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AFRICA: IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 324, 02 March 2007

JOHANNESBURG, 2 March 2007 (PlusNews) - NEWS

GAMBIA: UN rep expelled after comment on president’s AIDS cure
SWAZILAND: Home-based care system expanding
KENYA: Circumcision demand increases, but guidance crucial
UGANDA: Squalid camps provide ARV lifeline
RWANDA: Handling HIV/AIDS in an active army
SOMALIA-KENYA: Making headway with the HIV message in refugee camps
MOZAMBIQUE: Tropical cyclone Favio sparks concerns about ARVs
SWAZILAND: Community gardens flourish to feed the vulnerable
KENYA: No glove, no love - young women take charge of condom use


1. Publication: IAVI Report


1. Provincial HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Scale-up Coordinator - Mozambique


GAMBIA: UN rep expelled after comment on president’s AIDS cure

The government of The Gambia gave the most senior United Nations official in the country 48 hours to leave the country starting Friday, following remarks she made criticising Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s widely-publicised cure for HIV/AIDS.

Dadzai Gwardzimba, UN Resident Coordinator in the capital Banjul, is due to travel to New York, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

More details:

SWAZILAND: Home-based care system expanding

Home-based care in Swaziland is increasingly being relied on to compensate for the inadequacies of a public health system buckling under the weight of the country's HIV/AIDS pandemic.

UNAIDS estimates the national HIV infection rate of people aged 15 to 49 at 33.4 percent, the highest in the world, a demoralising environment that has led to nurses migrating to other countries in search of better salaries and working conditions.

The strain placed on the country's resources by HIV/AIDS has resulted in the public health service failing to care for the elderly, especially in the rural areas, and it is a gap being increasingly filled by volunteers within the home-based care network.

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KENYA: Circumcision demand increases, but guidance crucial

Requests for male circumcision have tripled in western Kenya since studies found the procedure reduces the risk of contracting HIV by more than half.

The people of Nyanza Province do not traditionally practice circumcision. But Dr Reuben Okioma, a physician at New Nyanza Provincial District Hospital told PlusNews there had been a three-fold increase in requests for the procedure since the study results were released in December 2006.

"The results of this study are definitely challenging the traditional views of the community," he said.

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UGANDA: Squalid camps provide ARV lifeline

If currently stalled peace talks to end 20 years of fighting between rebels and the government in northern Uganda succeed, 1.2 million displaced people will be on their way home; good news for those desperate to rebuild their lives, a new challenge for the authorities struggling to provide treatment to those living with HIV.

Camp life might be squalid and cramped, but the camps and nearby towns in this desperately poor region offer greater access to health facilities, which is crucial to the success of intense drug regimes like antiretroviral (ARV) therapy.

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RWANDA: Handling HIV/AIDS in an active army

Rwanda's small but potent army has been active beyond its borders in recent years, fighting in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and peacekeeping in Sudan's Darfur region.

Originally based on a guerrilla force formed by exiles in Uganda, it marched into Rwanda in 1990. Four years later it had battled its way into the capital, Kigali, ending a campaign of genocide launched by a Rwandan interim government aimed at the minority Tutsi population and moderate Hutus.

In a region with a relatively high HIV prevalence, the military has trained its soldiers in AIDS prevention for more than a decade as part of a broader response to national security.

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SOMALIA-KENYA: Making headway with the HIV message in refugee camps

HIV/AIDS awareness messages are falling on fertile ground in Dadaab refugee camp, in northeastern Kenya, where more than 140,000 Somalis who have fled insecurity in their home country have found a safe haven.

"Many people have acknowledged the facts on the ground - the awareness level of the people has changed a lot," said Shukri Santur Harun, a reproductive health and HIV/AIDS supervisor at a voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) centre in Dadaab, run by the National Council of Churches of Kenya(NCCK).

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MOZAMBIQUE: Tropical cyclone Favio sparks concerns about ARVs

A week after tropical cyclone Favio hit Mozambique's eastern province of Inhambane, concerns are rising about how HIV-positive people in the area will access life-prolonging anti-AIDS medication.

Favio struck the central town of Vilankulos, in Vilankulos District, reportedly ripping through rooftops, uprooting trees and destroying Vilankulos Rural Hospital, the only one equipped to treat people living with HIV in the surrounding districts of Mabote, Govuro and Inhassoro.

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SWAZILAND: Community gardens flourish to feed the vulnerable

NGOs in Swaziland are shifting the emphasis of their operations from handouts of donated foodstuffs to training households and communities to set up projects that produce food and generate income, to find a lasting solution to perennial food shortages.

"Year after year the food crisis continues, with no end in sight. Before donor fatigue sets in, we need to encourage people to take control of their own food security," said Chris Dlamini, public relations officer for the Baphalali Red Cross Society.

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KENYA: No glove, no love - young women take charge of condom use

Kenyan women are taking control of their sex lives, with recent research showing that more than 70 percent of young women use condoms to prevent pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.

In a departure from the traditionally passive role of women in sexual matters, an increasing number of young women were now insisting on "no condom, no sex" to lower the risk of infection, according to a study conducted by research group Infotrak Research & Consulting, in conjunction with a local young women's magazine, 'Eve Girl'.

More details:


1. Publication: IAVI Report - VAX 5(1), January 2007

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) has released its annual publication listing all AIDS vaccine clinical trial activity worldwide.

Thirteen new preventive AIDS vaccine trials were initiated in eight countries around the world in 2006, including in Zambia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. There were all either Phase I or Phase I/II trials designed to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the candidate vaccines.

The 2006 IAVI VAX Map, which provides detailed information on all ongoing preventive AIDS vaccine trials, is available at:


1. Provincial HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Scale-up Coordinator - Mozambique (Tete or Nampula Provinces)

Health Alliance International, which supports universal access to quality health care, is seeking an individual to assist provincial health systems in substantially expanding access to free HIV/AIDS care and antiretroviral treatment.


- Provide leadership to support the MOH Provincial Health Directorate in implementing the HIV/AIDS care and treatment expansion initiative;
- Provide supervision and technical oversight in programme development;
- Communicate with Ministry officials and the HAI Mozambique Country Director regarding all phases of project development and execution;
- Provide technical assistance to Ministry of Health officials regarding the HIV care initiative;
- Act as the leading representative of HAI to the Ministry of Health in the assigned province, as well as in relation to other governmental and non-governmental organisations;
- Prepare a draft of the annual work plan and budgets;
- Coordinate the HAI effort with the MOH and the donor to achieve consensus on policy, project, research, and administration and to ensure a seamless presence;
- Work with the technical staff and the Country Director in the development of new proposals;
- Provide fiscal oversight, including payment of staff salaries, purchasing, and other expenses;
- Hire and supervise staff.


- MD with MPH, or equivalent experience and training;
- Experience in scaling-up and managing HIV programmes along with at least two years of professional experience in developing countries;
- Knowledge of the Mozambican health system and/or experience working with the Ministry of Health would be extremely helpful;
- Must be able to work collaboratively and cooperatively with ministry officials;
- Portuguese language fluency is required. However, candidates fluent in Spanish and/or with proven ability to learn new languages quickly will be considered. The ability to speak, read, and write in English is also required.
- Excellent interpersonal communications and supervisory skills.

Application deadline: 01 June, 2007

To apply, email the HR Administrator at [email protected]
Reference code: RW_6YVQ9Z-32

Theme(s): (IRIN) Gender Issues


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
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