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Malawi Mission -
..."The child, for the full and harmonious
development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family
environment, an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding."
UN Convention on the
Rights of the Child.
AIDS is ensuring that this is
not happening for a large number of children in Malawi. AIDS
is having a huge impact, claiming 10 lives every hour. One
in four HIV positive children die before the age of five and
14% of adults between 15 and 49 are living with HIV/AIDS.
government is losing many of its workers to AIDS. The health ministry
estimates that between 25 and 50 per cent of workers in urban areas
will die of AIDS. While the rates of infection are higher in urban
areas, the number of people infected is greater in the rural areas,
where 85 per cent of the population lives. There, HIV/AIDS is presenting
a daunting development challenge, diverting labour from farming
into care provision, increasing food insecurity and threatening
the survival of entire communities
Seen above Minister Francis Chalamanda the Ministry
of Gender, Child Welfare and Community services in Malawi.
More than 365,000 Malawians have died of AIDS since
1985, when the virus was first diagnosed in this country of 10.6
million. Life expectancy has plunged from 52 years in 1990 to about
39 in 2004 and dropping. The Joint UN Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS)
puts the adult infection rate in Malawi at 16%. The
majority of deaths occur in the population's reproductive age group.
(15 - 49) Children under 15 years living with
HIV now total over 70,000.
20% of households in Malawi are caring for orphans,
half of these are headed by females
Harmful effects experienced by children
and women as a result of AIDS
• Fragmented households
• Increased child labour
• Property dispossession
• Child headed households
• Elderly headed households, usually grandmother.
• Increase prostitution, child marriage and
• Increase in children in conflict with the
• Instituionalised children