HIV/Aids Awareness Programmes
Integrated Regional Information Networks
March 25, 2003
Posted to the web March 25, 2003
An international aid organisation in
Ethiopia has announced it is stepping up HIV/AIDS awareness,
as the country is gripped by drought, to ensure the virus does
not further hamper relief efforts.
Save the Children said it would target
remote areas in Ethiopia, where families have been hit by the
severe drought, to warn of the dangers of HIV/AIDS.
Dennis Walto, deputy programme director
of Save the Children US, said that HIV/AIDS can undermine
emergency aid work as the virus hits the most productive age
group in communities.
"In parts of Africa the emergency
situation is said to be worsened or even caused by
HIV/AIDS," he said. "We are trying to head off that
type of situation by using the emergency as an opportunity to
reach hundreds of thousands of remote people with the message
The organisation uses teenagers within
local communities to perform plays and to set up training
within community-based committees. It also distributes condoms
under the awareness raising scheme, funded by the UN
Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the US Agency for International
"By effectively linking HIV/AIDS
prevention activities with our emergency efforts we are
ensuring that the provision of life-saving food and water is
not coupled with the delivery of this deadly disease,"
The organisation is targeting areas in
Amhara, Oromiya, Harari and Somali regions. Food distribution
sites, where hundreds of people gather, have also been used to
raise awareness by handing out leaflets.