Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/20/2014 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Zimbabwe health official stresses need for universal health clearance

It's a shameful fact that point to negligence on the part of African health officials. Thousands of teenagers and children in that nation are dying form AIDS as they are unaware of their HIV positive status. As a result, these young people die slow painful deaths that could have been prevented with a timely diagnosis.

While half of HIV positive children die before the age of two without treatment, one-third live to the age of 16.

While half of HIV positive children die before the age of two without treatment, one-third live to the age of 16.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/20/2014 (5 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Zimbabwe, HIV-AIDS, adolescents, teenagers, children


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Zimbabwe-based expert on HIV/AIDS, Rashida Ferrand of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has since called for universal testing of children entering health facilities in countries where the disease is prevalent.

In a 2010 survey, HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of hospitalization and in-hospital death among teenagers in the two public hospitals in the Zimbabwean capital Harare.

Honor the heroism of Saint Polycarp by going here --

Africa has more than three million children living with HIV/AIDS. Of that number, 1.7 million of them are adolescents aged between 10 and 18. The majority do not know they are infected.

Ferrand cites one especially horrifying case, where a 15-year-old boy suffers from swelling of the brain. "His eyes are protruding from the pressure that's built up in his head. It's as serious as that," she said in a telephone interview.

The boy's grandfather would not give permission for him to undergo the recommended medical procedures. He was discharged, against the doctor's advice. "They have taken the child back home. It's highly likely that this child will die," Ferrand says.

Denying a child the right to life-saving medical care is a human rights abuse, Ferrand said.

"If this was in the United Kingdom, we could bring in social services, we could bring in child protection services, and force the guardian to bring this child for treatment," she said. "It's a very difficult and potentially very complex thing to bring up because you cannot approach a community and accuse them of neglect."

Fifteen million African children have lost a parent to HIV/AIDS, according to the United Nations. Those lucky to have extended families are placed in situations where there is no money or time to care for sick children whom they have inherited from relatives.

In one particularly heartbreaking case, a stepfather sent an HIV positive 11-year-old girl to live in a rural area because he felt he could not support her. After her mother died, he married another woman with whom he has three healthy children.

"These are things that are very uncomfortable for communities to address. Nobody wants to say that 'I discriminate against this child because he or she is not my real child,'" Ferrand says.

Ferrand has found that up to 80 percent of older children in Zimbabwe living with HIV are undiagnosed. "Testing being missed is a huge issue in this age group. The vast majority of older children get tested when they present with an AIDS defining illness," she said. "By which time, they are already very immune suppressed."

While half of HIV positive children die before the age of two without treatment, one-third live to the age of 16.

In many countries, the parent or guardian has to give consent for a child under 18 to be tested. This can prove impossible when the parents are working in another country, as is common in southern Africa.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Africa

'Above the control of the national government' - Liberia overwhelmed with Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of Fear and denial is playing a large part in the spread of the deadly virus. Some residents in affected villages have accused health personnel of bringing the disease into the country and have barricaded their towns, or blocked access to Ebola hemorrhagic fever victims.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Ebola outbreak in the West African nation of Liberia has officially reached its tipping point. "Our government has declared this now as a humanitarian crisis that is above the control of the national government," Tolbert Nyenswah, Liberia's assistant ... continue reading


Obianuju Ekeocha: An African woman's Thank-you Letter to Meriam Ibrahim Watch

Image of Pope Francis giving a blessing to Meriam and her youngest child

By Obianuju Ekeocha

You, my African sister, have become a lightning rod to the radical feminists of our times who repudiate and denigrate every virtue that you epitomize. Within your body, you have borne the marks and scars of a true Christian,a wife, a mother and a martyr, and in ... continue reading


Liberia closes its borders in order to halt spread of Ebola Watch

Image of Liberian President Sirleaf has placed restrictions on public gatherings and ordered hotels, restaurants and other entertainment venues to play a five-minute video on Ebola safety.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In response to the rapidly escalating spread of the Ebola virus throughout West Africa, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has closed most of his country's borders. What points of entry that remain open will have Ebola testing centers and will implement ... continue reading


A second American has been confirmed to have Ebola in Africa Watch

Image of The Ebola epidemic that has been ravaging Africa since early 2014 has now infected its second America.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Officials in the region have confirmed that a second American has tested positive for the Ebola virus, at the same Liberian hospital where an American doctor became infected with the virus previously. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A vice president of ... continue reading


Newest nation in the world now faces mass starvation Watch

Image of More than a million people have fled their homes since fighting erupted between different factions of South Sudan's ruling party last December.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Begun as an effort to establish economic independence from Sudan, South Sudan became the world's youngest nation a few short years ago. Now - with fighting threatening to plunge the nation in to civil war, the United Nations has declared South Sudan's current ... continue reading


ANOTHER PLANE - VANISHES! Air Algerie flight with 116 people onboard drops off radar Watch

Image of The plane in question, the MD-83 is part of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 family of twin-engine, single-aisle jets. The plane belongs to a private Spanish company, Swiftair, but it appears to have been operated by Air Algerie.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In yet another horrific airline disaster in a year full of them, an Air Algerie flight with 116 people on board has simply - dropped off the radar. The flight operator says that the plane has apparently crashed in somewhere in the West African nation of Mali. ... continue reading


LOOKING GRIM: Sierra Leone's chief Ebola doctor contracts the virus Watch

Image of The WHO says that of the 632 deadly Ebola cases, 206 people had died in Sierra Leone.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sheik Umar Khan, hailed as a "national hero" in Sierra Leone by the health ministry, had been leading the fight to control the recent Ebola outbreak that has killed 206 people in the West African country. Tragically, the 39-year-old medic has now contracted the ... continue reading


GRIEF TAKES TOLL: At least 11 parents of abducted Nigerian schoolgirls have died Watch

Image of Martha Mark, the mother of kidnapped school girl Monica Mark cries as she displays her photo, in the family house, in Chibok, Nigeria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Grief and worry takes its toll on human health. Ever since more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls were abducted by the Boko Haram terror group three months ago, four of their parents have died from heart failure; seven of the girls' fathers were killed in an attack ... continue reading


Nigerian military swears to retake town after massacre by Muslims Watch

Image of The anti-education Muslim group, Boko Haram, attacked a town in northeast Nigeria, displacing 15,000 and killing more than 60 people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Nigerian terrorist organization Boko Haram has continued its reign of terror, leaving dozens dead in the northeast Nigerian town of Damboa during a July 17 raid, Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reports. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


How malnutrition kills, and a painful look at the South Sudan crisis Watch

Image of Parents don't like to see their children die and will save them if they can but with limited resources available, difficult choices are made and babies pay the price.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With hundreds of thousands of people, especially children expected to die in South Sudan in the coming months, attention is finally being focused on malnutrition and starvation and the painful process of death which accompanies those conditions. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 26:1-9
1 At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:6, 8-10, 14
6 Those who hope in you must not be made fools of, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:54-58
54 and, coming to his home town, he taught the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 1st, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
August 1: Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter