A study of AIDS/HIV Epidemic and Impact of Getting to zero Strategy among Women in the Eastern Region of Democratic Republic of Congo from 1996
This research project presents the conditions and consequences of HIV/AIDS among Congolese women in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from 1996 to 2011. The objective of this study is to determine the effects of HIV/AIDS in Democratic Republic of Congo, specifically in Eastern region, and the effect, if any, of the National Policy to eradicate this human blight that is wiping out the DRC’s next generation.
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The main research question of this study is: What are the issues and problems inherent in the HIV/AIDS epidemic among Congolese women in the Eastern region of Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1996 to 2011? To address the main research question, four sub-questions are explored: (1) what is the historical perspective of HIV epidemic among Congolese women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?; (2) what factors contributed to the HIV epidemic among Congolese women in the Eastern region of Democratic Republic of the Congo?; (3) what are the current national policy and efforts of the DRC government to address HIV epidemic?; (4) what must DRC and its national policy on HIV/AIDS do to effectively address efforts to prevent, control, and eradicate the HIV/AIDS epidemic?
3. Research Context
Context of the Problem
HIV or AIDS has affected everybody in a way in a global pandemic. The epidemic in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has had an impact on many lives on different levels and sectors of the communities, especially in the Eastern part of DRC where violence still is a dilemma for many. In Eastern Congo, the health, the economy, education, and social services sectors, have been also affected by the developing HIV/AIDS virus. The high HIV/AIDS rate in the Eastern DRC has been accompanied by the ongoing mineral conflict in the region, and has affected the lives of most residents of Bukavu, the capital city of South Kivu in the East. Generally speaking, many professional women suffer from HIV in the Congo, but often women in rural areas who are not educated are the ones dying every day because they don’t have access to the medication offered in the country. It seems like they have been forgotten by the world.
4. Research Questions
The purpose of this research paper is to determine the effects of HIV/AIDS in Democratic Republic of Congo, specifically in Eastern region, and the effect, if any, of the National Policy to eradicate this human blight that is wiping out the DRC’s next generation. The thesis for this study was built around the Main Research Question: What are the issues and problems inherent in HIV epidemic among Congolese women in the Eastern region of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 1996 to 2011? In order to answer the above specific question, the following research sub-questions were explored:
1.What is the historical perspective of HIV epidemic among Congolese women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?
2.What factors contributed to the HIV epidemic among Congolese women in the Eastern region of Democratic Republic of the Congo?
3.What are the current national policy and effort of the DRC government to address HIV epidemic?
4.What must DRC and its national policy on HIV/AIDS do to effectively address efforts to prevent, control, and eradicate the HIV/AIDS epidemic?
5. Research Methods
The proposal should outline your research methods, explaining how you are going to conduct your research. Your methods may include visiting particular libraries or archives, field work or interviews.
Most research is library-based. If your proposed research is library-based, you should explain where your key resources (e.g. law reports, journal articles) are located (in the Law School’s library, Westlaw etc). If you plan to conduct field work or collect empirical data, you should provide details about this (e.g. if you plan interviews, who will you interview? How many interviews will you conduct? Will there be problems of access?). This section should also explain how you are going to analyse your research findings.
Research Design and Methodology
This study used a qualitative design method to guide the research. Relevant literature review supported the statement of the problem and the research sub questions under this study. This qualitative method helped the author bring together general information and data gathering process, analysis, research, documentation, summary and conclusion in order to achieve a hypothesis for education that will most effectively accomplish the goals.
This methodology also gave the author a maximum usage of the available research time and resource advantage. The qualitative method is reliable with a building explanation analysis. The goal of the study is to identify the issues and problems inherent in HIV epidemic among Congolese women in the Eastern region of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 1996 to 2011.
From April 2010 to August 2010, the author conducted a literature review through Strayer’s libraries (DC, Takoma Park, Alexandra, and Arlington) on women combating HIV in Congo from 1996 2011. Topic searches were done, without language restrictions, to identify papers that dealt with the topic of HIV/AIDS and women in Democratic Republic of Congo, or women and HIV/AIDS epidemic. The combinations of the terms “HIV”, “AIDS”, “Bukavu, South-Kivu”, “HIV in South and North Kivu 1996-2011” and “Democratic Republic Congo women and war” were databases that the author researched. The author used a combination of the country’s name when it was selected and more search terms such as “women fighting HIV in Bukavu”.
The original data came from the UNHCR. Additional data came from the national government partnership, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) in the States, USAID, and UN peacekeeping including value assurance systems of the Antenatal-care sentinel surveillance.
Web-based searches of governmental and non-governmental organizations were used to get the published and unpublished articles along with the statistics. Online databases published country and antenatal-care sentinel-site survey data for HIV from the UNAIDS and also the World Health Organization (WHO) global HIV/AIDS. Finally the author went back to the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo, Bukavu in Summer 2010 to interview some of the victims of HIV/AIDS, some doctors, HIV educators within nonprofit organizations, and some of the UN responsible people in place and collected some data from them to better understand the situation in the region.
6. Significance of Research
This research project is vital because it tackles challenges and serious issues in the lives of women affected by HIV/AIDS in the community of Bukavu located in South Kivu, Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. These women feel they have been left behind while the issues persist and continue to decrease the next Congolese generation. The author personally lived with some of the infected women of Kivu for two years (Sept 1997-2000) in the community of Bukavu, she participated in different organizational activities in order to help them understand that they are not alone in this fight. The author gained a better understanding of their struggle with the HIV/AIDS virus, as well as the political, cultural, and economic barriers these women face. The author traveled back to the region (Summer 2010) to collect more statistical facts on the current situation, as well as to study how the National HIV/AIDS Policy is currently working to support these women and their children.
The reason the author chose to examine the study of HIV epidemic among Congolese women in the Eastern region of Democratic Republic of Congo from 1996 to 20011 is because like many others, the author wanted to know what the government of DRC is doing to support these women and their families in such a dangerous situation and if there are laws that are being followed and respected in the Eastern Congo towards these issues. This study recognizes what is significant and good in the HIV national policy in the Congo, but also shows the weakness of that policy. This research seeks to make clear the main problems in the National HIV policy in the country, with the understanding that the process of change is not easy.
The research intends to suggest things that can be done to help these women who are abandoned by their families and end up dying. The focus of this study will try to find solutions to the problems by suggesting improvements in the health care system in the region, and finding ways to prepare and educate these women living with HIV and their families, and help them to gain confidence in themselves, and be accepted by those who reject them due to their status.
Every individual within the Democratic Republic of Congo especially those in most affected areas such as Eastern region are entitled to know what their rights are and gain education about HIV/AIDS as well as the laws and policies related to HIV in their communities. The government of DRC needs to stop the violence in the region and learn more about this situation that is wiping the Congolese next generation. Major prevention is especially needed in rural areas where these women are found. All national and international agencies dealing with HIV/AIDS, as well as universities and scholars in DRC, scholars abroad should educate themselves on these issues to help the affected individuals and the Congolese government to improve this situation.
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As soon as this knowledge is gained through education and actions, the hope of the author is that women in Eastern Congo or Kivus will be turned into empowered women throughout augmented knowledge of policy associated with health and social problems. As a result, these women will use this awareness to advocate for changes in the national policy related to the HIV/AIDS and their health along with their children and their societies.
The capacity to examine the national policy related to HIV is also significant because it allows those who can educate others and easily move around, thus, can also help to affect change. A global understanding of the national HIV/AIDS policy would answer many external questions about the DRC government’s responsiveness on ways to control this difficult situation. The national HIV/AIDS policy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo addresses efforts toward deterrence and how to control the epidemic from a broad perspective. It also has a planned structure that makes effort to address stigmatization, cultural barriers related to HIV and discrimination in the whole country. This process has failed in the Eastern region due to poor infrastructures and healthcare system, thus increasing death rate in the region. It is very important for the Congolese National Policy to educate people about HIV/AIDS because it makes HIV/AIDS individuals feel important and powerful.
There is also a part of the national policy that tries to strengthen and set up global partnerships, such as women’s movement against sexual violence in DRC in order to improve the dire situation. But the incidence of HIV/AIDS and related death is still high today. It is impossible to end the sexual violence that causes HIV/AIDS without peace in the country. Ending violence and war is vital to reducing HIV or AIDS in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
To better understand the National HIV/AIDS Policy, some questions on the Congolese government reaction and effort on how to control this situation that women with HIV/AIDS face will be responded to. To help control the epidemic from different approaches, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s national HIV/AIDS policy has illustrated some efficient work toward avoidance.
Unstable and battle torn DRC has been a production ground for HIV/AIDS. The HIV/AIDS disease has affected commercial workers in mining and agriculture, and those in the sex trade, along with refugees and those who are internally displaced. The country has been hit by such an enormous level of HIV/AIDS that it has reached the limits of its medical capabilities. At the root of these issues are a culture and traditions that encourage rape and sex with different partners, which multiply the risks and the size of the problem and will continue to do so unless the HIV/AIDS challenges are addressed.
In addition to the fight against HIV/AIDS and the fight for a better Democratic Republic of Congo future, a comprehensive call to action must lead to universal education, job creation, and health care for all Congolese especially those women who are most at risk. Considering the Democratic Republic of Congo’s HIV/AIDS situation, it is evident that the resources are always limited and the answer for how to deal with the problem is unclear. What might be the most positive impact? Part of the solution is to educate, end the violence, and punish all of those involved in rape, as well as instruct all the Congolese and national and international leaders in the country, especially the United Nations (UN), and call all of them to an action to accomplish their respective capabilities.
Internal validity is the researcher’s ability to make inference when events cannot be directly observed (Yin, 2009, p. 43); however, the author has personal experience with South Kivu and this direct knowledge and observations adds to the internal validity. Additionally, internal validity enhanced when more than one form of documentation used to corroborate the findings. Merriam (2002) described qualitative research as “the search for meaning and understanding, the researcher as the primary instrument of data collection and analysis, an inductive investigative strategy and a richly descriptive end product” (p. 6). Merriam (2002) suggested that qualitative studies are interpretative studies whose purpose is to seek an understanding of the phenomenon under investigation (p. 38). Therefore, the researcher sought to understand why the prevalence of AIDS/HIV Epidemic is higher among Women in the Eastern Region of Democratic Republic of Congo.
Generalizability and External Validity
Generalizability of the research result is central to most peer-reviewed studies. This concept has been well established in the quantitative literature; however, this is often the criticism of qualitative literature, particularly case studies. Yin (2009) argued that it is a “fatal flaw” to apply a statistical generalization and suggested that using an analytic generalization that compares the results to the theory is most appropriate (p. 38).
External validity encompasses the ability to generalize the findings beyond the Eastern region; however, this research makes no claims to generalize the findings to all 11 provinces of Democratic Republic of Congo. Nevertheless, as Merriam (1995) pointed, out the reader will determine the use and application of these research findings (p. 58). This research will use two main strategies to strengthen external validity such as (a) thick description (detailed description of South Kivu in chapter 2) (Merriam, 2002, p. 58–59 and (b) side-by-side comparison against the conceptual framework used to strengthen external validity.
Reliability is the researcher’s ability to demonstrate rigor and transparency with the objective that other researchers are able to replicate the results of this study. Yin (2009) suggested that sufficient emphasis is placed on reliability to minimize errors and biases in a study (p. 45). Merriam (1995) argued, “Qualitative researchers are not seeking to establish laws in which reliability of observation and measurement are essential . . . . Rather, qualitative researchers seek to understand the world from the perspectives of those in it” (p. 56).
Multiple sources of data have been gathered for this study, which adds to the reliability of the findings. At least two substantial documents used to validate the findings. One of the advantages for the selection of this case was the researcher personal knowledge of the conditions in Eastern. The researcher will access many of the documents within the Ministry of Health Office. Additionally, other documents will be available on the internet.
Construct validity is the researcher’s ability to define and operationalize a set of measures that are used to collect the data. The researcher will adopt from the UNAIDS strategies for instance the `getting to zero strategy ` to prevent and trait HIV infection following the millennium Development goals.
Research data will be collect through a variety of means including: observations, written UNAIDS’s documents and secondary data sets from national Ministry of Health in DRC and local department of Health located in Eastern Region. Researcher will request permission to access documents from different institutions. In addition to documents located at each institution, visits will be made to the local hospitals AIDS/HIV department in Eastern Region.
Analyses of research findings will conduct and evidence of social political conflicts, culture, economics, education, health care system, individual behaviours against the AIDS/HIV Epidemic conceptual framework. This research used a matrix chart (Ref) and on one side of the chart will be data from Eastern Region and on the other side of the chart the variable identify in AIDS/HIV Epidemic conceptual framework.
Researcher Personal Bias
The researcher acknowledges a personal bias toward this study. As a native of Eastern Region of Democratic Republic of Congo and prior to arrival in the United Kingdome, Eastern Region was home and the place where the researcher trained and practiced as a health practitioner. The on-going social-political conflict in Eastern Region require to the researcher to seek safety for his family and himself in UK. While it was difficult for the researcher personally to leave his native home, it was nonetheless the right thing to do. Extensive studying at the Birmingham City University in the area of Public health has helped the researcher to understand conflicts and Health also AIDS/HIV Epidemic problem among Women in the Eastern Region of Democratic Republic of Congo
The proposal should include a short bibliography identifying the most relevant works for your topic.
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The proposal should usually be around 2,500 words. It is important to bear in mind that specific funding bodies might have different word limits.
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