Home | Contact us | Links | Archives

Somalia: Cross-Border Migration A HIV/AIDS Threat
ISSUE 255
Front Page
Index
Headlines

Security Council Approves African Protection Force To Be Deployed In TFG Stronghold

Somaliland Government And World Bank Agree To Co-operate

Hargeysa Judicial Court Acquits ‘Hassan Dahir Aweys’ of Terrorism

'Heavy Fighting' In Somali Town

Islamic Courts snubs UN resolution

Hargeysa police arrest Abdillahi Makawi

UCID Warns Rayale’s Government To ‘Wakeup’

SOPRI’s 'Goodwill Mission To Somaliland' Delegation Arrives Today In Hargeysa

Regional Affairs

Uganda Ready To Send Peacekeepers To Somalia

Somalia Official Issues Beheading Threat

Editorial
Special Report

International News

Feingold, Coleman Fault Bush Policy On Somalia

Democracy Promotion: The European Way

Jendayi Frazer Is Making Mistakes And Enemies For The U.S.

Rapist Asylum Seeker Due Damages

U.N. Security Council OKs Somalia Forces

Analyst Says Negatives Outweigh Positives In UN Somalia Resolution

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Somalia: The Ethiopia Factor in the Rise of the Union of Islamic Courts

The Time Is Now For A U.S. Africa Command

Africa Insight: Storm Clouds Over Somalia As Rivals Prepare For Battle

Security Council Approves African Protection, Training Mission In Somalia

Seattle Islamic Quiz

Somaliland Fact Sheet - Dec 2006

Food for thought

Opinions

Support Democracy & Reject Political Form Of Islamic Sharia Law In Somaliland

Fallout From The UN-Approved Peace Keeping In Somalia

THE DYNAMICS OF THE FLUX

Somaliland And Islamic Courts

The Anti-Somaliland Conference In Virginia: A Spent Force Running After A Mirage

The Stupidity Of Our Voting Public Never Ceases To Astound Me

Somaliland By Ahmed Aw Gedi

How to Perform the Rituals of Hajj and Umrah

NAIROBI, Dec 6, 2006 – Somalia's HIV prevalence of about one percent is low, but the cross-border movement of people is causing an increase in infection rates, according to Dr Fernando Morales of the UN Children's Fund's Somalia office. Northwestern Somalia, which shares a frontier with Ethiopia, is particularly at risk.

Leo Kenny, UNAIDS country coordinator for Somalia, told PlusNews: "The prevalence rate is very high for a Muslim society and it is heading towards a generalized epidemic. Somalia is at the same stage that South Africa was 10 years ago."

The country is divided into three distinct regions: the self-declared republic of Somaliland in the northwest, the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland in the northeast, and south-central Somalia. According to a 2004 study by the UN World Health Organization, HIV prevalence in Somaliland was 1.4 percent, hitting 2.5 percent in the port city of Berbera - the highest in the country - compared to 0.6 in south-central Somalia.

Prevalence in neighboring Ethiopia is about 3.5 percent, but in some border areas that figure can jump to 10 percent, said Morales.

Somalia has had no legitimate government for the past fifteen years and suffers from chronic food insecurity. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis live and work in the neighboring countries of Kenya and Ethiopia, and often travel to and from their homeland for economic or social reasons, while thousands more are refugees.

A 2006 UNAIDS report on cross-border mobility in the Horn of Africa found it was not uncommon for men who were away from home, such as truckers and traders, to have unprotected sex with commercial sex workers. For displaced and vulnerable women, transactional sex was often a coping mechanism that placed them at increased risk of infection.

Among mobile populations, various social, cultural, and linguistic barriers increased the difficulty of accessing HIV/AIDS services. The problem in Somalia was being compounded by the general unavailability of condoms and lack of adequate healthcare, said Kenny of UNAIDS.

Regional governments have begun recognizing the importance of confronting the issue of migration as a factor in the spread of HIV/AIDS. At a meeting in November in Somaliland, representatives of national AIDS commissions from Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and southern Sudan cited greater cooperation between governments in the Horn of Africa as the key to winning the regional fight against the pandemic.

"We have a long history of movement across borders in our region, and we know that mobile population groups may have limited access to HIV prevention and treatment services," Muse Kassim, executive director of the Somaliland AIDS Commission, told delegates. "This is a challenge to the region in its entirety, and cannot be solved through national responses alone."

Source: Kenya London News

 


Home | Contact us | Links | Archives