Aids set to kill 50,000 teachers

Kenya

AN average of 17 teachers are dying each day from Aids and the country is set to lose 50,000 teachers in the next 10 years to the disease, creating severe staff shortages, the government has warned.

Benjamin Sogomo, secretary to the teachers' service commission, said: "Each year we are losing over 6,000 teachers."

Infection among primary teachers is particularly high, he said.

Awareness programmes targeted at teachers are making little impact, according to Naomi Wangai, director of education: "Most teachers are aware of how Aids is transmitted, but very few of them have changed behaviour patterns."

According to a report by the International Labour Organisation last month, 9.4 per cent of teachers in Sub-Saharan Africa will die of Aids in the next decade, two-thirds of them in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The government appointed 5,000 new teachers this month, but there is still a shortfall of 22,500.

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