Many South African Children Miss School Because Parents Affected by HIV/AIDS, Report Says
Many South African children are absent from school because their parents or other family members are affected by HIV/AIDS, according to a report released Wednesday by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Human Sciences Research Council, AFP/News24.com reports. The report, titled "Emerging Voices," describes how children in rural schools "struggle to cope with harsh living conditions brought about by poverty and AIDS," according to AFP/News24.com. According to the report, 57% of parents and guardians surveyed said that "ill health" among family members was one of the reasons why children missed school, AFP/News24.com reports. "HIV/AIDS is not a stand-alone problem; it is subtle, insidious and erodes long-standing cracks in the education system, increasing educator attrition, depressing enrollments," the report said. The report "sketches a bleak picture" of many children affected by HIV/AIDS being "forced" to drop out of school, according to AFP/News24.com. More than 20% of adults in South Africa are affected by HIV/AIDS, and about 5.3 million South Africans are HIV-positive (AFP/News24.com, 2/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.