HIV/AIDS, Food Shortages Undermining Development in Africa, Opinion Piece Says
The "deadly combination" of HIV/AIDS and food shortages in Southern Africa is "tearing through" the region's social systems and infrastructures and "cruelly reversing the remarkable gains of the post-apartheid era," South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. Africa's "sea of problems" cannot be blamed on conflict or corrupt governance alone because "grinding poverty" leaves half of the continent to live on less than $1 a day and the "lethal overlay" of the HIV/AIDS pandemic kills approximately two million Africans annually, according to Tutu. In addition, about 40 million children are "kept out of school by poverty," chronic malnutrition "stunts up to half of all children" on the continent and one in five children over the next five years will lose one or both parents to HIV/AIDS in some regions, Tutu writes. However, HIV/AIDS is not the first "seemingly implacable foe Africans have faced," Tutu says, adding that the continent can "conquer this latest plague" with "leadership and determination." To be successful, Africa must "muster the spiritual strength and vigor of the American civil rights movement and South Africa's anti-apartheid movement," according to Tutu. He adds, "We know we can count on our friends -- beyond Africa -- to heed our call to action. And we shall be there as partners" (Tutu, Washington Post, 8/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.