HIV and AIDS: An analysis of community coping strategies with special reference to Mutambi Ward community of Zvishavane, Zimbabwe
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The impact of HIV and AIDS on Mutambi Ward in Zvishavane District of Zimbabwe was assessed between May 2004 and October 2006. The study was undertaken using focus group discussions, questionnaire surveys, use of key informants, review of records and observations. Care for PLHIV has increased household labour requirements resulting in a decrease in the time allocated to crop production activities. Approximately 75% of the households spent their productive time caring for the sick and attending funerals which occur approximately 8 times a month. Resources meant for crop production are diverted to patient care. Only 33% of the members managed to work once a week on their plots while the rest were involved in HIV and AIDS related activities. This has negatively affected crop productivity. In order to cope with the excess burden of crop production and attending to PLHIV, the community has adopted various coping strategies, the main one being a community home based care programme run by 21 volunteers who dedicated their labour to help households affected by HIV and AIDS at the expense of their own productive work. Other coping strategies include change of cultural norms and values, change of roles and responsibilities, dependency on relatives and funeral contributions. The extent to which these coping strategies were effective was minimal. Thus coping with the impacts of HIV and AIDS by the community is a battle being lost. Key words: HIV and AIDS, coping strategies, care and impact.
HIV economic impact