Tanzania suspends funding for HIV/AIDS programs supporting queer men as crackdown grows
The country’s health minister indicated the programs had been suspended “pending a review,” while programs supporting adolescent girls, drug users, and others will continue uninterrupted.
The government has accused some community-based and internationally funded programs of normalizing same-sex relationships as part of their outreach to queer men, some 25% of whom are living with HIV.
Though same-sex relations are punishable by up to 30 years in prison in the country, the government only recently broke its silence on the issue to condemn groups “promoting” homosexuality, with a number of officials having announced anti-LGBT campaigns.
The Hunted Albinism Community of East and Southern Africa
People with albinism, a condition affecting body pigmentation and sunlight sensitivity, have faced ongoing persecution throughout East and Southern Africa, attacked and trafficked by those who believe their body parts hold magical powers. With albinism found to occur more frequently in certain African regions like East Africa than elsewhere in the world, the higher visibility has led to increased discrimination and prejudice. Children in particular have faced heightened vulnerability to kidnapping and violence, leading some families and governments to respond by segregating children with albinism into Temporary Holding Centers (THCs).
Recent years have seen increased attention to the insecurity of the albinism community in countries like Mozambique, Malawi, and Tanzania. Police have worked to crack down on kidnapping and murders while civil organizations have cropped up to provide education, resources, and support to the community. Nevertheless, ongoing black markets and trafficking networks have endangered the community in ways observers worry may be irreversible without aggressive government and community interventions.
Burundian refugee women in Tanzania face reduced access to reproductive healthcare as relocation looms
In Nyarugusu, the third-largest refugee camp in the world, an estimated 20,000 of the 100,000 residents are in need of reproductive care.
Overcrowding at the camp has led to plans for relocating a portion of the refugees to new camps, and with no health clinics currently built there, as many as 10,000 could face disruptions in healthcare.
More than 200,000 have fled Burundi in the wake of political unrest, with half of the refugees currently residing in Tanzania.
Treatment program in Ecuador saves newborns of HIV-positive mothers from infection
In Ecuador, a program driven by the government, Ecuador’s largest maternal hospital, the VIHDA foundation, and Duke University provides antiretroviral medication to newborns of HIV-positive mothers right after birth, significantly reducing their chances of contracting the virus.
At least 1,000 babies have remained virus-free thanks to the program, when they would otherwise face a 45% chance of infection during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding.
When their status is known, infected mothers receive treatment throughout their pregnancy, but new programs around the world are pushing for ways to quickly reach women who don’t have prenatal appointments during the limited deterrence window.
“I don’t care if my career as a teacher was ruined by this illness. Today I am happy to see my children healthy and studying.”
Female politicians in Tanzania set their eyesights on country’s top political seats
The Tanzania Women Cross Party works to train women in political skills and campaign strategies ahead of October’s elections to avoid overlook and sexual manipulation by political party leadership.
This election cycle is seeing women step forward for the presidency for the first time, including former UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro.
Tanzania has a 30% parliamentary quota in place for women, but because it sets aside seats to be filled by party nominations after the election, women are now pushing to be candidates for direct election by constituents.
“There’s no democracy in the political parties. Female candidates are often ignored in the nomination process and that’s why we need to train them to reverse that unfair trend.”
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