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Education and HIV/AIDS in Malawi

© UNICEF/01-0244/Thomas

12-year-old Rebecca Abraham in Malawi

In Africa, a continent devastated by HIV/AIDS, Malawi is one of the countries worst affected. Every day an average of 267 people in the country are infected with HIV and 139 people die from AIDS-related diseases. More than 300,000 people are estimated to have died of AIDS-related illnesses since the first case in Malawi was reported in 1985. Today around 9 per cent of the 10.6 million population is believed to be infected with HIV.

Malawi's Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture and the Malawi Institute of Education, with UNICEF support, have developed a life skills curriculum that is being piloted in 24 primary schools reaching about 2,400 students, evenly divided between boys and girls. In classrooms, children as young as eight are learning decision-making skills to help reduce their vulnerability, negotiate healthy gender relations and take control of their lives. Within the national strategy to stop the epidemic, the plan is to expand this life skills programme to all schools in Malawi.

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