Meeting on HIV Sensitive Care Force Planning for Children


The Coalition for Children Affected by Aids hosted a two day meeting from 16-17 February focused on HIV-sensitive “care force” planning for children in collaboration with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, Regional Inter-Agency Task Team on Children in Eastern and Southern Africa, and UNAIDS.

The consultation brought together nearly 60 donors, civil society members, activists and researchers to identify the necessary interventions, research, advocacy and investment required to meet the unique needs of those responsible for the unpaid care of children affected by HIV. The participants also shared their experiences and best practices with each other in order to better support home caregivers.

Speakers highlighted the importance of working collectively to ensure that needs of caregivers are represented in addition to the needs of children affected by AIDS.

Some of the key themes that emerged in the consultation were:

  • The importance of utilizing a life course health development approach.
  • The need to use a broader definition of “caregiver” to include both the formal (external) and informal (caregivers within the home) workforce.
  • The need to increase linkages between the formal and informal workforce.
  • Broad, progressive social policies, regulations and resources are essential including those related to sick and family leave, free primary and secondary education, minimum wages, and services for children and adults with disabilities, among others. Specific, vulnerability-sensitive approaches should be considered as well.
  • Practical skills needed by family caregivers can be supported with low cost, low intensity interventions.
  • The need to use lessons learned from the HIV/AIDS response to address other high risk and emergency situations.
  • The critical role philanthropy can play in parallel to government large scale interventions, by providing funding for targeted interventions.

The meeting was intended to both feed into results presented at the Coalition’s biennial symposium and, ultimately, drive action in order to reach the caregiver population.

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