DRC plans for its 40,000 AIDS orphans

Kinshasa- DR Congo (PANA) -- The DR Congo and partners (National Multisectoral Aids Control Programme,UNICEF,USAID and the Health Policy Initiative) are proposing to organise sensitisation workshops this month on the harmful consequences of HIV/AIDS, particularly for children.
Jean Voulu, in charge of the programme aimed at reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS, explaining that the workshops would be held in the 11 provinces in the country.
Voulu said the workshops were also aimed at fashioning out a a policy in the area of the management of AIDS orphans because "there is no national plan of action and strategy in their favour.
"Each partner does what it thinks fit based on its own means.
But we want to have a national plan of action, have the same strategy, the same vision about interventions in favour of AIDS orphans", the doctor said.
DR Congo has 40,000 AIDS-orphaned children, according to the figures published by the Congolese ministry of social affairs which was made available to PANA Saturday.
The city of Kinshasa, the capital, is said to have over 5,000 AIDS-orphaned children, who are being catered for by Children's rights NGOs, the UN and other humanitarian agencies.
"Thousands of AIDS-orphaned children, expelled by their relatives, are doing their best to survive in the streets.
They are victims of broken family structures, negligence and abuse", the Coordinator for the city of Kinshasa of the International Catholic Office for Children (BICE), Floribert Kabeya Ibanda, told PANA.
"The daily fight is very tough for a child's life.
Many of them, manipulated or exploited by adults without scruples, ruin their health by doing dangerous work or are put in a situation of conflict with the law", he added.
In addition to AIDS-orphaned children, BICE is taking action on the ground in favour of the so-called witch children, imprisoned child soldiers, teenage mothers or girls in difficult situations and other street children.

10 may 2008 19:19:00

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