1 in 4 Children in Zimbabwe Has Lost at Least 1 Parent to AIDS-Related Illnesses, UNICEF Says
Almost one-quarter of children in Zimbabwe has lost at least one parent to AIDS-related illnesses, making Zimbabwe the country with the highest proportion of AIDS orphans, UNICEF said on Tuesday, Reuters reports. Although HIV prevalence in the country in 2006 dropped to 18.1% from 25% five years ago, the number of AIDS orphans continues to increase, according to UNICEF. The agency said it has received $6 million from Sweden to help enroll more orphans and vulnerable children in school, strengthen school nutrition programs and decrease the number of children living outside families. More than 3,000 people in Zimbabwe die of AIDS-related illnesses weekly, and the disease accounts for 70% of hospital admissions (Reuters, 12/5).
AIDS Risk for Youth in Zambia
Half of young people in Zambia are at risk of dying of AIDS-related illnesses, the Red Cross in Zambia said on Tuesday as it launched a $50 million appeal for aid to boost its efforts to combat the disease, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. Charles Mushitu, the organization's secretary-general who made the appeal, said Zambia's economic growth could be undermined as more young people become HIV-positive. "If we don't invest massively in preventing the spread of the virus, and in care and support, then we are investing in our own dawnfall," Mushitu said. He added that the $50 million would help provide HIV prevention interventions for five million people and provide care for 22,600 HIV-positive people by 2010 (AFP/Yahoo! News, 12/5).