AIDS in Botswana

Botswana has disturbing statistics related to AIDS, when compared to those of a developed nation like Australia. Life expectancy is 40 in Botswana, compared to 80 in Australia. This difference is mainly due to AIDS. Without AIDS in Botswana, the life expectancy would be about 64. In having such a low life expectancy, Botswana has had to deal with many problems. Workers are being taken in their prime, and many children are left orphaned without a primary caregiver. This means that less work will be done, and it will be done less efficiently. The life expectancy is surprisingly low due to the high number of people with AIDS. Botswana has an extremely high percentage of the population living with AIDS. 18% of the people are HIV positive, while only .0007% of Australians are. Much of the population is dying as well. The annual deaths from AIDS are around 24,000 per month in Botswana, compared to a mere 100 per month in Australia. This means that Botswana loses 288,000 people per year, which is almost the same as the number of people infected. HIV positive citizens are dying very quickly. The birthrate is high, yet one out of every eight infants are born HIV positive. With the death rate so high, and still increasing, it is predicted that Botswana is going to experience a negative growth rate in upcoming years. The growth rate now is .76 while developed nations is more like 1.02. Drastic measures need to be taken to control the AIDS epidemic in Botswana, before the country is wiped out completely.
AIDS has had a large impact on the economical development of Botswana. The amount of wealth in the country has decreased for many reasons. First, the unemployment rate, at 19% is extremely high compared to Australia, which has a 7% unemployment rate. This disparity is due to the large number of workers being sick, dying, and other AIDS related effects in Botswana. This means that the families are not making as much money, which can cause lack of health care. In the next decade, the per capita income is expected to decrease 13% in Botswana because of AIDS. Australia has fewer problems with AIDS because of the amount of money spent on health care. 15% of the GDP is put into improving health in their nation. Botswana only puts 2.5% into health care in their nation. Therefore, fewer medications are available, there are less doctors, less clinics, and more ill people living there. This affects the quality of life. Currently there are an estimated 38% of people living below the poverty line in Botswana. This is extreme compared to the 2% in Australia. If the AIDS situation is improved, the economy will also be improved.
Botswana needs to start recognizing AIDS as a serious matter to be dealt with. To start fighting back against the serious AIDS epidemic, the government of Botswana needs to get involved. After Brazils government got involved, they turned around their aids problem and country. If Botswanas government starts to produce medicine and distributing it for free to help the 290,000 living with AIDS in Botswana. Botswana does not have to produce big retrovirus medicines, but the basic ones. Virtually 100% of AIDS patients suffer from thrush. Thrush is like a strep throat, but 10 times worse. The
patients throat gets very swollen and sore and it is very difficult and painful for the patient to swallow. If the government produces, Nyastatin, a very effective drug to treat thrush the health of the patients will increase dramatically. Thrush causes the patient to not eat because of the pain involved with swallowing and it makes it very difficult for the patient to eat. By sucking on this pill, the medicine will soak into the swollen and red
throat relieving the patient of pain and allowing them to chew and swallow easily. Another medicine the government should produce and sell to the patients for free is amoxicillin. Everybody knows there is no cure for AIDS, but by treating the symptoms that result from AIDS the patient can live a longer and healthier life. By taking amoxicillin, it will boost the patients immune system. Amoxicillin has been said to be more effective on AIDS patients in Africa then those in who receive anti-retrovirus drugs. Usually the patients receive, two out of the needed three pills, ACT and 3TC, which are substandard retrovirus drugs, and they are not as effective on the disease as amoxicillin is. If the government can supply the AIDS patients in Botswana with amoxicillin and
Nyastatin, they will feel healthier and will be able to live a longer life with AIDS and function as a normal person. The patients will be able to eat, work, and live a normal life with AIDS. Another solution to Botswanas AIDS problem is to spend 10% more of the
budget on healthcare. If Botswana were to take 10% away from economic services and spend it on healthcare, the country economy would benefit from it along with the countrys health. With that extra 10% from economic services, which 40% of the budget is now spent on, it will boost the amount of money spent on healthcare from 2.5% to 12.5%. With that money, Botswana can educate its population about AIDS, how to prevent the disease, and how to live a healthy life with AIDS. Only 60% of the staff at the University of Botswana believed AIDS was very common in Botswana or that they were personally at a moderately high risk of getting AIDS. This needs to change and with this plan it will. Some may say that will take away from Botswanas economy, but in the next 25 years Botswanas economy will be 31% smaller because of AIDS. In the long run by treating AIDS and getting AIDS patients to live healthy lives with AIDS they will be able to give back to the economy. There will be more job openings because the government will need people to help produce the pills. The way the people will be paid is that Botswana is able to apply for grants, which is like being given money. They will use this money and the to pay workers, as well as using revenue from selling the pills to other countries. This will improve the amount of people living under the poverty line, which is 38%. They will be able to work and make money. With this solution, the life expectancy will rise from a dismal forty years to up around 50 to 60, and the economy will grow. This solution is like a cycle, which replenishes itself with money, good health, and education about AIDS.


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