AIDS - a pandemic
Who am I?
Are education programmes enough?
- a pandemic
an estimated 37.8 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, a disproportionate
number of cases in developing countries. Many are experiencing an
exponential growth of the disease and it is thought that more than
60 million people will be infected by 2005. A cure is presently
not available, but prevention is.
to the rapid onset of the pandemic, and the sub-optimal allocation
of resources, prevention programmes have been produced without baseline
research, or the benefit of pilot projects. As a result, many prevention
programmes are ineffective.
low incidence of AIDS in Ghana does not mean it has escaped the
pandemic. Over 3% of the population are victims to the disease.
Put in context, this is a greater prevalence than diabetes has in
efforts with a Ghanaian charity, Glona, we have started a grassroots
project assessing the knowledge, attitudes and risk-taking behaviour
of 15-39 year olds, with respect to HIV infection.
on the results of our initial survey, and an extensive literature
review of past prevention efforts, an education programme has been
developed to 'fill the gaps' in people's knowledge and address issues
concerning attitudes and behaviour.
the use of drama, quizzes and other interactive teaching methods,
200 villagers from four communities will take part in the three-day
assess the programme's effectiveness, a follow-up survey will be
undertaken three months later to measure changes in knowledge, attitudes,
and risk-taking behaviour.
are now wishing to implement the programme, but of course this needs
money. To raise funds we are organising an auction on eBay starting
on World AIDS Day (1 December), running for one week. Items in the
auction include a Nicky Clarke Salon haircut (in The Mailbox), a
signed Coldplay picture, theatre tickets to the Birmingham Rep,
the first day I walked through the office door, I experienced something
that most who are greeted with Glona's warm welcome experience -
a real sense of compassion and admiration.
charity, Glona boasts incredible achievements in the areas of education,
health promotion, and AIDS awareness. With limited resources, great
things have been achieved.
is one of the few places where I have experienced the true meaning
of 'selflessness', and have taken comfort in the thought that, sometimes,
people really do give something for nothing.
solely by their desire to improve the lives of those less fortunate,
William (executive director), Daniel (president), Emanuel, and the
other volunteers are committed to social and community development.
aim is simple: "To create a long lasting awareness in the community
so together we will all make footprints in the sands of time".
a medical student in my fifth year at Birmingham University. Currently
intercalating in Biomedical Science, I now have the opportunity
to pursue my interest in public health in developing countries.
worked with Glona twice before, and knowing their intention to develop
the AIDS awareness branch of their charity, I knew that this was
where I wanted to focus my interests - and so the project developed.
is what excites me the most! If successful, Glona intend to repeat
this project in further areas of Ghana.
this, my intention is to set up a charity in this country with a
link to Glona. I am further looking to work with InterVol, an international
volunteering administration at Birmingham University that acts as
an umbrella organisation for a selection of charities. Its activities
include organising fundraising events, and sponsoring students on
successful, the AIDS programme may be used in other countries such
education programmes enough?
their own, probably not. The war on AIDS calls for both prevention
and cure. Only governments and the drug companies have the resources
for the latter but as this project will hopefully demonstrate, the
hard work of charities like Glona will play an important if largely
by Louise Clifford