Social work practice in Ethiopian civil society organisations for people living with HIV and AIDS

Authored by: Wassie Kebede , Ashenafi Hagos

The Handbook of Social Work and Social Development in Africa

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472468512
eBook ISBN: 9781315557359
Adobe ISBN: 9781317029380


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Strengthening civil society is a crucial step in combatting HIV and AIDS and a major thrust of international frameworks on prevention, wherein solutions are seen to lie in community development strategies in which communities are mobilised to respond to their own problems (Gray, 2010). In Ethiopia, social workers in civil society organisations, including local and international nongovernment organisations, can play a role in reducing the psychosocial impact of HIV and AIDS. This chapter examines possible social work practice in this area within the context of broader measures to enhance the wellbeing of people living with HIV and AIDS. It begins with a brief background on Ethiopia’s socioeconomic and political context, followed by a discussion of HIV and AIDS and its impact on Ethiopian society. Policy and program measures for prevention and control, still in their infancy in Ethiopia, are examined through the work of local and international organisations seeking to mobilise communities to reduce the impact and prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS. The status of social work in Ethiopia is then discussed and, given the minimal involvement of social workers in this field to date, possible future roles for them are suggested.

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