Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Aids and Infant Mortality

ASIA/CAMBODIA - AIDS peaks, because of birth control policies

Phnom Penh (Agenzia Fides) – The main cause for the surge in the spread of AIDS in Cambodia is the birth control policy and the promotion of artificial contraception, explains Human Life International (HLI) to Fides. HLI is the pro-life movement which has recently completed a mission in the south-east Asian country.
Cambodia is one of the countries with the most offices of international agencies which promote family planning and population control : “Engender Health”, USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and its RACHA program (Reproductive and Child Health Alliance). In the last 20 years, thanks to substantial funding from these organisations, the State has spent more than 600 million dollars on population control and contraception programs.
Analysis of these actions has seen a drop in the fertility of Cambodian women (from 6 to 3 children on average), but also a rapid spread of AIDS. From when the first case of infection was detected in 1991, in the 15 years following, 94,000 people died from AIDS and those infected have increased beyond all proportion, to 160,000 cases in a population of 13 million, which makes Cambodia one of the worst affected by the epidemic in South-east Asia.
“These programs, according to the promoters, would have had to stop AIDS,” notes Human Life International to Fides. The paradox is, rather, that this massive campaign to spread contraceptives and condoms, intended as a 'panacea' against AIDS, “has instead encouraged its spread, fuelling a culture of sexuality as a commodity.”
The Church and many Christian-based NGOs have been active in countering this approach: Christian movements such as “Couples for Christ” promote training seminars for young couples, while religious orders like the Sisters of Mary Help of Christians work in educating new generations to spread the culture of respect for life, the person, for corporeality and sexuality. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/2/2011)

AFRICA/TANZANIA - Infant mortality reduced to 10% thanks to the work of San Gaspare Hospital in Itigi

Rome (Agenzia Fides) – “San Gaspare” Hospital in Itigi, situated in one of the poorest zones in the region, offers assistance to people who live there but also to people from further away, without distinction for race or religion. The hospital has about 350 beds and 250 staff including doctors, paramedics and nurses. Every year about 7,000 in-patients are registered, more than 62,000 out-patients and about 9,000 lab exams are conducted. It ranks among the nation's top hospitals for management, quality of machinery, expertise and capabilities. One of the most important units is paediatrics where there are 150 beds. Thanks also to this service, the Country's infant mortality rate has been reduced from 98% in the 1960s to 10% today. The hospital is part of humanitarian projects supported by the “Friends of Missions”, which has long collaborated with the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, to serve the poorest and most needy in Tanzania and India. For many years, the hospital in Itigi has worked with the “Bambino Gesù” Hospital in Rome for special surgeries, including heart surgery. (AP) (22/2/2011 Agenzia Fides)