Report: 70% of children living with HIV/AIDS covered by support services

Wednesday, 2016-11-23 10:58:50
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At the mid-term workshop, delegates held that stigma and discrimination towards children affected by HIV/AIDS has made it difficult to access support services.
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NDO – Around 70% of children affected by HIV/AIDS across the nation are fully supported with on-demand services, while 72% of support centres and social organisations have been provided with the relevant skills for caring for the young people affected by the disease.

The statistics were announced at a mid-term workshop held by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) in collaboration with relevant authorities, UNICEF in Vietnam and Catholic Relief Services in Hanoi on November 22.

It aimed to review the implementation of the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 570/QĐ-TTg dated April 22, 2014, approving the National Action Plan for Children Affected by HIV/AIDS during the 2014-2020 period.

According to reports at the event, the number of children affected by HIV/AIDS in Vietnam currently stands at nearly 122,000, including 6,800 children with HIV/AIDS, over 73,000 directly affected by HIV/AIDS and nearly 42,000 children with high risk.

Speaking at the seminar, MOLISA Deputy Minister Dao Hong Lan stressed that children are subjected to severe consequences by HIV/AIDS impacts that could limit, even dispose of their basic rights.

After three year implementing the PM’s decision, protection and care for children affected by HIV/AIDS has initially achieved encouraging results, including improved help for children's rights, providing services that meet their needs, raising awareness of staff in child-support centres and improving capacity building for those at schools and related social organisations.

The organising board announces winners of a painting contest on messages about caring for children affected by HIV/AIDS at the seminar. (Credit: VGP)

In addition, support policies for children affected by HIV/AIDS have been reviewed to add supplements. Affiliate networks of childcare and protection services have been developed, while childcare service connection models are effectively deployed and consistent with local conditions to be widely replicated.

However, public awareness on the issue remains limited. Currently, although all 63 provinces and cities across the nation issued the Action Plan for Children Affected by HIV/AIDS during 2014-2020, there are about 27 provinces and cities which are yet to allocate funds for the implementation of the decision.

About 30% of children affected by HIV/AIDS do not have access to childcare services, especially those with HIV. Meanwhile, access to treatment services for children with HIV/AIDS in some areas remains difficult due to lack of treatment clinics and discrimination. More than 30% of children are not covered by health insurance.

To achieve the set goal in the PM’s decision over the next four years, Deputy Minister Lan said that MoLISA would strengthen coordination with relevant authorities to implement synchronous solutions, including strengthening the implementation of activities to provide information and knowledge on protection and care for children affected by HIV/AIDS at all levels, particularly child-support facilities and their parents and caregivers.

Supporting access to protection and childcare services for those affected by HIV/AIDS is also another focus, Lan affirmed, adding that it is necessary to improve policies and legislation for the protection and care of children affected by HIV/AIDS, focusing on policy recommendations for them to fully utilise services and strengthening supervision over the implementation at local levels.

On the occasion, the organising committee announced winner of a children painting contest on the theme "Painting and writing messages about caring for children affected by HIV/AIDS" 2016.