Swaziland Battles Twin Plagues of HIV, TB
November 4, 2009
The companion scourges of TB and HIV have so devastated the population of Swaziland that they threaten to destabilize the nation, participants at a recent three-day local conference on the epidemics learned.
"This double epidemic of HIV and TB means that life expectancy has fallen to under 32 years in Swaziland," said Aymeric Peguillan, head of mission for Doctors Without Borders (DWB).
Annually, about 14,000 new TB cases are diagnosed in Swaziland's population of 1.1 million, Peguillan said. Eighty percent of the country's TB patients also have HIV, according to the organization.
Swaziland has few resources to combat the epidemic. Some 80 percent of its residents live in impoverished rural areas. The country has few physicians and no medical school.
DWB nurse Joyce Sibanda is one of four nurses at a Nhlangano clinic serving more than 100 patients every day.
"The workload is a lot, there are many registers and forms to fill in," Sibanda said. "We have also started the integration process where if someone has TB and [is] also HIV-positive they can take medication in one place, unlike before where people had to go to different places to get medication."
Agence France Presse
10.30.2009; Tabelo Timse
Governments in Tanzania, Swaziland Offer Male Circumcision Drives in Effort to Reduce HIV/AIDS Transmission
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.