… I lost my young sister. She died of HIV-related complications. She should still be alive today since she was on ARVs.
But ARVs go hand in hand with good nutrition. My sister could not afford proper daily meals since she was looking after a large extended family. Besides her three children, she was looking after six double orphans that our elder brother left behind.
Her story is commonplace in Zambia. The HIV and AIDS pandemic can be mitigated by people having proper access to medicines and food. Both have become bigger problems in the current world economic crisis.
It is such situations that prompt those of us in civil society to redouble our efforts to do more advocacy work, asking our governments, in Africa, not only to be accountable to the people, but to prioritise issues of poverty and unemployment in their economic policy frameworks.
Our governments, though, are also limited in their capacity to cope with the severe effects of the global economic crisis. This is where the rich countries come in. They should remain committed to their aid promises.