Children and HIV and AIDS

Boy orphaned by AIDS demands action for children

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© UNICEF France/2006/ Sawyer
Orphan Rodrigue Koffi Kolou, 20, from Cote d’Ivoire demands action.

By Dan Thomas

PARIS, France, 16 June 2006 – Rodrigue Koffi Kolou, 20, from Côte d’Ivoire lost both parents to AIDS-related illnesses. Wrapping up a conference on Childhood and AIDS, he demanded action and not more talk.

“We are tired of programmes and national plans for orphans and vulnerable children which exist only in name and result only in workshops. What we are waiting for is funds to be made available to NGOs, associations and organizations which work efficiently on the ground,” he said at the closing session of the conference at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris.

Rodrique is now the president of N’ZRAMA, an organization working with children affected by AIDS in Côte d’Ivoire.

Addressing the effect of AIDS on children

His was a message that had great resonance as delegates from around the world concluded two days of talks on how to address the effect of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on children.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF France/2006/ Sawyer
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah said it was time to broaden the reach of AIDS programmes for children.

Last year alone, AIDS-related illnesses killed more than half a million children worldwide and 540,000 children under the age of 15 became infected with HIV.

In her closing remarks, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah told the conference that it was time to broaden the reach of AIDS programmes for children.

“We know what needs to be done”

“To scale up we know what needs to be done. We must now act, as massively and rapidly as possible. It is time for pilot projects initiated by governments and civil society, which have proved their effectiveness, to be expanded. This conference has proved that we are on the right track,” she said.

Organized by partners from the public and private sector, the international conference brought together key players in the fight against AIDS and challenged them to focus their attention on children.

They addressed the situation of children affected by HIV/AIDS and looked at how to scale up proven responses especially in the area of paediatric treatments.

The conference, initiated by UNICEF France, was inspired by the UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign launched at the United Nations in October 2005.

Patrick McCormick contributed to this story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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16 June 2006:
UNICEF Correspondent Dan Thomas reports on the final day of the Conference on Childhood and AIDS. Filmed and produced by Bill Horn.
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Rodrigue Koffi Kolou, President of NZRAMA, says decisions are good but action is better.
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Professor Ruth Nduati from the University of Nairobi on the need to work out what really works for orphans.
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Peter Laugharn, Van Leer Foundation, explains why he is participating in the conference.
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