Red Cross Societies Launch Campaign To Ramp Up Efforts To Support Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on Wednesday announced a plan to ramp up its activities in 10 Southern African nations to protect and support orphans and other children affected by HIV/AIDS, Reuters reports. The campaign aims to intensify HIV/AIDS prevention measures and the societies' home-care programs for children affected by the epidemic. According to the Red Cross, 12.3 million African children have lost one or both parents to AIDS-related diseases and that number could double by 2010 (Thomson, Reuters, 6/15). The Red Cross launched the campaign, titled "Our Children, Our Future," in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday, one day before the Day of the African Child. The secretaries general of the 10 Southern African Red Cross societies are calling for a more-coordinated effort among their grassroots network of volunteers to build the community capacity to fulfill the needs of vulnerable children. "A silent tsunami is wiping away an entire generation, leaving millions of children at risk," Emma Kundishora of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, one of the 10 societies involved in the campaign, said, adding, "It is imperative for all stakeholders to come together in support of this cause. If we do not do something today, we will lose the administrators, business leaders, workers and customers of tomorrow. We have to start investing in these children now" (Red Cross Societies release, 6/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.