Impact Of HIV/AIDS On Education In Africa

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- The ravages of HIV/AIDS in schools took centre stage as the conference on education in Africa got underway in Nairobi Tuesday, with many participants highlighting the pervasive impact of the disease on education.
A Kenyan report said about 750 people in the country die of HIV/AIDS and related diseases each day.
This translates to about 31 lives lost every hour, the Permanent Secretary in the Education Ministry, Prof.
Japheth Kiptoon, told more than 200 delegates attending the conference.
According to Kiptoon, the daily death toll includes an 18 teachers.
He said epidemiological surveys show prevalence rates among female and male members of the population of 29 million to be 13.
5 percent and 14.
5 percent respectively.
Most of the affected fall within the age range of 10-24 years while people in the 25-39 age brackets are also at great risk, he said.
Currently, Kenya has 1.
3 million AIDS orphans.
HIV/AIDS was first diagnosed in Kenya in 1984.
It was not until 1999 when President Daniel arap Moi declared the pandemic a "National Disaster" that spirited and co-ordinated campaigns were launched to contain the disease.
Elsewhere, Dr.
Henry Kaluba of the Commonwealth Secretariat cited country papers which showed that some of sub-Saharan countries were losing hundreds of teachers every year.
Zambia in 1988 indicated that 1,331 teachers died as a result of AIDS and related illnesses with recent surveys showing an HIV prevalence rate of up to 40 percent among teachers.
Malawi in 1999 said 10 percent of the teaching force died of HIV/AIDS and related diseases while Namibia, with only 17,085 teachers has a prevalence rate of 20 percent.
It is estimated that Namibia would lose 3,000 teachers to the disease in the next 7-10 years.
Kaluba quoted a report from Swaziland saying "the ministry will have to continually train twice the number of teachers currently being trained for the next 12 years".
A Uganda country paper asserts that "girls in the age bracket 14-19 are six times more infected than boys".
Kaluba highlighted the cost on education budgets, citing Zimbabwe that would soon have to be channelling 60 percent of its budget on education toward HIV/AIDS-related illnesses.
On its part, the World Bank estimates that AIDS will reduce real GDP growth in Tanzania from 3.
9 percent to between 2.
8 and 3.
3 percent during 1985-2010.
However, Uganda is known to have made considerable efforts to contain AIDS through multi-pronged approaches led by the education system.
The conference has been organised by the World Bank-funded Association for the Development of Education in Africa in cooperation with the Commonwealth Secretariat.

28 august 2001 19:50:00

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