Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All
Dec 04, 2012

A generation at risk: psychosocial support for Africa's children

A generation at risk: psychosocial support for Africa's children

Basel, 4 December 2012. "Over 16 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents to HIV and AIDS, and most of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to those affected by chronic illness and death, many other children are confronted by the challenges of poverty and conflict. These vulnerable children face material hardship, socio-economic disadvantage, social stigma, emotional isolation and psychological trauma. Such consequences carry far-reaching social effects for many countries, and pose a threat to longer-term development. We risk losing a generation of children made vulnerable by poverty, conflict, HIV and AIDS.

For 10 years, the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI), co-founded and supported by the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, has developed state-of-the-art psychosocial support tools to help children cope with their loss and regain confidence. Governments, international organizations, NGOs and other actors have become increasingly aware of the particular social and emotional needs of children and have worked to incorporate these tools into healthcare, poverty alleviation and education programs. This year’s Novartis Foundation Symposium invites esteemed speakers and experts to assess psychosocial approaches and discuss various interventions that strive to ensure mental health and wellbeing for Africa’s children."

Annual symposium of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, a member of the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland.

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