Education ‘Very Affordable,’ Effective Way of Helping African AIDS Orphans, Opinion Piece Says
Providing education for African AIDS orphans is a "very affordable" and "ambitious" means of helping them "get a fresh start and begin to heal and grow," Rev. Mpho Tutu, a clergy resident at Christ Church in Arlington, Va., and a member of the Global AIDS Alliance's board of directors, writes in a USA Today opinion piece. Orphaned children in Africa "suffer as their families dissolve, and then they often suffer again, vulnerable to abuse that can include forced labor and sexual exploitation," Tutu, who also is the daughter of South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, says. Increased access to education can "ge[t] kids off the streets" and provide "a foundation for a better life," Tutu says. In addition, education can "remov[e] girls from the dangerous predicament of trying to find the cash to pay for school," which can cause them to "fall prey to wealthy, often HIV-infected men," Tutu says. Congress currently is considering a bill (HR 4061) that would provide UNICEF with the resources it needs to help countries eliminate the fees traditionally charged by African schools and would ensure basic care and support for millions of children, Tutu says (Tutu, USA Today, 5/21). A House committee in April approved the measure, which would create a separate office in USAID to better coordinate and provide assistance in support of children's basic care, treatment for HIV-positive children, school food programs and inheritance rights (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/5). "Let us commit ourselves to addressing the basic needs of motherless children left behind by this global health catastrophe," Tutu concludes (USA Today, 5/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.