Day of the African Child on “Children and AIDS"
Maputo, 14 June 2005 – UNICEF in Mozambique is joining the Ministry for Women and Social Action in commemorating this year's Day of the African Child, which is focused on children and AIDS. “In Mozambique, more than one million children and young people under the age of 18 are directly affected by the pandemic. We must act now,” said Leila Pakkala, UNICEF Representative on the eve of the celebrations of 16 June.
The central event takes place in Morrumbala in Zambézia province under the leadership of the Minister for Women and Social Action, Virgília Matabele. The motto of this year's Day of the African Child is “Africa 's orphans – our collective responsibility”.
The event will also be used to launch a birth registration campaign for the district of Morrumbala as part of the UNICEF-supported national birth registration campaign. “Children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS need to have access to birth registration and other social services,” Ms. Pakkala said. “ The HIV/AIDS pandemic has a tremendous destructive effect on the lives of Mozambican children and young people - a fact that is still widely under-estimated. It is imperative that we rapidly scale up all prevention, treatment, care and support programmes for children and young people. Not only to curb the spread of the pandemic, but to further reduce the detrimental impact that AIDS is having on an entire generation of children.”