World AIDS Day
World Aids Day #WAD2019 is recognised on the 1st of December and brings together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS and to demonstrate international solidarity in the face of this pandemic (WHO). Last year, World Aids Day turned 30 years old. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has worked to ensure people acknowledge ‘their HIV infection status’ and are able to ‘access HIV prevention, treatment and care services’, in order to eradicate the stigma associated with the disease (WHO).
Globally, ’70 million people’ have been affected by HIV, resulting in AIDS (WHO). The WHO has been at the forefront of attempting to combat the global situation and has worked to ensure it is closely monitored by nation-states. Thanks to this, people are now living longer and fuller lives, emphasising the advances in treatment and medicine (WHO). Even with this progress, people in certain regions are still greatly affected by limits to healthcare systems and access to these life-saving drugs. While there is no cure to the HIV/AIDs crisis, the WHO is hopeful that eventually, developments in medicine will put an end to the threat of HIV and AIDs.
The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is “Communities make the difference”. The commemoration of World AIDS Day this year is an important opportunity to recognize the key role that communities have played in the AIDS response at the international, national and local levels (UNAIDS). The day offers an important platform to highlight the role of communities at a time when reduced funding and a shrinking space for civil society are putting the sustainability of services in jeopardy. Greater mobilization of communities is urgently required to prevent these issues from intensifying and to work towards prevention methods.
The role of community is also greatly important for drop4drop, as when we implement a new clean water source, we work closely alongside community members and volunteers, giving them tools and training to ensure the upkeep of wells and have methods which promote community ownership. World Aids Day works towards a number of Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG3: “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well being for all at all ages”. DROP4DROP’s work actively works towards this goal too, with clean water sources helping to prevent water-borne diseases such as cholera. Half the world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from water-related diseases, resulting in 1.5 million children dying every year. As well as putting in place water systems, we also undertake hygiene education programmes and practices which can dramatically improve the health of a community and minimise serious illness/death.
Since working in Zambia for the last three years, where over a third of its population have been unable to access clean water, the number of people admitted to hospital with water-related illnesses has dropped by a massive 60%. For as little as a $3 donation, you could help us work towards achieving these goals and provide clean, safe and accessible water to an individual that is currently living without.
For more information and to keep up to date with our on-going projects, visit our social media @drop4drop.