Lesotho Red Cross Begins HIV/AIDS Prevention, Orphan Care Initiative
The Lesotho Red Cross Society has begun a two-phased pilot project to prevent HIV infection among youth and to care for children orphaned by AIDS, Mopheme-The Survivor/allAfrica.com reports. The first phase, starting in the districts of Mafeteng and Mohale's Hoek, will educate primary school students in an effort to inform them about the disease before they begin to make sexual decisions. This phase also will serve to prepare students for the "challenges of adolescence" and sexual maturity, the paper reports. In addition, the program has "embarked on civic education" to encouage parents and teachers to "break the silence" on sexual education and speak "frank[ly] and free[ly]" with their children on issues concerning sex. The second phase of the initiative, to begin in Teyateyaneng and Leribe, will care for orphans by providing food, clothes and education. Rather than build an orphanage, the society will work in partnership with orphans' relatives and foster parents. Society Secretary General Ntharetso Lieta said the organization was "devoted to fighting against the scourge of HIV/AIDS" in Lesotho. The five-year pilot programs are funded with a $2 million grant from the Norwegian Red Cross (Sithetho, Mopheme-The Survivor/allAfrica.com, 9/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.