Lesotho Approves Policy To Care for AIDS Orphans, Vulnerable Children
The government of Lesotho has approved a policy to care for orphans and vulnerable children, including those who have lost at least one parent to AIDS-related illnesses, IRIN News reports. The policy, which will cost roughly $1.3 million annually over the next five years, is designed to provide no-cost education, health services, sports and recreation facilities, as well as to establish small businesses to help children and their families be financially self-sufficient. The policy, which was developed in 2005, also aims to coordinate other programs for orphans and vulnerable children and to monitor existing programs to make sure they are providing quality services and reaching those in need, Sefora Makepe Tsiu, UNICEF's Social Policy Officer, said. Provisions to regulate places of safety for orphans and vulnerable children also are included in the policy. According to Makepe Tsiu, the policy already is being implemented and a new national system to register orphans will begin this year. There are 180,000 orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho, 100,000 of whom have lost parents to AIDS-related complications, Itumeleng Kimane, a senior lecturer at the National University of Lesotho, said (IRIN News, 1/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.