THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

AIDS victims buried alive?

I read the following news from BBC News website.

I wonder what I would have done if it happened right before my very eyes... yikes!

Just shows the importance of public awareness on HIV/Aids. What do YOU think about this?

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PNG Aids victims 'buried alive'

Raising awareness of HIV/Aids in PNG is a difficult task. Some people with HIV/Aids in Papua New Guinea are being buried alive by their relatives, a health worker says.

Margaret Marabe said families were taking the extreme action because they could no longer look after sufferers or feared catching the disease themselves.

Ms Marabe said she saw the "live burials" with her own eyes during a five-month trip to PNG's remote Southern Highlands.

PNG is in the grip of an HIV/Aids epidemic - the worst in the region.

Officials estimate that 2% of the six million population are infected, but campaigners believe the figure is much higher.
HIV diagnoses have been rising by around 30% each year since 1997, according to a UN Aids report.

Ignorance
Margaret Marabe, a known local activist in PNG, carried out an awareness campaign in the Tari area of the Southern Highlands earlier this year.

"I saw three people with my own eyes. When they got very sick and people could not look after them, they buried them," she told reporters.

She described how one person called out "mama, mama" as the soil was being shovelled over their head. Villagers told her that such action was common, she said.

HIV/Aids is mostly spread in the country through heterosexual intercourse, and polygamy, rape and sexual violence are widespread.

Those caught up in the epidemic are often thought to be the victims of witchcraft.
Women accused of being witches have been tortured and murdered by mobs holding them responsible for the epidemic, according to officials and researchers.

Church leaders have described Aids patients being thrown off bridges or left to starve in back gardens in the past, the BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney reports.

Ms Marabe, who works for the Igat Hope organisation in the capital, Port Moresby, said people in remote parts of the country remained ignorant about HIV/Aids and urged the government to take action.

"There are no voluntary counselling training centres in Tari. There are also no training programmes on HIV," she was quoted by PNG's Post-Courier newspaper as saying.

PNG's Secretary for Health Dr Nicholas Mann admitted to the BBC in an interview last year that the multitude of cultures and languages in the country made it difficult to get the HIV/Aids message across.

But he said Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare had brought the issue under his remit, and the government was working with agencies on a co-ordinated approach to tackling the crisis.

14 comments:

Mior Azhar said...

Puan Pi,
Just came over by way of Kerps'. Wow, I'm so humbled by your selfless act. You are one great class act.

Pi Bani said...

Mior Azhar,
Please, just call me Pi. Puan sounds so formal, and Pi sounds so not formal... so Puan Pi macam tak click le pulak... :)

Thanks for dropping by and thanks for your kind words.

Lightnur said...

Asssalamualaikum Pi,

That are so not human. I can't believe that there are people like that. How can people be so careless? Reminded me of the time of Jahiliyah, before Islam came to Arab Peninsular where the baby girls were buried alive. So ignorant. May Allah protect us from such thing. Ameen.

winniethepooh said...

Ignorance in this case is definitely not a blessing. It must be so heart wrenching to hear the person called out 'mama'..i wonder why she (Ms Marabe) didnt try to stop any of this burial that happen right before her eyes? however, I guess she alone cant prevent the 'live burial' too.

In fact, if that happen right before my eyes, i wouldnt hv known what to do either...

Pi Bani said...

Wa'alaikum salaam Lightnur,
Yes, I am reminded of the jahiliyah years too when I read this. Apparently it is still happening in certain remote areas in the world, only instead of burying baby girls, they bury AIDS victims alive. I just hope I will never have to see such incidents right before my very eyes!

Pi Bani said...

Winnie,
If I were Ms Marabe, I doubt I'd be able to do anything much either. The villagers did tell her that such action was common. If I was there and I insisted that they shouldn't be doing what they did, I may end up being buried alive too!! Yikes!

PEARLY said...

HI chegu Pi bani:
Wat a world huh , there are really scolllllll up buried in live ??

there are realy not a human la how could there do there . HID in UK can be treat now . oh gosh I hate ppl like this .


don't wat to say la really .

J.T. said...

That is horrendous and tragic being buried alive. In this case, ignorance is not bliss.

When there is no awareness of HIV/AIDS, cultures tend to follow their own beliefs, practices and myths. I still cannot get over what they do in Africa. Some of the men there rape virgins believing in the myth that they will be cured.

Education and awareness can and should improve situations like this provided that the people are open to it.

Pi Bani said...

Pearly,
To these people, it is already a "normal" thing. They don't feel guilty doing what they did due to their lack of knowledge and awareness. More definitely need to be done to make them aware of the truth on HIV/AIDS. And it won't be an easy task changing their mindset.

Pi Bani said...

JT,
Yes, again it all goes back to education and awareness. And it won't be easy to get them to open up their minds when they are so used to their beliefs and practices. Even educated people can still discriminate, what more those in the remote areas who don't have access to proper education? Sigh...

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Pi,

Happy Merdeka!

This goes to show we still do have a great country so cherish HER! I love this land of ours. I do what I can within my means to make it better my own small ways Pi. And you too, by leaps and bounds with all the good that you're doing. This is thye way to go. We can complain and after that get up and do something lah.

What happened in PNG is sad indeed. It looks like a total despair over there. I feel numb! What an uphill battle to right the situation there.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Pi,

I have only one thing to say: It's scary how people can do such cruel things to one another.

I guess the one thing we all have to fear is fear itself. Cos it sure drives us to do and suggest unmentionable things. Like some crazy (and prominent!) Chinese guy MarinaM spoke about who said we should just kill people with AIDS and that would solve the epidemic...

Sigh...

Happy Merdeka???

Pi Bani said...

K.Ruby,
Happy merdeka to you too.

Yep, I love my country. And I will contribute whatever I can no matter how little to make it a better place.

And yes, you're right, it will be an uphill battle to right the situation in PNG especially in the remote areas where beliefs and myths rule!

Pi Bani said...

Daph,
People who suggest killing people with HIV/AIDS to solve the epidemic are people who are not even bothered to study all the hows and whys and what nots! That's why they think it is that simple to solve the problem.