n Institute of African Studies Research Review - Migration and livelihoods in the era of AIDS : a West African focus with emphasis on Ghana

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0855-4412



The spread of any infectious disease can be accelerated in a situation of large-scale migration, especially in the face of inadequate facilities to contain the disease. This observation has already been made in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. The spread of tuberculosis from South Africa to the towns and villages of the neighbouring countries in the fifties and sixties by mine workers who migrated to the South African mines is well documented (Packard 1989). More recently, from the late 70's to the early 80's, this pattern of disease spread has occurred again in Eastern and Central Africa with AIDS, fuelled by what Baldo and Cabral (1990) have termed Low Intensity Wars (LIW). Free movement of people, including prostitutes, to where business is profitable, has also been blamed as partly responsible for the high AIDS incidence in the ex-British colonies such as Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania (Konotey-Ahulu 1989). Despite this historical evidence, very little has been done by way of the study of the relationship between migration and AIDS in West Africa until recently (see Painter 1992).

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