58% more HIV, AIDS organisations funded by dept

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cape Town - The Department of Social Development has more than doubled the number of organisations it funds which support people living with HIV and AIDS.

In a written reply to a Parliamentary question raised by political parties in the National Assembly, Minister of Social Development Edna Molewa said the department had funded 2 691 home and community based care organisations in 2008/2009, up from 1 579 in 2007/2008.

Home and community based care organisations provide services to individuals and families infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, including child-headed households.

Figures provided by Molewa on Thursday showed that the department almost quadrupled the number of home and community based care organisations it supports in the Eastern Cape - from 97 in 2007/2008 to 372 in the last financial year.

The department had more than doubled the number of organisations it assisted in Gauteng, from 209 to 425, the North West, from 107 to 248 and Mpumalanga from 179 to 371 in the same period.

The department had also upped its support for home and community based care organisations in the Northern Cape, from 92 to 116 and the Western Cape, from 168 to 275 between 2007/2008 and the last financial year.

In the Free State, the department funded 119 organisations, down from 130, and in Limpopo 440, down from 657, in the last financial year.

Molewa said the home and community based care approach allowed children and their families to have access to services nearest to their homes.

According to data from the 2001 census there were 229 714 child-headed households in the country. Limpopo had the highest number of child-headed households at 53 229, followed by the Eastern Cape at 38 886 and KwaZulu-Natal at 38 052.

"Services within the home and community based care organisations are provided by trained community caregivers who render home visits to assess their needs and provide ongoing support and supervision," said the minister.

These services include, among other things, addressing the psychosocial needs of orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS, assistance in obtaining legal documents, assistance with domestic chores and the provision of food parcels, nutritional supplements and cooked meals.

"The organisations have a responsibility of mobilising communities to form community child-care forums.

"These are community structures comprise community members, who ensure the early identification of orphans, children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS and child-headed households in the communities," she said.

Molewa added that their responsibilities include linking the identified vulnerable children to relevant service providers and also making follow ups to ensure that the identified children do access the services they are entitled to.

The department is in the process of finalising a three-year contract with the KfW Banking Group for the refurbishment, extension and equipments of community-care centres.

The partnership is also expected to result in the development and implementation of a skills training programme for child and youth-headed households

She said a 2007 report into child-headed households commissioned by the development in partnership with KfW German Banking Group had provided input for the development, strengthening and support of specific intervention strategies for the care and support of child-headed households.

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