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6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

The Mobile Screening Unit – by Khelly Manou de Mahoungou

Through "The Mobile Screening Unit", the photographer Khelly Manou de Mahoungou presents the celebration of the World AIDS Day in Congo Brazzaville. The mobile screening unit represents one of the actions put in place to achieve Goal 6, as it serves to diagnose people living with HIV.

The fight against AIDS relates to one of the Millennium Development Goals. Today, nearly 8 million people worldwide live with the AIDS virus (HIV), and need intensive antiretroviral therapy (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy - HAART) to survive. On 1st December every year, World AIDS Day is celebrated. In this global mobilisation against AIDS, the Republic of Congo, a country of around 4 million people, has not remained on the side lines, having implicitly decided to pursue its policy through a mobile, voluntary and anonymous health screening policy initiated by the National Council for the Fight Against HIV/AIDS (CNLS).

Born in Brazzaville, where she still lives and works, Khelly Manu de Mahoungou is a trained communications expert and a member of the "Elili generation” group. After attending the workshop "A Photographic Walk" by Baudouin Mouanda in December 2009, she decided to devote herself to social issues and documentary photography. She now works on issues such as nutrition in Congo, and the behaviour of citizens, including their relationships with each other and with the environment. It is a sociological approach that she would like to export to other continents. Her work on the phenomenon of “coupé-coupé” – cheap meat – in Brazzaville, is a testimony to this process.

Health and Vaccinations in Congo - Text and Photos by Baudouin Mouanda

 

In his work, Congolese photographer Baudouin Mouanda examines ongoing political developments in the Republic of Congo. In October 2012, the introduction – as part of a preventative campaign – of the pneumococcal vaccine proved to be a very important development in terms of combating and eradicating diseases such as pneumonia.

In its 2011 report, the UN noted that Africa had seen great progress in terms of health and education, but pointed out that there is still an urgent need for further progress in the fields of maternal and child mortality.

The Republic of Congo has taken ​​a big step forward in terms of safeguarding the health of children, through the introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against the major causes of pneumonia.

The announcement was made after an official ceremony at the Marien Ngoubi Health Centre in Brazzaville, during which the First Lady of the Republic of Congo, Madame Antoinette Sassou Nguesso, and the minister of health and population, François Ibovi, vaccinated a child in front of 200 Congolese mothers.

“In this year of health, as decreed by the President of the Republic, the introduction of this new vaccine is further proof of the government’s determination to guarantee the welfare of the people, and especially that of children, to enhance the future of the nation, and to make Congo stronger and healthier”, said François Ibovi, the minister of health.

About the author: Baudouin Mouanda (1981) is a Congolese photographer and member of the Generation Elili Collective and Afrique in Visu. He made his photographic debut in 1993. He soon began to write for local newspapers about the lives of residents of Brazzaville, breaking away from conformity and focusing particularly on the ongoing wars in the Congo, as also witnessed in his work The After-Effects of War. In 2007, he received training in Paris at the CFPJ (Centre for Journalistic Training and Improvement), where he produced a piece on the Congolese community in Paris and its suburbs entitled The Sapologie. He continued with his work in 2008 in Brazzaville. In 2009-2010, he presented his work at the exhibition “The Art of Being a Man” at the Dapper Museum in Paris, and then at the African Photography Encounters in Bamako, where he received the Young Talent Award, as well as another award from the Blanchere Foundation. He also spent three months in Libreville, Gabon (Visa pour la creation) developing his piece Hip-Hop and Society, and following the country’s presidential elections. Baudouin Mouanda’s work is published regularly in Africa in publications such as Jeune Afrique, VSD, L'Express Style and Planète Jeunes. His work is featured in a number of collections in France and abroad. 

 

Combating AIDS in Burkina Faso: The Government Allocates 1 Billion FCFA, by Raphael Kafando - Presentation by Kpénahi Traore

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HIV/AIDS, described as ‘the disease of the century’, has done huge damage on the African continent for decades and continues to claim numerous victims. The issue of how to combat HIV/AIDS has become a matter for the state in Burkina Faso, to the extent that the country requested the creation of a National Committee to Combat AIDS (CNLS), the name of which has evolved over time. This committee receives financial support from international partners and from the Government of Burkina Faso.

The article by Raphael Kafando, entitled "Combating AIDS in Burkina Faso: The Government Allocates 1 billion FCFA", discusses the efforts made by the Government of Burkina Faso to combat the AIDS pandemic and the creation of the National Council to Combat AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (CNLS/IST) – initially founded, in 1990, as the National Committee for the Fight Against AIDS (CNL-AIDS).

A special budget is allocated to this committee annually to allow it to function properly and perform its mission, namely to "stop and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS" and “achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it” – two sub-targets of Millennium Development Goal 6.

Much progress has been made since the initial launch of CNLS/IST, including an increase in the number of people being treated with ARVs and a decrease in the national incidence of the disease, which fell from 7.17% in 1997 to 1.6% in 2008 (UNAIDS). The monthly cost of treatment, which is already subsidised, fell from 5000 to 1500 CFA to becoming completely free in January 2010. The percentage of patients treated with ARV drugs increased from 24.7% in 2005 to 47% in 2009. The risk facing CNLS/IST lies in the mismanagement of funds, which are in danger of not reaching those who need them the most. In 2012, for example, there was a shortage of ARV drugs for people living with AIDS in Burkina Faso, and some were not able to access any treatment whatsoever.

Download Combating AIDS in Burkina Faso: The Government Allocates 1 Billion FCFA

Source: the online newspaper Sidwaya

 


 

Amor Seguro (Safe Love) by Agostinho Santos - Abstract by Mara Caela

 

It is well worth watching the video by Agostinho Santos, which illustrates a very African way of addressing the serious problems affecting African communities. This method, which is still used today to communicate various messages, has its roots in the most important aspects of African tradition: singing and dancing, accompanied by the use of language that involves the entire population in a crescendo of contagious emotion: from the youngest to the oldest members of any village. This is the way in which messages are sure to be communicated.

Download the abstract of Amor seguro (Safe love).

 

"HIV/AIDS and the Health-related Millennium Development Goals: The Experience in Ethiopia" by Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ministry of Health – Summary by Abdallah Katunzi

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This report is critical as it documents progress and challenges on the implementation of health-related MDGs (4,5 and 6) in Ethiopia. This is a reference report for someone who wants to understand how Ethiopia fairs as far as health-related MDGs are concerned.

Download "HIV/AIDS and the Health-related Millennium Development Goals: The Experience in Ethiopia"

Download the abstract of "HIV/AIDS and the Health-related Millennium Development Goals: The Experience in Ethiopia"

Gbich! AIDS is Real - Breaking the Chain of Transmission, Together (Presented by Eyoum Ngangué)

Target 6.A Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.

These images come from the weekly publication Gbich!, published in Ivory Coast (Issue 630, 1st – 7/12/2011). For World AIDS Day, with the support of UNAIDS (the UN Programme on HIV/AIDS), cartoonists from Gbich! off ered 4 free extra pages, which in a light-hearted tone addressed a range of issues relating to MDG 6. The project represents an illustrative example of the many initiatives set up by African artists and communication professionals in support of MDG 6.

The four pages of comics, and the twelve drawings they contain, were created by Zohoré Lassane, Simplice Illary, Bléhiri Serge Alex, Yoboué Ambrose, Ben Sylla, Seray, Mozou and Raiz Kof. Each one focuses on a diff erent aspect of the fi ght against AIDS, including the importance of demystifying the disease and illustrating that people living with HIV are just the same as everybody else, the progress made in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, the need for ongoing caution through condom use or abstinence in risky relationships, the need for open dialogue between generations, and the need for careful observation of the medical care received by those undergoing treatment.

The report seeks to portray a message which counteracts the stigmatisation of people living with HIV and the many false beliefs that persist despite years of campaigning (for example, the way in which the disease spreads and to a belief in the power of amulets as an eff ective means of protection). The use of cartoons allows the message to be conveyed to large audiences, particularly to those with low levels of literacy and those who tend not to read material relating to contemporary political and social aff airs.

Gbich! was founded in 1999 by the designers Zohoré Lassane and Illary Simplice and the journalist Bledson Bathieu, with funding provided by Adrien Bonne. Published every week in Abidjan, Gbich! represents a barometer of the social scene in Ivory Coast. The articles address topics of relevance to the daily lives of their readers, and track the adventures of its now much-loved characters, including the unlucky businessman, Cauphy Gombo (whose motto is "No pity in bizness"); the unfortunate student, Tommy Lapoasse; the elegant and lazy charmer, Joʼ Bleck; the pleasant and witty schoolboy, Papou; the muscular troublemaker, Gnamankoundji Zekinan ("He loves to fi ght"); and Police Sergeant Deutogo, who can be corrupted with just a few pennies.

"Misplaced Priorities" by Alfred Muchilwa - Kenya

6.B Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.

 

 

Misplaced Priorities, by Alfred Muchilwa (from Kenya), criticises the paradoxes inherent in the priorities of the international scientifi c community. The right to life and above all the desire to “save lives” does not seem to be the main priority. This criticism is closely related to MDG 6, to “combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases”. Indeed, the diseases which are most widespread beyond the industrialised West are not treated as priorities. It is almost as though human life is assigned a diff erent value depending on where in the world it is found.

Mozambique Achieves the MDGs on Education but Fails on Health by Costança de Pina

 

Mozambique currently aims to achieve three of the Millennium Development Goals, and confirms that it also has the ability to reach the others. But in terms of reducing maternal mortality and ensuring access to treatment for AIDS, it admits that it is failing. In a report prepared for the Summit held in New York in September 2010 to review progress toward the MDGs, the President of Mozambique, Armando Guebuza confirmed that the country "had made important steps towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals". As an example, he cited the field of education, in which the "consolidated growth in access to primary education" witnessed in the country have led to it being held up by the UN as a story of success (81% of school-age children now regularly attend school).

Download the article "Mozambique Achieves the MDGs on Education but Fails on Health"

I am Part of the Fight against AIDS by AA.VV.

Target 6.A Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS


 

The testimonies of five young men and women to the fight against HIV published in the journal Planète Jeunes provide an example of an initiative set up by young Africans to achieve MDG 6, to "combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases." 

Download the full article I am Part of the Fight against AIDS