Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
UNICEF Calls on Romania To Integrate HIV-Positive Children Into Schools, Launches Initiative To Promote Equal Education
UNICEF on Tuesday during the launch of the organization's initiative to promote equal education in Romania's public education system called on the country's Ministry of Education to support new legislation that would ensure HIV-positive children are socially integrated into schools, the AP/Yahoo! News reports. Less than 60% of Romania's 7,500 HIV-positive children -- 90% of whom were infected in hospitals -- currently attend public schools, despite legislation that guarantees them access to public education. Children who do attend public schools are only able to because their HIV status is kept secret, according to UNICEF, the AP/Yahoo! News reports (AP/Yahoo! News, 9/7). "This low percentage shows the reluctance of school principals to integrate these children," Pierre Poupard, UNICEF representative in Romania, said, adding, "When HIV-positive children are being prevented from receiving a public education, it shows that teachers and the parents of the other children still have a lot to learn" (Agence France-Presse, 9/7). UNICEF's initiative -- called "Together at School" -- will focus on both the Ministry of Education and local education authorities to devise a system of standards and regulations concerning the social integration of HIV-positive children. "Mentality is changing in Romania as regards the HIV-infected children ... but there is still a lot to be done," Poupard said, adding, "Compared to the former Eastern bloc countries -- in Ukraine and Russia the situation is disastrous -- in Romania things are improving" (Rompres, 9/7). There was no response from education authorities (AP/Yahoo! News, 9/7).
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