224864 Caring Program: A Multilevel Strategy for Reintegrating Ethiopian Orphans due to HIV/AIDS to Society

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nolawi Eshetu, MSc , Salessian Mission, New Rochelle, NY
Ricardo dos Santos e Silva, MPH , Office for International Programs, Salesian Missions, Centreville, VA
Mariano Kanamori, MA , PhD Candidate. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics., University of Maryland College Park School of Public Health, College Park, MD
Jaime Correa , Salesian Missions, New Rochelle, NY
Background. In 2007, there were 898,000 orphans because of AIDS in Ethiopia. There is a need to increase access to, and availability of, compassionate, effective, and culturally appropriate services for the care of these orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and their families. To that end, the Salesian Missions has configured a social network composed by USAID-Ethiopia, federal and local HIV/AIDS Planning and Coordinating Offices, the Ethiopian government, local and regional non-governmental organizations, and the Project Concern International to implement and evaluate the Caring for our youth project (Caring) in Addis Ababa, Makele, Adigrat, Zway, and Debre Zeit, Ethiopia.

Methods. This study presents Caring's multilevel strategy aimed at increasing the number of OVC with: 1) essential needs for shelter and care met; 2) formal and non-formal educational opportunities; 3) households with improved economic status; 4) access to health care, nutritional, legal, and psychosocial support; and 5) practice of abstinence and faithfulness behaviors.

Results. A total of 13,409 OVCs were reached during year 1. Of OVCs reached during this year, 22% were provided with shelter and care, 63.8% received formal education, 59.2% received educational assistance, 40% of their caretakers participated in economic empowerment activities, 26% were reintegrated with extended families; 25.98% participated in recreational/sports activities, and 25% participated in vocational training.

Conclusion. Caring's multilevel strategy provides HIV/AIDS-affected children with the tools needed to grow and develop into healthy, stable and productive members of society. The program expects to enroll 54,000 OVC in 3 years.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Assess how community based participatory projects can reintegrate African orphans due to HIV/AIDS to Society

Keywords: Vulnerable Populations, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health professional who is in charge of developing and implementing HIV/AIDS programs at the international level.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.