HIV in Malawi

The global health problem I chose to discuss is HIV in Malawi. I just wrote a paper about AIDS for another class so I’m well caught up on the subject so that’s why I chose this topic. The first case of AIDS in Malawi was in 1985. Because of the poverty and famine in Malawi it continues to still be a problem today, and is actually the leading cause of death in adults. The government has formed many policies to help fend in the fight against HIV but the number of cases continue to grow despite the efforts. Not having a financially stable government means that money for ads and prevention programs fall short and are sacrificed for things that are more important in their eyes. There are programs to educate people on HIV/AIDS and to teach them to be cautious but with limited resources it is sometimes not possible to avoid a situation in which they could be infected because the need to survive is greater.

An anthropologist working in Malawi is Dr. Anat Rosenthal. She started out by hearing about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Malawi from women who lived in Tel Aviv who were HIV+ and decided that she wanted to do something about it. She now aids in the effort to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. She researches the impact that HIV/AIDS has on communities and focuses most of her attention to the children. She looks at the health status of children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS and who will raise them after this has happened. She has done twelve months of field work, used participant observation, and has several interviews to help aid her in her work. She recently spoke at SMU (Southern Methodist University) in Texas to get word out about her efforts and to hopefully encourage people to follow in her steps and to realize the problems these people face.

3 thoughts on “HIV in Malawi

  1. The global health problem of HIV in Malawi is the leading cause of death in adults. The theory that is proposed is that because of a lack of financial stability within the government system, the policies being put in place to aid in treatment and prevention isn’t enough. There is not enough money to provide treatment and educate the people of Malawi in ways to prevent the spreading of this disease to other adults and ultimately to children. These children are left without parents and are orphaned so Dr. Anat Rosenthal has done a year of fieldwork observing participants and conducting interviews to better understand this global health problem. She is currently aiding in the effort to prevent further spreading and provide education necessary to better health.

    By better understanding the cause and effects of HIV in Malawi by living, working and socializing with the members within this community, potential barriers in the progress of better treatment options as well as improved health can be identified and rectified. For example, with Dr. Rosenthal actually working in Malawi, she has gained some trust amongst the members of that community so she can interview individuals affected by this disease and get honest feedback. She has gotten willing participants to allow her to conduct observations so she can see firsthand how the health of children is affect as well what happens to these children once their parents die from HIV. This information has allowed her to provide insight to outside researchers about the actually conditions experienced in order to provide better aid and prevention methods.

  2. I am commenting on HIV in Malawi by Chelsea Thomas. I believe the anthropologist, Dr. Anat Rosenthal, has used an observation type of method to address this global health problem. She has also used an applied approach after doing twelve months of field work and participant observation. She is trying to get the word out to the world about the need for help in this devastated country.

    I think what Dr. Rosenthal is doing is the best approach at this time. She is trying to get the word out about HIV/AIDS and educate the people of this country. Knowledge, education and aid to this country will do a lot to improve the living conditions of the people there and also sustain their health. One problem the people may have with continued health, once they are healthy is noncompliance. If they are not educated about transmitted such as HIV, the problem will not go away. I think if the people there bond with her since she has been there a year, they will believe that what she tells them to do will help. That may make a difference in the long-term success rate of patients that do not get HIV/AIDS or whose disease does not progress. I also think it would be good for her to train others in her capacity so that they can continue her work after she is done there. This is a global problem anthropologists must address for a solution to occur. The fact that she is giving researchers this information and looking beyond to find out what happens to these children
    when their parents pass on and there is no one to care for them.

  3. Anthropologist is Dr. Anat Rosenthal used the applied approach for HIV in Malawi. The applied approach is research and analysis done by anthropologist on particular problem. Dr. Anat Rosenthal researched the effect HIV have the population but pay close attention the effect on children. She analyzed what happened to children who were left alone by HIV for example who would take care of them. She was doing fieldwork in Malawi for 1 year and uses the method of partaker observation to help in her research. She tries to get other people in involved to help slow overtake of HIV in Malawi and bring the problem to light.
    Applying anthropology will lead a better understanding of HIV. Anthropologist put themselves in the solution by personally go there instead of trying understanding the issue miles and miles away. Dr. Ana Rosenthal is a good example of an anthropologist putting themselves in their research. They will not force they what they believe but try to understand why a culture choses a method. Dr. Rosenthal being there for a year can educate others on why HIV is so prevalent in this area. And how they can come up with a solution to lower down the number of people who are infected.

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