Mkandawire P, Luginaah I, Tobias J, 2011, "Landscapes of economic deprivation and locally distilled liquor (kachasu): an emerging milieu of HIV/AIDS risk in urban Northern Malawi" Environment and Planning A 43(10) 2384 – 2398
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Landscapes of economic deprivation and locally distilled liquor (kachasu): an emerging milieu of HIV/AIDS risk in urban Northern Malawi
Paul Mkandawire, Isaac Luginaah, Joshua Tobias
Received 11 January 2011; in revised form 11 March 2011
Abstract. The paper examines how structural vulnerability to HIV/AIDS in Malawi is produced through a complex interplay of economic, cultural, and political factors operating over relational places within the country as well as in the wider Southern Africa subcontinental landscape. Based on empirical work on an impoverished community in the Chibavi township of Mzuzu City in northern Malawi, and drawing on disciplinary perspectives from social psychology and geography, the study does not only demonstrate how vulnerability to HIV/AIDS in this urban centre emerges from the immediate context of pervasive economic deprivation and ready availability of locally distilled highly potent liquor known as kachasu, but also shows how these social realities are intimately connected with an overlapping set of historic processes operating at various temporal and spatial scales. The paper provides a nuanced understanding of the geographies of vulnerability to the AIDS epidemic in northern Malawi and concludes with relevant policy recommendations.
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