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hiv children treatment where you live botswana study efavirenz nevirapine medicine
There are over 3 million children that are HIV-positive, with more than 90% of them living in Sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends both efavirenz and nevirapine for first-line pediatric use in resource-limited settings such as sub-Saharan Africa. A recent study compared the first-line treatments for HIV-positive children and was conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, along with colleagues at the Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence. The study found that initial treatment with efavirenz was more effective than nevirapine in suppressing the virus in children ages 3 to 16, and that nevirapine is less effective than efavirenz. Nevirapine, the less effective drug, is used much more often in countries with a high prevalence of HIV.

The study notes that nevirapine costs less than efavirenz and is more widely available in pediatric formulations, which may explain this disturbing fact. Studies that focused on adult treatment also found efavirenz to be more effective than nevirapine. Conclusively, the study states, “Given this evidence, it is very reasonable to adjust pediatric HIV treatment guidelines…more work should be done to make efavirenz a more financially viable option for children on anti-retroviral therapy in these resource-limited settings.”

– Essee Oruma

Source: allAfrica
Photo: Science Daily

Ed Royce
 “Trafficking in persons is a grievous offense against human dignity that impacts every country on earth, and disproportionately victimizes girls and children.” – Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce opened a hearing on human trafficking on May 7th, 2013. The hearing will discuss local and private sector initiatives to combat human trafficking.  Modern-day slavery, human trafficking is a growing global crime.

One of the things society must wrestle with is how the vulnerable are treated and protected as well as what their responsibility is in coming to the aid of the exploited. Human trafficking exists in every nation worldwide and targets women and children in disproportionate amounts.  Numbers indicate over 20 million victims of forced labor and forced sex work worldwide. However, bigger than the numbers are the faces and stories of the victims, largely children, who have been stripped of their hope, innocence, and youth.

Chairman Royce’s Chief of Staff, Amy Porter, spent time in India and Cambodia serving victims of human trafficking. She recounts girls as young as 3 years old in awful, disgusting situations. Closer to home, it is estimated that 100,000 children in the US are victims of human trafficking.  The Foreign Affairs Committee has worked tirelessly to get human trafficking on the minds of Congress and will continue to work hard to make the issue an urgent and pressing one in the coming weeks and years.

The hearing will look at some of the promising private sector and community partnerships going on worldwide and the implications of those innovative partnerships in eradicating human trafficking. The tools that are being developed and the relationships established on the local, community level may just be the answer to fighting human trafficking worldwide.

Videos of the Question and Answer session as well as the opening statement can be found here.

– Amanda Kloeppel

Source: House Foreign Affairs Committee
Photo: Jewish Journal

Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti spent months traveling the world and captured children at their most vulnerable and innocent. His efforts were compiled into the project Toy Stories which documented children with their toys. For each child, Galimberti had them spread out in a very organized fashion all or some of their prized possessions and then photographed them. The toys even reflected not necessarily the socio-economic situations of each child but their geographical location or family’s occupation.

He also noted their demeanor and interaction with both him and the toys. Children in richer countries, he found, were more possessive with their toys while those from poorer countries were much easier to quickly interact.

But don’t be quick to jump to a pessimistic view that rich children are spoiled and don’t have the decency to appreciate what they have. Though it is true, it seems, that Galimberti’s experience illustrates such a pattern but keep in mind that they are just children. However, what this project shows and will hopefully stir up is a parent’s ability to help their children, no matter how young, to become aware of their luxuries and way of life and how those aren’t the same for everyone.

The notion that children are not able to understand such serious topics is completely unfounded. In fact, their strong sense of curiosity already creates the foundation of fostering care and awareness of poverty related issues, especially when it comes to other children. By starting with them at a young age, we can have a chance at making sure the next generation is internally wired to act and think differently about poverty to help end what perhaps this generation may only come close to doing.

Alessia- Catiglion Fiorentino, Italy

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Enea- Boulder, Colorado

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Chiwa- Mchinji, Malawi

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Keynor- Cahwita, Costa Rica

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Bethsaida- Port au Prince, Haiti

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Taha- Beirut, Lebanon

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Cun Zi Yi- Chongqing, CHina

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Pavel- Kiev, Ukraine

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Maudy- Kalulushi, Zambia

 

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Shaira- Mumbai, India

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Arafa & Aisha- Bububu, Zanzibar

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Stella- Montecchio, Italy

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Tangawizi- Keekorok, Kenya

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– Deena Dulgerian

Source: feature shoot, gabriele galimberti

World renowned Kenyan photographer James Mollison is most known for his photo book Where Children Sleep. In it, he presents portraits of children from around the world and their bedrooms. The book, intended for a younger audience, is meant to not necessarily create a sense of guilt but more so a sense of appreciation and awareness of the different lives and home environments children around the world live in.

Indira, 7, Kathmandu, Nepal

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Douha, 10, Hebron, The West Bank

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Anonymous, 9, Ivory Coast

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Jasmine, 4, Kentucky, USA

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Ahkohxet, 8, Amazonia, Brazil

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Risa, 15, Kyoto, Japan

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Alex, 9, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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The different conditions of each room can also be seen on the faces of the children in their portraits. Whether its pride, humility, confidence, or defeat, its possible to learn as much from their faces and poses in the portraits as it is from their rooms. While many of the poorer children live in small homes with multiple people, children with their own rooms can’t simply be stereotyped to be spoiled and ungrateful. To learn more about these children’s individual stories and lives, visit Telegraph’s article.

– Deena Dulgerian
Source: Bored Panda

Childhood Stunting Has Long-Term EffectsChildhood stunting occurs when chronic malnutrition stunts a child’s growth, both physically and mentally. Over 180 million children worldwide suffer from this condition. The problem is concentrated in certain countries. In fact, 21 countries account for more than 80 percent of documented stunted growth cases.

Healthy nutrition is most important in the first five years of life.  In six countries (Afghanistan, Burundi, Ethiopia, Madagascar, East Timor, and Yemen), 50 percent or more of children under 5 years old are stunted. This number is terrifying because stunting can lower cognitive capacity for life.  Children who suffer from stunting have a reduced ability to learn.  This poor nutrition can affect future earnings and success.  Any inadequate nutrition within the first two years of life is permanent and irreversible.

Being four to six inches shorter than their peers is the most superficial concern for stunted children.  They are “five times more likely to die from diarrhea due to physiological changes in a stunted body.”  Furthermore, the typical stunted brain has fewer cells and fewer connections between cells, which means impaired functioning.

childhood stunting

Despite these numerous health effects, childhood stunting continues to receive little to no media attention.  Organizations like UNICEF work to combat malnutrition, but people do not realize the effects of this extreme malnutrition.

UNICEF and its partners provide cost-effective solutions, such as vitamin A supplements, iodized salt, and therapeutic foods.  Its famous Plumpy’nut is a peanut-based food that helps malnourished children gain up to two pounds per week.

Childhood stunting is preventable, and it is time for people to understand their effects. Numerous studies and organizations name hunger as the “gravest single threat to the world’s public health.”  The effects of hunger alter a community’s culture, economy, and overall well-being.

Whitney M. Wyszynski

Source: TIME
Photo: Fast Company

Combating Undernutrition
Each year, 3 million children die from undernutrition.

There are more than 165 million children under the age of five suffering from stunted growth, a marker for malnutrition.

In the media, malnourished children are often portrayed as being skinny with protruding stomachs. Yet, a protruding stomach is not the only marker for undernutrition. In fact, undernutrition comes in many different shapes and sizes. Stunted height, especially before the age of five, is a marker  “of multiple deprivations regarding food intake, care and play, clean water, good sanitation and health care,” according to The Guardian.

Children that face undernutrition in the first 1,000 days after conception are unable to fully, properly develop. Brain-synapse development and the development of the immune system are especially vulnerable and incorrect development of these major parts of the body can have long-lasting and serious effects on a person. Further, undernutrition leads to the deaths of 1 in 3 children and 1 in 5 mothers in developing countries.

The European Commission has recently launched a new effort that will hope to decrease the number of stunted children by 7 million by addressing malnutrition by the year 2025. This will be done through the provision of funds from donors – and from the EU humanitarian and development budgets – as well as by making this a global movement. Everyone must get involved to combat malnutrition, which is usually the result of impoverished situations that make it hard to access food, healthcare, clean water and sanitation, and education.

– Angela Hooks

Sources: New Europe, The Guardian
Photo: UN

Early Marriage as a Form of ViolenceIn 2020, more than 140 million girls will be attending a wedding – their own. Of these 150 million girls, 50 million will be attending their own wedding before they have even celebrated their 15th birthday.

These numbers are based on current rates of early marriage, according to the UN.

Most child marriages occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In fact, nearly half of all young women are married before the age of 18 in South Asia. In Africa, this percentage drops, but only to one-third.

In light of International Women’s Day, whether child marriage should be considered a form of violence against women and children is up for debate. According to UN Women, early marriage increases a girl’s chance of becoming a victim of sexual violence in the home. It also limits a girl’s access to education because she is often expected to have children and take care of her husband and household. It is also associated with increased health risks due to early pregnancy and motherhood.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was recently presented a petition by the World Young Women’s Christian Association (WYWCA) that urged CSW to help end child marriage by 2030.

Yet, fighting early marriage will be an uphill battle. In many countries and cultures, marrying at a young age is traditional and is not seen as a problem. In some areas, particularly poorer countries, there are not enough resources for girls to continue in school as their male counterparts. Marriage serves as an easy way to justify girls abandoning their education to stay at home. Another issue plaguing poorer countries and people is the practice of a “bride price.” Some fathers will marry their daughters off for the price of a cow, especially during difficult times. According to Catherine Gotani Hara, Health Minister of Malawi, “Someone will come in and give a father a cow for a girl when they are eight or nine years old and when they reach puberty they will give another cow.” Out of need or necessity, a daughter may be worth two cows.

Getting around the barriers surrounding child marriage will require the support of governments and the passing of legislation that raises the legal age of marriage, as well as provides more resources for schools so that girls can reach the same level of education as their male counterparts. Currently, this is what happening in Malawi. The rate of child marriage in Malawi is currently 50 percent but by 2014, the age of legal marriage will hopefully have moved up from 15 to 18. Only time will tell if these steps will help eradicate child marriage.

– Angela Hooks

Source: Guardian

Artwork From SOS Children's Villages

Artwork From SOS Children’s Villages in the Philippines

Since its inception in 1949, SOS Children’s Villages have worked to ensure that every child has a family and a home. Founded by Hermann Gmeiner, the first SOS Children’s Village was built in Imst, Austria with the vision that every child belongs to a responsible and secure family. As of 2013, SOS Children’s Villages is present in 133 countries and territories improving the lives of 2.2 million children and adults around the world.

In August 2011, the children and staff of the SOS Children’s Village in Mogadishu, Somalia were forced to evacuate a fourth time as war disrupted the area. They were not able to return until December 2012. Ahmed Mohamed, director of the SOS Children’s Village in Somalia, acknowledges that experiencing 20 years of armed conflict and an unstable government is detrimental to a majority of the Somali population and that SOS brings hope to children and families. In a class exercise in the village, children were asked to write letters abroad to illustrate what life is like in Somalia. Ali, a student, wrote that the conditions became safer and less worrisome in Mogadishu after the effects of SOS Children’s Village.

SOS Children’s Villages, inspired by friends and sponsors, has set a target to double the capacity to provide assistance to children by 2016. Siddhartha Kaul, the organization’s newly elected president, calls for increased sponsorship to help reach this goal of providing permanent caring family environments for one million children. Kaul speaks of faith and hope in attaining their 2016 goal, reflecting that, “for 63 years, supporters have responded to our work with tremendous faith and we seek their continued help.”

– Rafael Panlilio

Source: SOS Children’s Villages
Photo: Pinterest