Kenyan Program Helps Women Become Financially Independent Through Product Sales to HIV-Positive People
A Kenyan program operated by the Society for Women and AIDS in Kenya is helping women in the country become financially independent by equipping them to sell specialty items for HIV-positive people, such as products to treat skin infections and diarrhea, APM's "Marketplace Morning Report" reported on Friday. In some areas of Kenya, women account for 75% of all HIV cases, APM reports. The rural African tradition of wife "inheritance" -- in which the brother of a deceased man inherits his widow -- contributes to a growing number of HIV cases because HIV-positive women could infect their new husbands or HIV-negative women might be inherited by HIV-positive men, according to APM. SWAK created the sales program because few widows possess the education or job skills to support themselves. SWAK purchases products in bulk in conjunction with international not-for-profit organizations, sells the items at wholesale prices to local female distributors and allows women to keep the profits. Although the SWAK sales model only has "taken root" in Kenya's Nyanza province, the organization plans to begin the program nationwide, APM reports (Whitney, "Marketplace Morning Report," APM, 11/5). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.