HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria Could Destabilize Kenya’s Social, Economic Sectors, Report Says
The prevalence of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Kenya could destabilize the country's social and economic sectors, according to the recently released Kenya National Human Development Report 2006, Kenya's Nation reports. "The limited amount of resources spent on HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB intervention programs constrain the quality and range of social services -- including education, health care, law and order, water and sanitation -- which are often seen as basic rights and essentials for human development," the report says. It adds that the three diseases "erode society's capabilities to realizing anticipated development since these diseases divert resources towards emergency health care provision, away from training and growth opportunities." According to the report, as more children contract the diseases or lose their parents to them, there will be fewer students to enroll in schools. The report also says that HIV prevalence is higher in more impoverished regions of the country, highlighting the "likely effect of HIV/AIDS on human capabilities and human development in the most affected regions." According to the report, 75% of all police deaths in 1999 were because of AIDS-related complications, which increases the potential for crime as police capacity to address crime is reduced. Malaria, which accounts for roughly 5% of deaths nationwide and 30% of outpatient hospital visits, also has a "sporadic and yet devastating" effect on Kenya's highland areas, the report says. In addition, there were roughly 200,000 cases of active TB in Kenya in 2005, but only 50% of cases were covered by the TB control program, raising concern that the number of TB cases could be higher, according to the report (Mwaniki, Nation, 2/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.