Conference to Address Children Orphaned by AIDS Begins in Uganda
The Eighth International Society of Women and AIDS in Africa Conference (SWAA) began Monday in Kampala, Uganda, with this year's summit focusing on children orphaned by the epidemic. Titled "Children and AIDS: Challenges and Strategies to Cope," the five-day conference will examine the epidemiology of HIV in children, the reduction of mother-to-child transmission, health care for HIV-positive children, "child-headed households" and social support systems for children affected by the virus (Agence France-Presse, 4/3). Conference Chair Dr. Margaret Muganwa said, "The conference is a call for Africa to undertake a critical appraisal of its HIV/AIDS priorities and re-focus interventions and strategies to stop HIV/AIDS among and on behalf of our children, the next generation" (Muganwa speech, 4/2). Col Sec, director of country and regional support for UNAIDS, added, "There are orphans on [the] streets, orphans only with one parent, or orphans who are heading households. All this is really a disaster." Sec said that many orphans become "vulnerable to infection" as a result of sexual abuse, others "suffer from neglect" after their parents die, and some can "find themselves living with already over-burdened relatives." Janet Museveni, wife of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, opened the conference. Tanzanian first lady Anna Mkapa and Nigerian first lady Stella Obasanjo are also attending the event (Agence France-Presse, 4/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.