The following Caritas initiatives, undertaken since 2009, have aimed at increasing access to testing and treatment for children and mothers with HIV and TB:
Advocating with pharmaceutical companies for better testing and treatment.
Encouraging the international community to prioritise maternal and infant care, especially for those living with HIV.
Organising a conference on paediatric HIV and TB, in Rome, to promote sharing of experience and knowledge among experts, Church and UN representatives and AIDS field workers.
Caritas India has promoted awareness-raising on this topic among social work students and mobilized them to advocate on behalf of such vulnerable women and children.
Caritas Slovenia and Slovakia raised awareness among school children about AIDS issues affecting children.
Caritas Australia met with Roche pharmaceutical company to promote access to testing and treatment for children with HIV.
The Prescription for Life letter writing campaign has resulted in:
Caritas Austria handing over to officials of the national government 21,000 signatures calling for […]
Children were at the heart of the Caritas response to AIDS during 2009. Every day, 800 children die from AIDS-related diseases.
The Caritas ‘HAART for Children’ campaign urged governments and pharmaceutical firms to develop and provide ‘child-friendly’HIV and TB medicines as well as low-cost/low-technology testing methods to diagnose these infections.
HAART stands for “Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy”, the combination of medicines that help prolong the lives of both children and adults living with HIV. These medicines also help to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus.
“We simply do not have enough paediatric formulations and dosages of antiretrovirals,” says Msgr Robert Vitillo, Caritas Internationalis Special Advisor on HIV and AIDS. “Without them, more than half of children with HIV die before their second birthday. This tragic situation can no longer be tolerated – Caritas and other Catholic Church-related organisations can turn the tide through this campaign.”
Organisations and Catholic religious orders in Africa, Asia, […]
When seven-year-old Mosipho was brought to the Thabang Society in Parys, South Africa, she was close to death. She had been diagnosed with HIV in January and was seriously ill. “She was suffering from pneumonia and had a swollen abdomen and swollen legs. She wasn’t far from death,” said paediatrician Dr Almud Pollmeier.
Mosipho, who has lived with her grandmother since the death of both her parents, was discharged from hospital after three weeks. Her health had improved but she still wasn’t on antiretrovirals (ARVs) and once she came out of hospital she started to deteriorate.
Mosipho was taken to a specialist paediatric unit in Johannesburg where extra-pulmonary TB was diagnosed. The Thabang Society receives antiretroviral medicines from Caritas, but treating a child with TB medication and ARVs at the same time is problematic.
“It can cause a severe immune reaction and the child can suffer a lot,” explained Dr Pollmeier. “We […]
Tuberculosis affects a large number of people in North Korea. The country’s international isolation and poverty mean drug supply is unreliable. Resistance to tuberculosis can develop if patients receive inconsistent or partial treatment. If multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) does occur, it can be harder and more expensive to treat.
Caritas is one of the few aid agencies able to work in North Korea. Teams regularly travel there with medical supplies to support TB care centres. Caritas also provided generators to a TB hospital in Hadan in 2009. Surgeons will now be able to carry out operations with electricity and light.
TB is a preventable and treatable disease. Yet, an estimated 1.8 million people died fromTB in 2008. Caritas Internationalis took part in theWorld Stop TB Partnership Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in March.
Representatives presented models developed by faith-based organisations that focus on grassroots efforts, partnerships with governments, international donors and […]
Caritas works on behalf of those at risk fromdevastating pandemics such as HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.
In the developing world, poverty itself is both a cause and an effect of pandemics that devastate the physical, social and economic health of entire regions.
Caritas raises awareness about AIDS issues around the world through training workshops. In 2009, it facilitated workshops in Asia, Africa and Oceania, with a particular focus on training young people.
It also published the Caritas Training Manual on AIDS in French and Arabic. Caritas is a member of CHAN (Catholic HIV and AIDS Network) which aims to strengthen the response of Catholic faithbased organisations to the HIV pandemic.
Caritas work on pandemics in 2009 included:
Provision of medicines and care
Income generation activities
Training for health workers
Raising public awareness on prevention, stigma and discrimination
Advocacy for universal access to care and treatment
Securing Better Access to Early Testing and Treatment for Children Living with HIV
or HIV/TB Co-Infection and to Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV.
14 – 16 October 2009 | Programme (English) » | Programme (Italiano) » | Invitation »
In poor countries, some children with HIV and TB don’t stand a chance at life. Children may die because they are not diagnosed in time. Even with a timely diagnosis, children’s lives are at risk because treatment is too expensive or not adaptable to a poor setting, or else it is not available in a child friendly format. Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Caritas Internationalis is organising a conference to gather together experts to discuss the need to improve and expand access to testing and treatment for children living with HIV and TB.
The conference aims to build on the foundations laid down by Caritas Internationalis’ HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral […]