HIV/Aids relief work in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa
Since 2007 the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust has provided substantial funding for the South African Red Cross Integrated HIV and AIDS Programme. Working in partnership with the British Red Cross, the project has made a substantial impact on HIV and AIDS by combining life-saving care and support with anti-stigma messages and prevention activities. Funding of £5.1m over an initial four years enabled the Red Cross to develop a programme that has been able to support a greater number of communities, families and individuals in a more comprehensive and effective way than previously possible. The success of this initial four year programme has persuaded Trustees to provide further funding at least up to 2016.
Alyson Lewis, resilience team leader at the British Red Cross reports that, “The success of this programme has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the Red Cross movement, and we believe it will become a ‘model of good practice’ that will be replicated across the rest of South Africa and around the rest of the world.”
In South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province 1.6 million people are estimated to be living with HIV and AIDS. Most of them live in remote, hard-to-reach, rural areas. Alongside HIV there also runs a TB epidemic. While this is largely driven by HIV, the situation is exacerbated by inadequate health care and medical facilities. These high levels of HIV and TB, combined with extreme poverty (around 50 per cent of people live on less than £1.30 a day), high crime rates and poor health care services result in millions of people facing a daily struggle to survive. This includes thousands of children who have lost their parents to HIV and AIDS: one in five between the ages of two and eighteen are orphans.