Aids in Africa: Due to Corona before the Comeback?

Simply Gilbert was not Tenes Job in front of Corona. Now, the Aids doctor from Cameroon, has it even harder: "people no longer want to come to the hospital,"

Aids in Africa: Due to Corona before the Comeback?

Simply Gilbert was not Tenes Job in front of Corona. Now, the Aids doctor from Cameroon, has it even harder: "people no longer want to come to the hospital," he says in a DW Interview. More than half of people Infected with HIV who are in treatment, not out of fear of Corona to the regular check-UPS. "We can give no more medicine, you will no longer give advice, no tips on how they can protect themselves," says Tene.

With medications can life HIV-Infected, sometimes for decades without getting Aids. However, without threatening dire consequences. Tenes South African colleague Zolelwa Sifumba sees this every day: "Many people no longer come to the controls. If you come, it's too late and you die," says Sifumba, which takes care of Infected in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, HIV -.

progress is in danger

This had improved the situation in Eastern and southern Africa in recent years. The Region has long been regarded as a global epicenter, but this is over. In 2018, the UN Organisation, UNAIDS reported that new HIV infections had fallen within a period of six years by a third. The deaths have decreased by more than 40 percent. In contrast to many other regions of the world, so that Aids will not be eradicated as planned by 2030. "The COVID epidemic pushes us even further from our goals," says Winnie Byanyima, Director of the UN Organisation UNAIDS.

How far, the experts have calculated that the effects of the Corona pandemic could infect the world, more than 290,000 people in addition, and of 148,000 people to the consequences of HIV infection, and death.

Not only because HIV-Infected afraid of hospitals. "Data show that violence against women and girls is increased, while the schools were closed. Sexual violence, especially in Africa, one of the main causes of new infections," says Byanyima. Also, fewer people are testing for HIV, since the Corona pandemic has broken out. Also Pregnant Women. So the risk they will infect their unborn babies.

Doctors in the alarm condition

at the same time Corona sets African health systems under pressure. Even before the start of the pandemic, many countries had too few Doctors and nurses. The need to treat not only HIV-Infected and Aids patients, but also Corona cases. And float, even in the highest risk: "By a lack of measures for the prevention of infections and lack of protective equipment, many employees are infected in the health care and die, whereby the defect is getting bigger and bigger," says the South African Doctor Sifumba.

in Africa, Aids activists fear another consequence of the Corona pandemic. "We get less financial support," says Awa Fany, who works in the HIV program of the southern Baptist Church of Cameroon, to the DW. "The donors focus more on COVID-19. We ask ourselves how we can use our resources so that we can take care of both HIV-positive children and to Corona-patients."

When money is tight

The Problem is not only the Baptist Church of Cameroon has not. Also, the global Fund to fight Aids, tuberculosis and Malaria is alarmed. The Fund, in 2002 as a partnership between governments, companies and international organizations established in, provides some 20 percent of all funds in the fight against the Aids pandemic. Since this year the Fund is supporting its partner countries in the fight against Corona.

Difficult it would be but, if Corona is developed to a similar protracted threat, such as Aids. "My nightmare scenario is that the global Fund will also be [in the future] for the COVID in charge, but with the same Budget as it is today. This would mean that we are making in the fight against all four diseases less progress and more people are going to die," says Fund Director Peter Sands.

So the Ball is in the governments. The development of political organization, ONE appreciates the more demand to around 5 billion US dollars (about 4.1 billion Euro), the impact of the Corona-pandemic on the fight against Aids to weaken. But governments around the world see the economic consequences of the pandemic and the growing public debt to face. If you can spend more money for the fight against Aids is far from secure.

employees: Moki Kindzeka (Cameroon)

author: Daniel Pelz

*The article "Aids in Africa: Due to Corona before the Comeback?" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 30 November 2020, 22:26

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