This is a truly heartbreaking story about one’s will to survive and fight their hardest. In Swaziland, HIV patients there are forced to eat cow dung mixed with water to fill their stomachs. The medication they take for the HIV will not work on an empty stomach, and many of these people have no money for any extra food, or any at all, for that matter.
Some HIV-positive patients in Swaziland are so poor they have resorted to eating cow dung before taking anti-retroviral drugs, Aids activists say.
Several hundred people protested in the capital, Mbabane, on Wednesday against the economic crisis in the kingdom.
King Mswati III’s government has admitted it is running out of cash.
It has asked neighbouring South Africa for a bailout.
“Some people are now saying they are going to stop taking anti-retroviral drugs because it [requires] that they have food in their stomachs,” he told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme.
Swaziland, with a population of about 1.2 million, has one of the highest HIV/Aids rates in the world.
About 230,000 people are HIV-positive, of whom 65,000 get free drugs from government hospitals.
Mr Dlamini said the protesters urged the government not to cut health spending.
“We want the government to stick to its word and to prioritise health,” he said.
Last month, MP Joseph Madonsela said state hospitals would run out of anti-retroviral drugs within two months.
This was denied by the government.
The shortage of money forced King Mswati, who is sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, to cancel his silver jubilee celebrations this year.
He has an estimated personal wealth of $200m (£122m) and each of his 13 wives has a palace paid for by the state, correspondents say.
It’s sad that the King is unwilling to spend some of his own personal wealth to help his country out of this unlivable situation. The men and women in his country are dying and forced to eat feces and have the highest rate of HIV around, yet he is able to maintain his wealth and provide for 13 wives. Someone needs to overrule this mother fucker and force him to live in the conditions he is forcing on others.