The African nation of Angola is poised for a major change in its economic and social development. However, the nation will need programs for prevention, care, and treatment of there biggest threat - HIV / AIDS. With the current ceasefire between the Angolan government and the UNITA rebels, the country must address its greatest problem HIV / AIDS. "The death of insurgent leader Jonas Savimbi in 2002 and a subsequent cease-fire with UNITA may bode well for the country." (Angola) But the process of fighting the horrible disease takes money. This report focuses on the African nation of Angola and some possible financial solution to the constant healthcare threat from AIDS. Even after twenty-seven years of civil war, Angola as a nation has an opportunity today to transform its future. But the war on Aids will take a concerted effort by the Government of Angola, international donors, and the people themselves. They must all focus on HIV / AIDS prevention, care, and treatment today. Angola must implement an overall reconstruction plan that will help ensure a positive future for the long-suffering people of Angola.
The situation in Angola is critical according to the United Nations. "It said that in addition to the problems caused by recent displacement, the country faced a structural emergency that was characterized by a breakdown in social services that jeopardized the health and education of vulnerable groups, particularly children." (Weekly Round Up) Although the Angolan war and a lack of mobility continues to help the nation avert the AIDS epidemic other African populations are facing. However, because of the fact that the Sub-Saharan Africa's leading cause of death is HIV / AIDS, a sound educational program should be instituted as soon as possible to help educate the nation's people just how serious the problem they are facing really is. Some recent studies have shown that approximately eight percent of Angolans are already HIV positive. The good news is that eight percent is relatively low in comparison to Angola's neighbors. Some nearby nations have infection rates as high as twenty percent with Botswana already near forty percent. As the civil war stalls, HIV / AIDS will increase because the people will once again enjoy the mobility that was restricted throughout the war. As the war is in ceasefire the people will migrate both internally and through neighboring countries. Peace in this case may just be the worst thing for Angola because it opens trade, migration, and travel which just so happen to be the main causes of the spread of HIV / AIDS.
Funding the Angolan HIV / AIDS program has additional problems because of the civil war torn years. "OCHA said this week that UN agencies in Angola had received only about 40% of their funding requirements for this year, seriously hampering their humanitarian efforts. It said that only three of the 29 projects submitted by UN agencies for the Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal were fully funded. The remaining projects have received between zero and 60% of their requirements." (Weekly Round Up) The current peace established after the death of the notorious rebel leader Jonas Savimbi in 2002 did not resolve the problem of numerous unmapped land mine fields throughout the nation for example.
Equally important, the Angolan health system will need other solutions than simply throwing money at the problem. First of all, there is a lack of trained medical health personnel and an even bigger shortage of medical equipment, proper medicines, and other critical supplies. The Angolan medical community and clinics don't have midwives let alone adequate emergency obstetric services. Angola's Ministry of Health has reported that clinics do not carry even the most basic medicines and often have doctors that are incompetent. Other problems are that clinics and hospitals are not readily available so as is often the case, much of the population can not reach a hospital in an emergency.
Other concerns in the battle against HIV / AIDS are that the Angolan population has many poor and homeless individuals due to the war. "The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its Mid-Term Review for Angola this week that the overall situation remained "precarious." It said that an estimated two million people continued to rely on food aid and that as many as 2.75 million people may need some kind of humanitarian assistance in the months ahead." (Weekly Round Up) Of those poor and homeless, a large majority does not have access to food or water and since food and health care are intertwined, the problem is escalated. Obviously the pitiable state of health system combined with the food and water issues aggravate the fragile conditions. An illnesses like HIV / AIDS worsens the malnutrition situation and vice versa. With that being said, the current and expecting numbers of HIV / AIDS combined with the lack of food and a reliable health system pose a major obstacle in the rebuilding of the Angolan nation.
One surprising outcome has been the approach instituted by the Angolan government to address the current and potential HIV / AIDS issues. This report suggests that the proper approach for the nation of Angola would be to focus on the prevention and spread of HIV / AIDS through an educational approach. However, the Government of Angola has openly been more focused on the treatment of existing cases rather than the prevention of future cases. The government has even announced plans to build two new pharmaceutical factories that could manufacture the newest medicine available for the treatment of HIV / AIDS. This approach is ridiculous considering the before mentioned fact that the majority of hospitals and clinics do not even have the most basic of drugs to prevent any other conditions.
Donations have historically been the main funding source for the African nations. But, with the potential devastation that HIV / AIDS will cause to nations like Angola, especially after decades of war, donors have not been providing enough funding to prevent the spread of the disease. It would seem that no one has been paying attention to prevention as a source of relief. Historically, throughout Africa, prevention programs are usually under-funded and the world nation donors usually wait until the rate of HIV / AIDS is completely out of control before they begin to donate money. "Although the humanitarian situation continues to stabilize in Angola, the United Nations has received just 39% of the funds needed for continuing its operations there."(Unknown)
Angola is in the unique position of curbing the spread of HIV / AIDS before the nation joins in with the rest of Africa's pandemic. Purchasing medicine in the world market or building state of the art pharmaceutical plants will simply cost too much. The money spent on legitimate educational programs in the long run will cost less but may in fact do more to stop the problem. The programs that Angola as a nation should be funded to prevent future HIV / AIDS cases are:
Sex Education and cautioning the young about unprotected sex
Promoting visiting doctors and scholars
Distributing media such as posters or articles with images of the devastation from HIV / AIDS
The nation of Angola has an economy that is in complete disarray due mainly to the fact that for nearly a quarter of century has seen the country in continuous and brutal warfare. The nation faces extensive unemployment or worse, underemployment. The figures calculated show that unemployment affects over half of the nation's population. The nation revolves mainly around the subsistence agriculture economy which provides employment or livelihood for approximately eighty-five percent of the population. "Overuse of pastures and subsequent soil erosion attributable to population pressures; desertification; deforestation of tropical rain forest, in response to both international demand for tropical timber and to domestic use as fuel has resulted in a loss of biodiversity; soil erosion contributing." (Angola) In other words, because of the war, over grazing and natural conditions of the land, a large portion of the nation's food supply must still be imported.
The next largest industry is the oil production industry which provides roughly forty-five percent of the nations Gross Domestic Product and also is over half of the nation's economic exports. The government turmoil does not allow the nation to take advantage of their many natural resources such as gold, diamonds, forests, Atlantic-based fisheries, and obvious large oil deposits. Other major concerns include continued government reforming policies, war influenced inflation of almost one hundred percent, addressing reforms recommended by the International Monetary Fund like increasing foreign exchange reserves while promoting greater transparency in government spending. "Moreover, donor countries have called on the government to provide a firmer commitment to fiscal transparency, as well as clear efforts to end alleged corruption. According to a leaked International Monetary Fund report, about U.S. $1 billion went missing from state coffers in 2002 - about one third of the entire state revenue." (Unknown)
The world will continue to donate funding to nations facing…