Results of the orphans and vulnerable children head of household baseline survey in four districts in Zambia.
At the end of 2001, a total of 44 million people globally were estimated to be living with HIV or AIDS, with 70% of all cases occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Zambia is one of the worst affected countries on the African continent, with an adult HIV sero-prevalence rate of 21.5% (UNAIDS Epidemiological Fact Sheet, 2002 Update). According to UN estimates, there are currently an estimated 570,000 children orphaned due to AIDS, many of whom are living with extended family members and relatives after the death of their parents. As Zambia is one of the poorest countries in the region, these extended families are themselves often impoverished, resulting in further vulnerability of both the orphans and their own children. Orphaned and other vulnerable children (OVC) living in such situations are frequently at increased risk of losing opportunities for education, health care, development, adequate nutrition, and shelter. Since 1999, Strengthening Community Participation for the Empowerment of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (SCOPE-OVC), a USAID/FHI funded project, has been working in several districts in Zambia to help mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on OVC in those communities. This document reports the findings of a baseline survey of households caring for OVC, the second phase of a multi-phase evaluation carried out by SCOPE-OVC, FHI, and others to identify achievements, gaps in service, and lessons learned in service provision for OVC. (excerpt)