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20.09.2005 Health

Two hundred thousand children orphaned from HIV/AIDS

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Kumasi, Sept. 20, GNA - The Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC) is sourcing funds to assist to cater for a total of 200,000 orphans whose parents died directly from HIV/AIDS in the country.

Hajia Alima Mahama, the Sector Minister, who announced this during an interaction with the media at a meeting with the National House of Chiefs (NHC) to solicit their views on the Domestic Violence Bill in Kumasi on Tuesday, said the figure was the outcome of a survey conducted by Child Care, an NGOs in 20 districts of the country.

She said the Ministry with the assistance of traditional rulers would identify the families of such children some of whom were HIV/AIDS patients themselves and integrate them into their extended families. The Minister lauded the same approach, which had been initiated at the Manya-Krobo area where Queen Mothers were putting HIV orphans back into the traditional extended families and were keeping surveillance on how they were being catered for.

Hajia Mahama said it was important to put these children back into their respective families to spare them the psychological trauma of having to live in orphanages.

She also outlined plans of the Ministry to organize skills training for victims and perpetrators of child trafficking now that a law had been passed to abolish the practice.

The Minister said the objective was to reintegrate victims into the larger society, while also making them self-dependent and not liabilities.

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