Caring for Mozambique’s AIDS orphans and vulnerable children

Millwood, Virginia, December 1, 2011
World AIDS Day 2011

Global NGO Project HOPE announced a new initiative on World AIDS Day to support AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in Mozambique and to help families and communities caring for thousands of children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS.

HIV/AIDS is the most serious threat facing Mozambique and becoming a major cause of child mortality.  It’s estimated there are over 1.6 million orphans in Mozambique, and about 400,000 have been orphaned by AIDS. 

“Traditionally, orphans are cared for by their extended families, but the extent of the problem combined with widespread poverty has made it difficult for families to cope.  This puts the well-being of AIDS orphans and all children who are impacted at risk, and it challenges the prospect for a healthy upbringing,” said Simiao Mahumana, Chief Technical Advisor for Project HOPE in Mozambique.  

Project HOPE, a global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, aims to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS by helping families and communities cope with the needs of nearly 33,000 orphans and vulnerable children in Mozambique’s Gaza Province. 

“Project HOPE will work directly with households caring for AIDS orphans to address their crucial needs of education and training.  We will help these caregivers participate in savings and loans programs to strengthen their economic environment and we will also work with other local community-based organizations providing training and support in the methodologies so that these efforts will be sustainable,” said Mahumana. 

Under this initiative, Project HOPE will work with civil society groups and the private and public sectors to support Mozambique’s efforts to promote changes in social behavior likely to lessen the rate of HIV/AIDS infections. 

The initiative is financed by a $1.2 million grant from The Global Fund, an international financing institution, which has, to date, committed US$22.4 billion in 150 countries to support prevention, treatment and care programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

UNAIDS says the global fight against HIV/AIDS is yielding positive results, as the lifespan of people living with HIV has increased, and AIDS-related deaths are declining due to lifesaving effects of antiretroviral therapy.  An estimated 34 million people have been living with AIDS since 2010.  However, the deadly synergy between HIV and tuberculosis, the world’s leading cause of death among people with HIV/AIDS, continues to devastate communities throughout the developing world. 

In Central Asia, Project HOPE has been increasing community understanding of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS by working with community leaders and health care providers to improve diagnosis and treatment through outreach programs which aim to reduce the social stigma and discrimination directed at those with HIV/AIDS. 

About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities For People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health crises, with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now conducts land-based medical training and health education programs in more than 35 countries across five continents.

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Geraldine Carroll Tel. 540.257.3746

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