Three years ago, I led an evaluation of an HIV project that focused on increasing access to quality care and supporting services for people living with HIV in Nigeria. It also aimed to reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
As a Public Health Doctor, I often meet people who experience stigma simply because they live with HIV. One person who still haunts me is a woman who is HIV positive and when she was in labor, a midwife would not help her. Instead she shouted at her to just push out the baby and then she stood far away from the bedside, disgusted by the woman’s HIV status. No one should go through such stigma at a vulnerable situation when they are about to birth life.
Sixty-seven-year-old Hloniphani Sidingo gives a broad smile while popping out through the gate of a clinic in her village, as she heads home clutching containers of anti-retroviral pills.
Lying on a dirty bed in a crowded, squalid hostel in Kampala, emaciated Jovia, 29, managed a weak smile as a doctor delivered her a small green bottle containing a liquid.
Seventy-three-year-old Dorcus Auma effortlessly weaves sisal fronds into a beautiful basket as she walks the tiny path that snakes up a hill. She wound up her farm work early because today, Thursday, she is required to attend her women's group gathering at the secretary’s homestead.
Porter Ngengh Tike is in her late thirties, but looks well over 50. For 8 hours every day, she carries around a large bamboo basket on her head, delivering supplies to local traders in the biggest traditional market of Bali – Pasar Badung. At the end of the week, she earns about 18 dollars - a sum that Tike uses for food, household expenses and her 10- year old son’s education. So, when it comes to seeing a doctor, there is no money, says Tike who suffers from genital infections.
The latest estimates are that over two billion people in the world suffer some micronutrient deficiencies, often referred to as “hidden hunger.” The main sustainable solution is to ensure adequate public health interventions, including clean water, sanitation and hygiene as well as healthy, diverse diets for all.
With the battle to combat HIV/AIDS intensifying in Zimbabwe, the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission initiative (PMTCT) has increasingly become a success weapon in the war on transmission of the once dreaded disease to the country’s unborn babies, despite some mothers testing positive for the disease.
When night falls, young men can be seen sitting on a dismantled bus stop on a remote hill far from the centre of the Cuban capital. Later they climb uphill to have sex with other men in the thick forest.
It has only been six months since Iveti, 37, lost her husband of 18 years, but already she is facing hardship and worry about the future.
In 2013, an estimated 240,000 children were born with HIV. This was an improvement from 2009, when 400,000 babies tested positive for the infection, but still a far cry from the global target of reducing total child infections to 40,000 by 2015.
The United Nations has expressed confidence that the Asia-Pacific region, with almost five million people living with HIV, is politically committed towards the elimination of the deadly disease AIDS.
Acute watery diarrhoea is a major killer of young children but misunderstanding over the benefits of fluid treatment is preventing many Kenyan parents from resorting to this life-saving technique and threatening to reverse the strides that the country has made in child health.
Nompumelelo Tshabalala, 41, emerges from her dwarf ‘shack’ made up of rusty metal sheets and falls short of bumping into this reporter as she bends down to avoid knocking her head against the top part of her makeshift door frame.
Tatenda Chivata, a 16-year old from Zimbabwe’s Mutoko rural district, was suspended from school for an entire three-month academic term after he was found with a used condom stashed in his schoolbag.
Hidden by the struggles to defeat Ebola, malaria and drug-resistant tuberculosis, a silent killer has been moving across the African continent, superseding infections of HIV and AIDS.
At 49 years old, Edison Liburd has established himself as one of Antigua and Barbuda’s most recognisable artists. But Liburd was not always in the spotlight. In fact, you could say he was a man in hiding.
With international organisations warning that East Ukraine is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe as its health system collapses, marginalised groups are among those facing the greatest struggle to access even basic health care in the war-torn region.
About eight years ago, 44-year-old Tilda Chihota was struck with tuberculosis which kept her bed-ridden for over six months at her rural home in Zimbabwe’s Mwenezi district, 144 kilometres southwest of Masvingo, the country’s oldest town.
Fifty-one-year-old Mateline Msipa is living with HIV. Her 17-year-old daughter, born after Msipa was diagnosed with the virus, may also have it, but she has never been tested.
Thirty-six-year-old Chameli Devi, a sex worker operating out of New Delhi's G.B. Road - Asia's largest red-light district, housing an estimated 12,000 of India’s three million sex workers – is an unhappy woman these days.