10,000 children orphaned by AIDS in Kenyan District

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- More than 10,000 children have been orphaned after their parents died of AIDS in Kenya's western District of Rachuonyo over the last 10 years, the local press reported in Nairobi Friday.
"The People" daily quoted District Commissioner, Catherine Gatama, as saying that most of the orphans were within Karachuonyo constituency, where at least, a family member had died of AIDS.
Addressing a workshop in Kosele Thursday, under the theme "Say Yes for Children's Rights," Gatama attributed the high AIDS deaths in Rachuonyo to "wife inheritance.
" She also urged the Luo community to abandon some of their customs to save a dying generation.
"If you continue inheriting wives, and infecting them with AIDS then in the next 10 years, only orphans will be living in Rachuonyo," she warned.
The Luo, a populous community living around Lake Victoria, practice wife-inheritance, whereby widows are remarried to relatives of their late husbands.
The practice has been variously blamed for spreading HIV/AIDS in the region, because of the high rate of unprotected sex.

03 august 2001 18:19:00

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