Grand mothers take care of children when their parents die of HIV/AIDS in Kitale as any other parts of Africa
Grandmothers become mothers again: The role of a caregiver has traditionally been allocated to women due to deeply entrenched gender and socio-cultural practices. Winston (2006) supports the assertion that even in households where there are two grandparents the grandmother is usually the one to assume the role of a caregiver. Traditionally, grandmothers are the most appropriate caregivers for grandchildren, and are said to be experienced in raising children, with rural areas experiencing an influx of ill patients when their situation deteriorates. This is an indication that the going-home-to-die phenomenon still continues in most communities.
The large number of people dying in the productive age group that is attributable to AIDS has serious consequences on the social fabric of many societies. The extended family’s capacity to care for relatives has been weakened and grandmothers, are faced with the burden of caring for their grandchildren, in spite of the physical challenges they are encountering as a result of their age. In the past, in most African societies, the sense of duty and responsibility of extended families towards other members was almost without limits (Foster, 2000). This was the basis for the assertion that, ‘traditionally, there was no such thing as an orphan in Africa’ (Foster, 2000, p. 56). Even if the family did not have sufficient resources to care for existing members, orphans were taken in as a group that deserved special attention. Life in traditional societies was characterised by brotherhood, with a sense of belonging to a large family.
One practical outcome of the extended family system was that, should the father be away from home for some time or should he die, one of his brothers or even a paternal cousin could take his place with legal and economic responsibility for his children. The extended family cared for orphans, widows, old people, and even the disabled, and the burden of caring was therefore shared amongst a large group of close relatives. Quote
More recently, Researchers have been testing potential vaccines, microbicides and New Prevention Technologies which could prevent infection or limit its effect. This New Prevention technologies are know as biomedical interventions, these prevention tools help reduce the risks of HIV infection that include: Male circumcision, Microbicide, PrEP, Preventative vaccines and treatment as prevention. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)- when taken daily by HIV_Negative individual, it prevents the acquisition of HIV, and for those children that are raped, this treatment could reduce the risks of HIV. Every effort has been made to keep the language understandable while teaching communities the steps to take after a child has been raped before the first 72 hours after the act.