There are an estimated 180,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in South Sudan. In 2015, 12,000 people died from AIDS, and over 100,000 children were orphaned after losing one or both parents to the disease. Only 10% of those diagnosed with AIDS are receiving anti-retroviral treatment. There is already a lack of medical resources to treat the disease, but rising tensions between government, rebels and different ethnic tribes has made travelling to clinics and hospitals even more difficult for patients.
IRT continues to support the Comboni Missionary Sisters and their volunteers to run programmes that alleviate the stress of living with HIV/AIDS through counselling and home visits.
Areas of work
Counselling and Advice
The Rainbow Volunteers provide home visits to those infected with HIV/Aids and families affected by the disease. During their visits they give counselling and advice on how to cope and live with the disease and how to minimise the spread of infection. They also frequently provide food because many of the families affected are so poor and the disease means they cannot work or grow food.
Caring for those with HIV/Aids
Living with the disease is difficult, and since many people cannot afford treatment, quality and length of life is lesser. Rainbow is an HIV/AIDS programme run by the Comboni Sisters using volunteers who provide home visits and counselling to affected people in and around Nzara. The programme sheds some light on an otherwise terrible situation.
In the past year, the programme has helped a total of 700 adults, 40 of whom are bedridden and a total of 320 children, 105 of whom are HIV positive. They have also planted 5 banana plantations, 800 pineapple plants and a fish farm which are used to supply food for meals and any left over are sold to help generate extra income to support the programme.