This important resource was written by the African Network for the Care of Children Affected by AIDS (ANECCA), an informal network of health workers and social scientists committed to improving care for HIV-exposed and -infected children in Africa.
While most handbooks on paediatric AIDS are from developed countries, this unique publication is designed specifically for use by practitioners in resource-constrained African countries.
The Handbook on Paediatric AIDS in Africa was funded by the Regional Economic Development Services Office of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and its production was managed by FHI 360.
The framework proposed in this handbook follows the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its four principles:
- Right to life, survival, and development
- Right to be treated equally
- Right to participate in activities and decisions that affect them
- All actions should be based on the “best interests” of the child.
This handbook seeks to provide a simple, accessible, and practical handbook for health professionals involved in preventing infection and caring for children infected and affected by HIV. The primary targets are medical students and their lecturers, nurses, clinicians, community health workers, and other service providers in resource poor settings where there is a significant HIV/AIDS burden.
Research on HIV/AIDS is global and ongoing, and new information becomes available continuously, particularly in the areas of PMTCT and ART; thus, this handbook will be a living document, updated as they learn from their experiences. There are many gaps in knowledge—not only because there is little experience, but also, and perhaps more importantly, because many solid, but small-scale, programmes caring for children are poorly documented.
This handbook will stimulate much-needed dialogue, documentation, dissemination, and learning from these invaluable experiences, however imperfect. In the words of a highly valued colleague and advocate: “They must not allow the excellent to become the enemy of the good.” Let’s not wait for perfect conditions in terms of infrastructure and resources before we provide the care that HIV-infected children in Africa deserve.