Seeing the World More Clearly
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Rescooped by Emma Lafleur from Geography Education
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Botswana's 'Stunning Achievement' Against AIDS

A decade ago, Botswana was facing a national crisis as AIDS appeared on the verge of decimating the country's adult population. Now, the country provides free, life-saving AIDS drugs to almost all of its citizens who need them.

 

This is a great example, and possibly a template on how to tackle the AIDS/HIV crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Botswana was as hard hit as any country, but they fully invested their economic initiatives into tackling this and actively changed cultural attitudes and behaviors that faciliate transmission.  Not all is 'doom and gloom' when looking at poverty and disease-stricken countries.   


Via Seth Dixon
Emma Lafleur's insight:

    AIDS is spreading rapidly in Africa, and sometimes it seems as though no one is really doing anything to help. Botswana shows that there is a way to help and there is a way to lessen the impact that AIDS has on people's lives through government funded treatments.

     Botswana has spent a lot of money on HIV/AIDS research and treatments for their citizens, and the spread of the disease has drastically gone down since they have started their fight against it. They have especially decreased the AIDS tranmission from mother to child, so that the children born in the country have a better chance of surviving, and are not born with a death sentence. Also, people are living longer because less people are getting the disease and the people who do get the disease have access to the treatments that allow them to live longer.

      The access of medicine not only has an impact on the health of the country, it has an impact of each an every part. Since people live longer, there are more people working and building the economy and making the country better, and the society and country are more stable because there aren't so many people dying and so much fear about contracting AIDS.

      Also, other countries can look to Botswana as an example of how they can help their people, and the spread of AIDS can decrease across the continent. However, Botswana is a richer country because it has diamond reserves while other countries are poorer and may not be able to buy the medicines for all of the people. In addition, Botswanna is in the southern part of Africa and it has not been greatly affected by the Arab Spring. The countries that have had recent revolutions also may not be able to help with AIDS because they need to create stability and build governments first. Therefore, Botswana is a great step in the right direction and is a good model for other countries to follow, but there is a long way to go before the AIDS epidemic slows down.

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James Hobson's curator insight, November 3, 2014 8:36 PM

(Africa topic 9)

This video illustrates many of the factor which have contributed to Botswana's success (as well as other nations' failures) against HIV/AIDS. Preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS is not just a "yes or no" decision.

Many people live in areas where treatment is not available. Others live where treatment is available, but it is inconsistent or improper. And yet even some of those to whom proper treatment is available choose not to receive it.

Just as has been associated with cancer, many believe (and some statistics seem to support this, even if only indirectly) one's attitude is a major influence on one's outcome. The same can be said for the outcome of all those in a region as well. In this sense, a little can go a long way.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 2014 4:13 PM

Media often depicts Africa and the HIV/AIDS crisis as a hopeless, out of control issue. Despite the media, Botswana has actually almost reversed its AIDS issues with diligent work by the government. Instead of relying on foreign aid, Botswana took matters into its own hands. Knowing that its people's survival was on the line, the government put both money and resources into finding ways to stop the spread and to make the lives of those infected much better. By changing the cultural outlook on the virus, people are starting to seek help and to no longer fear those with the disease. Botswana's new challenge will be to educate its people so they do not underestimate the treatable virus and practice prevention. 

Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, November 23, 2014 2:04 PM

Working with the government can help improve the lives of people. Availability of drugs across social strata helps. 

Rescooped by Emma Lafleur from Geography Education
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Kabul, A City Stretched Beyond Its Limits

Decades of war, migration and chaotic sprawl have turned the Afghan capital into a barely functioning dust bowl. The city's tired infrastructure is crumbling; water, sewers and electricity are in short supply.

 

Keeping an urban system running smoothly is a difficult proposition in developed countries that are stable--what is in like a place like Afghanistan?  This podcast is a excellent glimpse into the cultural, economic, environmental and political struggles of a city like Kabul.  This is urban geography in about a problematic a situation as possible.   


Via Seth Dixon
Emma Lafleur's insight:

Once again, when most people think of the Middle East, they think of war and the dangers of being there. What they don't usually think of is how these wars affect the people. The environment of the Middle East is already harsh with limited access to water, becoming more so with shrinking rivers and lakes across the region. Then you add war to the mix so that governments focus their energy on fighting and have very little time to try to help the people. Consequently, we have places like Kabul that is crumbling and can barely support its people. People can just barely make ends meet week to week, they have very little. This isn't just some city in Afghanistan either, it is the capital. People everywhere are suffering from war and harsh climates, Kabul is just an example.

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John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, October 26, 2014 9:06 PM

Kabul, a once thriving city is now the product of a war torn Afghanistan. During the fighting mass exodus left the city empty and uninhibited. However, after the war civilians fled back to the slums of Kabul in search of job opportunities. With little infrastructure, no electricity, no water due to evapotranspiration and deforestation and a serious overcrowding problem, residents lack the essential resources needed to survive. Due to the cities destabilized economy corruption runs rampant, in consequence it is unsafe to live in the city center. The advocation for city services is high upon the minds of the people. In response, compounds have been made in the foothills to house impoverished people. These compounds will help the overcrowding problem but the informal economy and dangerous shortcuts will further cause destabilization and create an unsafe city center. 

 

 

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 1:32 AM

This audio clip provided a detailed view of the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul. It doesn't speak of the city architecture instead it focuses on the failing logistics of the city. It talks about resource shortages and the sheer amount of people crammed within the city. These problems are largely caused by an influx of refugees from the war torn countryside flooding into the city for safety and work. This clip shows the Kabul of today, a ghost of its former prestigious self.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 3:37 PM

A war torn country of Afghanistan's capital city Kabul is in the mountains. With a population of five million people, the cities infrastructure is in ruins. Things we take for granted, water, sewers and electricity are all in short supply for Kabul. There is lots of money coming in to the country from corruption of opium trade. Due to terrible construction, it is assumed that when Kabul has their terrible earthquake that there will be much destruction. Cars pack streets that are unpaved and the streets are five to ten times more packed than they are planned out to be. Just to get from one side of Kabul to the other it can take hours. What the government needs to is control immigration and fix the problems that they currently have.