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Report highlights challenges and progress in global response to Children and AIDS

Maputo, 18 January 2007- One year after the launch of the Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS campaign, the global response to protect and support AIDS-affected children is still insufficient. But in important and positive ways, that is beginning to change, concludes a report released this week by UNICEF.

Among the positive developments, the report outlines that at least 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa had by 2006 more clearly integrated children and AIDS into national policy frameworks, including the completion of national plans of actions (NPAs) on orphaned and vulnerable children.

Social protection is also being considered in poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSP) in some countries, and an increasing number of them in sub-Saharan Africa have begun to provide social protection for children affected by AIDS.

The report says that, in Mozambique, the PRSP for 2006-2009 includes targets for school attendance and underweight prevalence, external support for caregivers and monitoring mechanisms. The report also mentions that Mozambique has piloted cash-transfer programmes in some of the poorest areas where children are especially vulnerable to leaving home or dropping out of school.

The report finds out that an increasing number of children at global level are now receiving treatment as a result of improved testing, lower drug prices and simpler formulations. In some countries breakthroughs were achieved in preventing HIV transmission from mothers to children and behaviour change has translated into declining HIV prevalence among young people. In addition, the disparity between orphans and non-orphans in access to education has been reduced in several countries. 

However, despite the signs of considerable progress, much more still to be done. According to the report:

  • Only 1 in 10 pregnant women with HIV in low-and middle-income countries is receiving antiretroviral prophylaxis for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

  • Globally, only 1 in 10 children needing antiretroviral treatment (ART) receives it.

  • Globally, 1 in 25 children born to HIV-infected mothers receives cotrimoxazole prophylaxis to prevent opportunistic infections.

  • Children who have lost both parents – to AIDS or any other cause – are generally less likely than non-orphans to attend school.

  • Fewer than one in three young people in sub-Saharan Africa have the comprehensive knowledge about HIV that will help protect them against the virus.

Please click the links in the blue box on the right to found out more about the report and for the latest update on the national response to children and AIDS in Mozambique.



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