NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ Examines Disruption of Family Relationships in Uganda Because of HIV/AIDS
HIV/AIDS has disrupted family relationships in Uganda, where more than 100,000 residents -- many of them young adults -- died each year from AIDS-related complications in the 1990s, according to government statistics, NPR's "All Things Considered" reports. According to Deborah Kaijuka, CEO of the Uganda Reach the Aged Association, the traditional Ugandan extended family structure "really did work and it did hold people responsible to take care of the less fortunate members of the family," but HIV/AIDS has "undermined the usual social safety net." Kaijuka said that, although it was unusual 30 years ago for elderly residents to live alone or with a group of small children, it is now a common occurrence, in part because of HIV/AIDS, which often causes the deaths of many of the most productive members of those extended families. "For a lot of people in Africa, their insurance is their children," Kaijuka said, adding that it is "assumed" that once Ugandans raise their children, they will be able to relax and watch the lives of their children and grandchildren, a situation that "hasn't happened" for many older Ugandan residents. The NPR segment also profiles Mary Namutebbe and some of her neighbors. Namutebbe is raising her grandchildren in a slum outside the Ugandan capital city of Kampala because all 14 of her children have died, some from HIV/AIDS-related causes, and her neighbors also are caring for grandchildren who have lost one or both parents to AIDS-related illnesses (Beaubien, "All Things Considered," NPR, 1/3).
The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.