Uganda: January 9, 2004

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: The US and the developed world worry quite correctly about biological terror attacks. However, parts of the world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, constantly struggle with endemic diseases. The dual plagues of AIDS and malaria are constant menaces. These diseases stunt economic development. They also exact a huge social toll. These sad facts speak for themselves and demonstrate why so many sub-Saharan African states face instability and poverty even as the regional wars subside. UNICEF reported that Uganda has 1,731,000 orphans. That breaks down as follow: 1,144,000 have lost their fathers, 902,000 their mothers and 315,000 both parents. Heres another telling statistic: 42 percent of the orphaned children lost a parent or parents to HIV/AIDS. In other words, AIDS (not war) is Ugandas biggest killer of parents. The UNICEF report looked at over 40 sub-Saharan countries. The UN report said that the number of orphans is even stretching the capacity of what has been the social safety net in sub-Saharan Africa, the extended family. Heres the important quote: "The responsibility of caring for orphaned children is a major factor in pushing many extended families beyond their ability to cope." (Austin Bay)


 

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