AIDS orphans in sub-Saharan Africa: a looming threat to future generations
While the tragedy of the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been drawing increased media attention, one the most troubling aspects of it the long-term impact on African societies of some 11 million AIDS orphans in sub-Saharan Africa has been featured less often.
There are more than 34 million orphans in the region today and some 11 million of them are orphaned by AIDS. Eight out of every 10 children in the world whose parents have died of AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa. During the last decade, the proportion of children who are orphaned as a result of AIDS rose from 3.5% to 32% and will continue to increase exponentially as the disease spreads unchecked. As a result, the disease is in effect making orphans of a whole generation of children, jeopardizing their health, their rights, their well-being and sometimes their very survival, not to mention the overall development prospects of their countries.
The AIDS epidemic contributes to deepening poverty in many communities, since the burden of caring for the vast majority of orphans falls on already overstretched extended families; women or grandparents with the most meagre resources. Such households are expected to earn 31% less than other households. Without a real safety net, street life is the recourse for many orphans, who often suffer from poor health, trauma and psychological distress, making them more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
The overall situation has reached alarming proportions also because women have moved from the periphery to the epicentre of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Averaging over 55% of all people living with HIV/AIDS, girls and women are disproportionately affected. Meanwhile, constraints on their access to education and treatment, coupled with their inability to find paid employment, are causing rural households often headed by women to slide further into poverty.
With AIDS-ravaged economies starting to crumble, urgent national strategies are needed to strengthen governmental, community and family capacities and to redouble international cooperation to reverse the tide of this global calamity. Were all struggling to find a viable response, and there are, of course, some superb projects and initiatives in all countries but we cant seem to take them to scale, says Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. In the mean time, millions of children live traumatized, unstable lives, robbed not just of their parents, but of their childhoods and futures.
What is often overlooked is the ripple effect the epidemic will have on future governance, social structures and growth of the worst hit countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Dramatically high mortality rates will result in the depletion of much of the labour force, both in urban and rural areas, with the losses having a profound impact on the very foundations of economies and state administration. Undoubtedly, sub-Saharan Africa is not alone in facing this challenge several countries in Asia are beginning to feel the early impact of the lost generation of children orphaned and made vulnerable by AIDS. With the toll of AIDS orphans threatening to reach 25 million by the year 2010, this problem should remain at the centre of attention of all concerned governments, the public and the media -- to stem the spread of this scourge.
For further information:
Mr. Nicholas Gouede, Communications Officer, UN Development Programme (UNDP)
Tel: (1 212) 906-6801; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Liza Barrie, Senior Communications Adviser, HIV/AIDS United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF)
Tel: (1 212) 326-7593; E-mail: email@example.com
Mr. Newton Kanhema, Information Officer, Development Section, UN Department of Public Information
Tel: (1 212) 963-5602, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
AIDS-Infected Orphans Essay
1651 Words7 Pages
The epidemic of HIV has affected another epidemic, Orphans. The UN says that in 2010 there will be about 53.1million orphans and more than 15 million will be because their one or both parents died from HIV/AIDS (orphans in Africa project). In 2008, around 430,000 children under the age of 14 were infected with HIV (Queiroz, Africa a continent of orphans). Children that are abandoned by their parents become are emotionally traumatized. (AIDS orphans) This creates a problem with their psychological state. (AIDS orphans) Another reason why children has psychological problems after the death of their parent is because in school kids might taunt or harass them (Children orphaned from AIDS) Why a psychological can effect orphans lives is that…show more content…
Lastly children should be either given up for adoption or sent to orphanage.
A reasonable way to try to solve the problem of orphans affected by AIDS is to stay with the status quo, what the world is try to do right now. There are international organizations such as UNICEF and Save the Children Fund, to help AIDS-affected orphans. In Uganda, there is an organization called Uweso that gives emergency material support and vocational training for orphans (Children orphaned from AIDS). In Côte d'Ivoire, the International Catholic Child Bureau helps orphans in foster homes and gives training and assistance (Children orphaned from AIDS). Also in Kenya and Tanzania, the African Development Foundation funds farm projects and secondary education, and housing for AIDS-affects families. With so many projects it would seem that AIDS-affected orphans would not be a problem. But with such projects are not carried out on the scale that is needed (Children orphaned from AIDS). Most programs only help less than a hundred children at one time. In countries like Thailand, Uganda and Zambia where there are hundreds of thousands of children that are affected. There is also an organization called SOS children’s villages. SOS helps children with try to prevent HIV to be spread. They support orphan households and households where there are terminally-ill parents (AIDS Orphans in Africa). They give care to the most helpless children, and make