Swaziland Death tolls in Swaziland continue to rise while mounting pressure of the economy and lack of control brings Swaziland to the brink of disaster. Bordered between South Africa and Mozambique, Swaziland is a tiny country that contains 1. 2 million citizens. This country was promised independence by the British in the late 19th century. It was then granted to Swaziland in 1968. The current leader of Swaziland is King Mwsati III and the Deputy Prime Minister is Themba Masuka. While balancing a monarchy government and a crippled economy, King Mwsati is trying everything in his power to get Swaziland back on track.
The death toll of HIV/AIDS is getting worse because of the lack of money the government funds to help prevent this deadly disease. Due to the consistent low Gross Domestic Product Swaziland receives each year, the government struggles to provide money which could help the country by offering education, treatment, and medicine. HIV/AIDS has taken over almost the entire country of Swaziland’s 1. 2 million citizens. Swaziland’s biggest problem continues to be the extremely high death toll due to a disease known as HIV/AIDS. According to Avert. om, “HIV is a virus that can only infect human beings”. This virus weakens your immune system by destroying important cells that fight diseases and continues to reproduce throughout the entire human body, if it goes untreated. AIDS is the final stage of the HIV infection. You retain the disease when your immune system is not working properly, or in other words, when your immune system becomes ‘deficient’. This disease can spread dramatically through contact with an affected person’s body fluids from sharing hypodermic needles associated with drugs.
Currently in Swaziland, about three in every one hundred people are infected with HIV and about seven thousand people die each year. More than seventy thousand children have been orphaned throughout the country because they have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. The Swaziland government is trying everything in their power to limit this virus, but they cannot fulfill their plans due to stubborn people or lack of money the country inherits. As the current economic conditions worsen, the ability to assist those with HIV/Aids becomes difficult due to the lack of food and water.
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People have resorted to eating cow dung for nourishment as they need to have food when they take their medicine. With water being limited, due to the constant droughts; they have turned towards drinking the urine of animals. This has made it even more difficult for the government to assist. Swaziland is a small nation struggling for growth in their economy. Currently, Swaziland’s GDP has only increased by 0. 3% in the past year. Compared to other countries, Swaziland is ranked 191 out of 216 countries in the GDP growth rate. Swaziland has had numerous road blocks that have affected them leading up to a poor economy.
This includes droughts, low agricultural activity, and the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS that have contributed to the many factors of struggling country. The increased spending for transfers, wages, and subsidies has not helped the economy but has led to budget deficits. Another economic problem for Swaziland is the lack of exports the country provides for other countries. According to Wikipedia. com, “The Swazi economy is very closely linked to the South African economy, from which it receives over 90% of its imports and to which it sends about 70% of its exports”.
Because Swaziland is blockaded from the ocean, not many countries trade with Swaziland but trade with South Africa. Countries around the world believe Swaziland’s trading goods are not the best due to the disease of HIV/AIDs that has taken almost the whole population. Since Swaziland’s economy is slowly sinking or as stated by the Times of Swaziland, an “Economic Crisis”, the government will continue to struggle and provide the funding needed to prevent the major effect of HIV/AIDS that has taken over the country.
Even though Swaziland has major economic and medical issues to address, the government still has a chance to turn it around if they can educate and assist the Swazis on what needs to be done. All Swazis agree that budget cuts are needed due to the financial crisis they are in, but they cannot agree on what should be done. Limiting the virus of HIV/AIDS could help the economy tremendously because less people will die each year causing more people to work and redistributing funds for other means. Families are breaking down and the percentage of orphans is increasing.
The extended family support is declining with no one to look after the orphans or other family members, but if more treatment is available more healthy Swazis can be productive. By more people being able to work creates more goods to trade which can increase the GDP. If the economy recovers, many budget cuts will be eliminated and more funding toward HIV/AIDS will be spent. If the Swazis listen to the government and buy into a well-defined economic plan, I believe the country will slowly start to change and be on the road to recovery.
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