who_aids_logo.gifA call has been made to ensure that the national response to HIV and AIDS prioritises orphaned and vulnerable children through identifying and targeting them with various forms of support as a means of mitigating the effects of the pandemic.

This came out at the handover ceremony of US$270 000  to the Ministry of Labor and Social Services by the National AIDS Council aimed at funding the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) and Tenofevor ARV drugs to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare at the NAC headquarters in Harare.

Receiving the drugs,  the acting Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr Sydney Sekeramayi said the consignment of the drugs comes at a very critical time in the roll out of the anti-retroviral therapy programmes were his ministry recently adopted the new WHO guidelines where the Tenofevor drug is mainstreamed to replace Stavudine which causes unwanted effects.

Speaking at the same occasion, the Minister of Labour and Social Services, Mrs. Pauline Mpariwa acknowledged that the illegal economic sanctions imposed by the western nations on  the country  continue to erode government’s systems and structures which have been put in place to mitigate some of the challenges faced by orphaned and vulnerable children.

Last year, BEAM supported 530-thousand children at primary level, 50% of whom were girls and 197 thousand pupils at secondary level.

The contribution by NAC is in line with the United Nations 2015 goals of planning and budgeting for universal access and human rights for young people.