As the international community commemorate the twentieth anniversary of World AIDS Day, there is a country which today is left dwindling behind watching every day as it comes and only hoping against every hope that food and possibly a cure will be found. What is more traumatising is the fact that even if this cure is available chances of having the medication in their hands is very slim if not zero.
The theme of this year’s World Aids Day is ‘Lead — Empower — Deliver’. This is theme is quite far from being realised by Zimbabwe. The never ending political circus of the country only serves to unleash what history might describe as mass genocide on ordinary Zimbabweans. The country stands with no distinguished leader thereby diminishing any hope of the fulfilling the commitment of the theme, that is, access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.
It is quite saddening to note that this year the event is being marked by the significant rise in the number of AIDs related deaths. Medical institutions like hospitals and clinics have been closed down thereby erasing any hopes of saving more lives. Worse, the calamity faced by HIV positive patients is the critical shortage of ARVs as a result of the government’s abuse of the donations it has received from the US government.
In 2006 Rudo* a friend who is HIV positive and currently in Zimbabwe was on the brink of death before her life was revived by the successful taking of ARVs. Today her life is once again being placed in jeopardy by the non availability of these precious tablets. Talking to her on the phone she pleadingly asked me if I could by any chance send her some ARVs. Goodness me I only wish I could send them to her, and not only her but a million other people who are in her predicament. A predicament that they are facing, of not being able to celebrate life — but to face imminent death. Her position is worsened by the lack of basic human needs like having clean water in your house. Sewage water from the toilets flowing down her door step. Another positive friend has just died and everyone says it is cholera but Rudo tells me otherwise. Her friend did not have ARVs. The last time she had them was four months ago and ever since then her condition has deteriorated. She dares not to speak about it publicly, she was even cautious as to the choice of words she used in our phone conversation.
What I discerned in her voice was a pleading tone, pleading for someone to intervene lest she losses her life. Knowing that somewhere out there in the world other lives are being given a chance to life, being treated of the same ailment. As we end our conversation I only can pray for her to hold on – hope is her only option.
In this years campaign I implore the whole world to look at the crisis in my country Zimbabwe. I would appeal to the international governments such as the UK to grant asylum to Zimbabweans in their countries. I appeal to the government of United Kingdom to seek ways of alleviating this situation in Zimbabwe by allowing the vast number of asylum seekers to work so they may support their loved ones at home . The leadership of Zimbabwe has failed the people of Zimbabwe but still the international community can help by supporting Zimbabweans abroad rather than dumping them in rooms with no work or deporting them back to South Africa or Zimbabwe.