwe, the reduction is likely to be over 20%.

As in other Sub-Saharan Africa countries, it was generally found that the death of a male reduced to production of cash crops (such as coffee, tea and sugar) while the death of a feme reduced the production of grain and other crops necessary for household survival. The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare (2004) points out that , the chronic illness that accompany deteroration of the immune system deplete household assets, reduce labour, and lead to reduced crop production. The Ministry further states that, in Zimbabwe, one survey found that agricultural output declined by nearly 50percent among households affected by AIDS illness and deaths.

Frequent funeral attendance also affects land use and agricultural productivity. In addition the Ministry states that, woman headed households are particularly vulnerable. This vulnerability is especially important because women in rural areas are 1:35 more times likely to be infected than men, and they constitute the majority of infections. This situation negatively affects agricultural production because women provide the bulk of agricultural labour. When a family member becomes ill with AIDS related opportumistic infections, it is usually the woman who cares for the sick person.

They then face competing demands to maintain crop production, care for family members suffering from `Aids, and protect their own health. Furthermore the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare argue that admit deaths from AIDS often lead to a loss of traditional knowledge of agricultural practices. Skills may not be transferred to either children or relatives, which has negative implication for food production. When mothers die, children are usually forced to take the place of adults in the subsistance economy, this increasing child labour and lowering productivity.

Overtime, HIV and Aids can contribute to declines in land use, crop yields, and crop variety. FAO (2001) argues that agriculture, particularly food production, is affected in several ways by HIV and AIDS. First, there is a toll on the agricultural labour force. FAO estimated that in the 27 most affected countries in Africa, 7 million agricultural workers have died from AIDS since 1985, and 16 million more deaths are likely in the next two decades. In the most effected countries which include Nambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa and just to mention a few, labour force diseases ranging from 10 – 26 percent are anticipated.

Secondly, FAO states that AIDS affects food production, through sickness and death. Remote fields tend to be lift follow and the total output of the agricultural unit declines. Switching from labour intensive crops to less demanding ones has been observed, animal husbandry and livestock production may decline, post – production, food storage and processing are in period, a breakdown in support services occurs as staff fall ill, and credit for agricultural production may be diverted for the medical care of sick relatives, funeral expenses and food. Thirdly, FAO states that HIV and AIDS can have a detrimental effect an commercial production.

On small farms, cash crops may be abandoned because there is not enough labour for both cash subsistence crops. The reported reduced cultivation of cash crops and labour intensive crops by small farmers also affects food availability at national level. Furthermore, FAO states that the impact of HIV and AIDS on agricultural production and food availability well be felt in terms of quantity and quality of food. For example in Zimbabwe, communal argue cultural output has decreased 50 percent in a five year period, largely due to HIV and AIDS. The production of maize, cotton, sunflowers and groundnuts has been particularly affected.

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare (2004), the health sector is hit particularly herd by the epidemic. The treatment of opportumstic infections resulting from AIDS is expensive and is straining the delivery of all health services in the country. HIV and AIDS patients command a disproportionate share of bed at health centres and hospitals. Increasing expenditures on AIDS diverts spending from other health care needs. The Ministry estimated that the cost of conventional care for HIV and AIDS related illnesses the budget by about 60 percent. Health providers are also affected.

Some become infected themselves and large numbers suffer from the intense physical and emotional strain of dealing with AIDS patients. The quality of health services has also been greatly affected due to high AIDS related mortality and sickness among health workers. In addition, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare argues that the epidemic also affects the sector in other ways. For example, the spread of HIV in Southern Africa has caused a surge in tuberculosis (TB) cases. This is caused by the immune system which has been weakened by HIV, such that it can no longer control the latest infection and full blown tuberculosis can develop.

Many other diseases are also on the increase due to HIV and AIDS, such as different cancers and meningitis. FAO (2001) i. e. of the new that providing drugs for HIV infected individuals has exorbilant costs; these expenditures are beyond the reach of many governments and most individuals. Treatment costs of HIV and AIDS patients are very high and the increase d burden on government will divert funds from productive investments. Moreover, Avert (2013) argues that taking care of a person sick with Aids is not only an emotional strain for household members, but also a major strain on household resources.

Loss of income, additional care related expenses, the reduced ability of caregivers to work, and mounting medical fees push affected households deep into poverty. HIV and AIDS impacts education in several ways Jacksen (2002) argues that it reduces the pool of personnel as teachers, managers and support staff become ill and die, and it increases the costs of maintain educational services and the need for education (to replace staff in all sectors who are dying in rising numbers ). The actual demand for education, however, typically declines.

Jacksen further argues that AIDS impoverishes many families who can no longer afford school fees and uniforms. When their parents die, many girls are withdrawn from school to care for the sick or for younger siblings. In Zimbabwe for example, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare points out that HIV and AIDS are causing considerable turbulence in the education sector as the epidemic affects the supply of educational services, the demand for education, and the overall management of the system.

According to the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture study in 2002, four out of five school heads say that the epidemic is seriously undermining the provision of quality education. The study revealed that teachers are at a high risk of HIV infection. AIDS among teachers is resulting in increased absenteeism and poor quality of instruction by infected and or affected staff. Training costs for teachers and other education officers are rising to replace those lost to the epidemic.

Experienced teachers who die as result of AIDS are often replaced by untrained teachers in additional to that the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare further argues that because on AIDS death to an adult results in the loss of household labour and income, children are often required to leave school and remain at home or go to work to compensate for loss and to avoid school costs. Orphans often lose the necessary financial, material and emotional support that they need for successful schooling. Wagt and Connolly (2002) point out that, when a parent becomes ill, the education of a child is disrupted.

There is a decline in school attendance, decline in school performance because children stay home to care for sick parents, they have increased household responsibilities and need to care for young children. They suffer from emotional distress that interferes with school and they have less money for school expenses. Although HIV and AIDS epidemic may affect overall economic growth, its economic consequences are more often considered in terms of their impact on household poverty, on the economic success of firms and on government revenue and expenditures (Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, 2004).

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, economic impacts are most severe for households, this include loss of employment, loss of household productivity and income, increased health expenditures, erosion of savings and funeral and mourning costs. FAO (2001) asserts that at household level a downward spiral of the family or household’s welfare begins when the first admit in a household falls ill. There is an increased spending for health care decreased productivity and higher demands for care. Food production and income drop dramatically as more adults are affected.

Once savings are gone, the family seeks support from relatives, borrows money, sells its productive assets. Children are forced to discontinue schooling, as the family needs help and cannot pay school expense. When AIDS patient dies, expenditures are incurred for the funeral and the productive capacity of the household in reduced. In addition, the toll of HIV and AIDS on households can be very severe. Although no part of the population is unaffected by HIV, it is often the poorest sectors of society that are most vulnerable to the epidemic and for whom the consequences are most severe.

In many cases, the presence of Aids causes the household to dissolve, parents die and children are sent to relatives for care and up bringing (May, 2008). Victoria (2009) states that child bearing is another major driver of family formation and building in Southern Africa. Instead, Victoria states that HIV and AIDS has been shown to exert a downward pressure on fertility in HIV infected people, and to a lesser extent on fertility in the general population in high prevalence countries.

In HIV infected people, many factors have been shown to contribute to reduced fertility including biological effects on the fecuadity of HIV infected women and the indirect effects of reductions in sexual activity and new partners, a desire to avoid subsequent pregnancies, the use of condoms to prevent HIV transmission and the negative impact of HIV and AIDS on the quality and stability of relationships. Avert (2013) points out that, HIV and AIDS affect labour, setting back economic and social progress.

AIDS damages businesses by squeezing productivity, adding costs, diverting productive resources, and depleting skills. Company costs for health care, funeral benefits and pension fund commitments are likely to rise as the number of people taking early retirement or dying increases. Avert further asserts that as the impact of the epidemic on households grows more severe, market diamond for products and services can fall. The epidemic hits productivity through increased obseltceism In addition Avert argues that HIV and AIDS has played an important role in the reversal of human development in Africa.

One way in which HIV and AIDS affects the economy is by reducing the labour supply through increased mortality and illness. Amongst those who are able to work, productivity is likely to decline as a result of HIV related illness. Government income also declines, as tax revenues fall and governments are pressured to increase their spending to deal with the expanding HIV epidemic. Revenues drop because of the declining productivity in the economy. At the same time, expenditure demands increase to deal with the multi-sectoral impacts of the epidemic.

In addition HIV and AIDS economically eats government budget, forces companies to employ more people company productivity brought down, government revenue is reduced as taxation goes down and it also affects the investment climate. The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare (2004) also asserts that, one of the most serious consequences of the HIV and Aids epidemic is the rapid increase in the number of orphans has risen dramatically in the country, largely as a consequence of the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

In addition, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare assert that the need to provide care and support for the large number of orphans is placing considerable strain on social systems. At the family level, the extended family, which has the traditional responsibility to care for orphans, is under ever increasing pressures. Many grandparents are being left to care for young children. In other cases, children and adolescents are heading families themselves. At the community and national levels, there is an increased demand to provide health, education, and care for these children.

Many (2003) argues that, in many countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, Aids is erasing decades of progress in extending life expectancy. In the worst affected countries, average life expectancy has fallen by twenty years because of the epidemic. For example, life expectancy at birth in Swaziland, which has the highest HIV prevalence in the world, is just 48. 7 years. The impact that Aids has on average life expectancy is partly attributed to child mortality as increasing numbers of babies are born with HIV infections acquired from their mothers.

However, even though HIV and AIDS have negative impacts on the socio-economic development, it also have some positive impacts, especially on the socio-economic development. The prolife ration of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Africa, which include the Sub-Saharan Africa created employment for many people. Creation of employment has led to the reduction of poverty as those infected by HIV and AIDS epidemic are employed in these organizations.

The infected and affected are also given food and this has reduced poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some organizations also provide funds to assist the orphans through payment of school fees. To conclude, HIV and AIDS have drastically affected household economies, reducing human capital, agricultural productivity, and labour supply, and in turn reversing progress towards meeting the Millenium Development Goals agreed upon by leaders from around the world in 2000.

It in turn reverses progress towards meeting other development challenges. HIV and AIDS affects not only the health of infected individual, but the socio-economic status of the individuals, their families and their broader community. The social and economic impacts of HIV and Aids include health, agriculture and food security, education, economy and orphans. To a lesser extent, HIV and AIDS has contributed to the creation of employment through the proliferation of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

Cite this Hiv and Aids in Sub-Saharan Africa

Hiv and Aids in Sub-Saharan Africa. (2016, Oct 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/hiv-and-aids-in-sub-saharan-africa/

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