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Counselling and Peer-to-Peer Support Adds Joy to the Lives of Children with HIV
More than 100 children gather in the Tashkent City AIDS Centre to celebrate International Children’s Day. Boys and girls are happy to play with clowns and get gifts. «Our task is to ensure that the child stays positive, and does not lose hope because of his/her illness," says Nozima Afzalova, a leader of volunteers who plays the role of a clown. «As soon as children see a red nose and our colorful costumes they laugh and play. Like others, they have a right to play and enjoy their life. We encourage them to help each other and study together. We want them to believe that they can live a long and happy life, despite their illness.»
A group of young volunteers like Nozima work with the team of experts to provide psychological support to children living with HIV and their parents at the Day Care Centre at the Institute of Virology established with UNICEF assistance. It is a place where specialists provide counselling to the families on medical treatment as well as proper nutrition and life style.
UNICEF implements programmes to support children and adolescents living with HIV and AIDS, in particular by imparting trainings on the
According to Kamila Fatikhova, UNICEF Consultant, the main goal of UNICEF activities is not only to provide information about HIV and AIDS to children and their parents, develop their responsibility towards their health, and create conditions for them to adapt to their diagnosis, but also to provide them with the psychological support through peer to peer approach.
Governmental organizations alone are not responsible for children’s
The doctors, nurses, volunteers and counsellors work together to help families cope with the stress. The Day Care Centre is abuzz with activities to support these families in ensuring that children living with HIV can lead a life of joy and happiness, and above all, with dignity.