In the West most children can expect to survive their parents, but this is not always the case elsewhere. Orphans are relatively rare in developed countries but children are orphaned in much higher numbers in developing countries. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, medical epidemics, war or other catastrophes mean that a child can tragically lose one or both parents. And families are already stretched to the max and often cannot cope with the children of their relatives.
The total worldwide number now is said to have grown to 132m children who have been orphaned. Surely this is an issue we should be rallying behind. These kids will grow with little education, support or love – but we can do something about it. Can’t we?
It’s hard to believe but there are 17.8m children worldwide who are AIDS orphans. That’s twice the population of New York City! II An AIDS orphan is a child who became an orphan because one or both parents died from AIDS. There has been some decline in adults with HIV worldwide but the number of children affected by HIV and AIDS remains alarmingly high.
The vast majority of AIDS orphans are In poor countries where much-needed medical support can be scant and in some countries these children can find themselves shunned by their own families and communities. Often neglected, facing discrimination and stigma, they have major challenges to overcome.
Although we have heard a lot about the tragedy of AIDS in Africa India also has large numbers of people living with HIV and AIDs – the Government of India recently estimated that about 2.4 million Indians were living with HlV. Many of these will be children who will certainly be rejected by their families and have to fend for themselves. one care for lots of them.
However, much more needs to be done if the growing numbers of children affected by HIV/AIDS are to be given hope and the chance of as normal a life M we can provide – together.