Category: "Health"

Jolie to build AIDS clinic in Ethiopia

August 7th, 2008

Jolie to build AIDS clinic in Ethiopia

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie is planning to build an AIDS clinic in Ethiopia for her daughter Zahara to manage when she grows up.

Jolie will make a trip to her adopted daughter's native country to discuss building the clinic as part of the work of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, a charity she set up with her partner Brad Pitt in 2006 for humanitarian aid around the world.

"We will be building a Tuberculosis/AIDS clinic in Ethiopia. The one we plan for Zahara to take over when she is older," Jolie told Britain's Hello magazine.

Jolie also hopes to take son Maddox to his native place Cambodia as part of a separate charity trip that the family is planning once newborn twins Knox and Vivienne Marcheline grow up a little.

"The next trip for our foundation will most likely be Asia to follow up on the situation in Burma and our work in Cambodia. The boys have been asking to go there, so we will take them when Knox and Vivienne are a bit older," she added.

Insecticide-treated bednets save lives in Ethiopia

August 5th, 2008

Insecticide-treated bednets save lives in Ethiopia

By Indrias Getachew

UNICEF

SHEBEDINO, Ethiopia, 5 August 2008
– The rainy season is well underway in much of Ethiopia, but while the rains bring hope to rural communities, they also create ideal breeding conditions for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Mulunesh Musse stands with her husband and their four sons in front of the new insecticide-treated bednet that they received from health extension workers Photo unicef/tibebu

Over twenty million insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) have been distributed to more than ten million households in malaria-prone areas of Ethiopia since 2005. The nets have only a three-year lifespan, however, so those that were distributed early in the campaign now need replacement.

Mulunesh Musse shares one such treated bednet with her four children in Shebedino District. The bednet is now ripped along one side and has a gaping hole in front, so it no longer fully protects her and her family from malaria.

Female health workers

Medhanit Tilahun and Bezunesh Bekele are two of more than 24,000 female Health Extension Workers deployed at the village level to bring preventative health care to rural communities.

They are part of a major pillar in Ethiopia’s strategy to control and eradicate malaria. The workers go door-to-door, inspecting protective bed-nets and educating the community.

Villagers from outlying parts of Sedeka Village in Shebedino District, line up to receive insecticide-treated nets at the village health post. Photo unicef/Tibebu

Ms. Tilahun and Ms. Bekele help Ms. Musse take down the ragged net hanging over the bed she shares with her four children. They replace it with a brand new one.

“When I started working, a lot of people in this community were sick with malaria,” said Ms. Tilahun. “You would find two or three members of the same family sick at the same time. There were times when we buried two or three persons who had died from malaria in one day.”

The female health workers form the core of the ambitious Health Extension Programme launched in 2005 by the Federal Ministry of Health and supported by UNICEF.

“I am very happy with what we have accomplished,” said Ms. Tilahun. “First, I have protected myself from getting sick. I use myself as an example to teach others to transform their lives.”

Preventing a lethal combination

Drought-related malnutrition can leave a weak immune system open to attack from malaria. It can also worsen the effects of existing malnutrition through diarrhoea and anaemia.

“If a malnourished child catches malaria it is prone to complications and has a higher risk of dying,” says UNICEF Ehtiopia's Health Project Officer Dr. Tersit Assefa. “We are distributing insecticide-treated bednets there because there are a large number of children who are malnourished.”

To prevent the lethal combination of malaria and malnutrition,140,000 ITNs, purchased with funds donated to UNICEF by the Government of Japan, are being distributed in drought-affected districts. There have been no major outbreaks of epidemic malaria since the campaign began.

The campaign is supported by UNICEF, the Global Fund, World Bank, donors like CIDA and the Government of Japan.

Ban on travelers with HIV to U.S. partly lifted

July 31st, 2008

Ban on travelers with HIV to U.S. partly lifted

President Bush signs a measure that repeals the congressional restriction, but the Department of Health and Human Services still lists the virus among diseases barring entry

WASHINGTON --
President Bush signed a sweeping measure Wednesday that provides $48 billion to combat AIDS and other diseases globally and that also ends a long-standing U.S. ban on foreign visitors and immigrants who are HIV-positive.

The travel ban, approved in 1993, was seen by opponents as an anachronism from a period of hysteria surrounding gays. Its repeal, however, does not remove all U.S. travel impediments.



More LA Times

Ethiopia making progress in battle against AIDS

July 30th, 2008

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • National adult HIV prevalence in Ethiopia is estimated to be 1.4%
  • Gambela has the highest HIV/AIDS infection rate (6%) in followed by Addis Ababa (4.7%)
  • HIV prevalence is at least five times higher in urban than in rural areas
  • Ethiopians acquiring HIV (an estimated 350 per day in 2005)
  • Dying of AIDS-related illness (370 per day in 2005)
  • small proportions of adult Ethiopians engage in risky sexual behaviours
  • In the 2005 survey, only about 3% of adult women and 7% of adult men said they had had sexual intercourse with a non-cohabiting partner in the previous year
  • About one in four (24%) of those women and one in two (52%) of those men said they had used a condom the last time they
    had sex with a non-regular partner


The following is an excerpt from UNAIDS report on Ethiopia.


Source: UNAIDS

Until recently, understanding of the HIV epidemic in Ethiopia has been limited by the reliance on HIV information collected at antenatal clinics, which are used by a minority
of pregnant women (about one in four pregnant women receive care at antenatal clinics) (Central Statistical Agency Ethiopia & ORC Macro, 2006). Recent, additional information derived from a national population-based survey and other HIV surveys has enabled a more complete picture to be drawn. The 2005 Demographic and Health Survey estimated national adult HIV prevalence to be 1.4%, with infection levels highest in the regions of Gambela (6%) and Addis Ababa (4.7%) (Central Statistical Agency Ethiopia & ORC Macro, 2006). Both antenatal clinic data and population-based survey data indicate that HIV prevalence is at least five times higher in urban than in rural areas (Federal Ministry of Health Ethiopia, 2006; Central Statistical Agency Ethiopia & ORC Macro, 2006). Indeed, the epidemic shows great variation, with infection levels observed among pregnant women at some surveillance sites in 2003 up to 40 times higher than those observed at others—HIV prevalence ranged from 0.5% in rural Aira to 20% in urban Bahir Dar (Hladik et al., 2006).

Overall, the country’s epidemic appears to be stable, with roughly equal numbers of Ethiopians acquiring HIV (an estimated 350 per day in 2005) and dying of AIDS-related illness (370 per day in 2005), according to recent modelling.

Ethiopia’s epidemic stabilized in urban areas in 1996–2000, after which HIV infection levels
declined slowly, notably in parts of the capital, Addis Ababa. In rural Ethiopia, where the
majority of the population resides, the epidemic has remained relatively stable since HIV prevalence peaked in 1999–2001 (Federal Ministry of Health Ethiopia, 2006).

Knowledge about HIV and AIDS remains relatively poor. Only 16% of adult women and
29% of adult men (and 21% and 33% of 15–24 year-old females and males, respectively) could
demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of AIDS when surveyed in 2005.4 However, it appears
that small proportions of adult Ethiopians engage in risky sexual behaviours. In the 2005
survey, only about 3% of adult women and 7% of adult men said they had had sexual intercourse with a non-cohabiting partner in the previous year. About one in four (24%) of those women and one in two (52%) of those men said they had used a condom the last time they
had sex with a non-regular partner (Central Statistical Agency Ethiopia & ORC Macro, 2006).

North of Ethiopia, in neighbouring Eritrea, approximately 2.4% of women seeking antenatal
care were found to be HIV-positive when tested in 2005—the same prevalence as that found
among antenatal clinic attendees in 2003. HIV infection levels in 2005 were highest in urban
areas (3% versus 0.9% in rural areas), and ranged from as high as 7.4% in the port city of Assab (in the far south) to 4.2% in the capital (Asmara) and 3.3% in Massawa, another port city. The epidemic appears to be most serious in the Southern Red Sea Zone, where about 6% of antenatal clinic attendees tested HIV-positive in 2005 (Ministry of Health Eritrea, 2006).

Ethiopia - Azeb Mesfin calls for enhanced anti HIV/AIDS intervention activities

July 27th, 2008

Ethiopia - Azeb Mesfin calls for enhanced anti HIV/AIDS intervention activities

Source: ENA

Azeb Mesfin, wife of Ethiopia's Prime Minister, underscored the need to strengthen the fight against HIV/AIDS in order to realize the renascence of Ethiopia in the new millennium.

Azeb said on-going efforts geared toward prevention and control of HIV/AIDS shall be intensified to ensure rapid and sustainable development across the nation.

Azeb, who is also board chairperson of the National Coalition for Women against HIV/AIDS, made the statement on Saturday while addressing a relevant panel discussion held in Wolkite town of the South Ethiopia peoples’ State.

Especially, she said, efforts shall be enhanced to protect women and children from the fast-spreading pandemic.

She said all stakeholders shall play their level best in containing the spread of the pandemic since ensuring overall development hinges on creating healthy and responsible citizens.

Head of the regional HIV/AIDS prevention and control office, Amarech Agdew said on her part over 16,000 mothers in the region have the virus in their blood.

The regional government has been striving to reduce mothers and child mortality rate, he said, adding encouraging results have been obtained in the health sector.

Deputy Chief of the regional government, Tadesse Chafo said the regional government has been undertaking multifaceted activities in order to ensure successive economic growth across the nation.

The Gurage people made an exemplary decision - banning marriage without undergoing voluntary blood testing and counseling, he said.

The daylong panel discussion attracted religious leaders, elders, women, youth, and representatives of civic associations.