In India, NACO to launch Nutritional Supplement Programme for HIV infected kids
(22 Mar. 2007) : The National Aids Control Organization (NACO) has decided to introduce
a nutritional supplement programme to cater to the nutritional needs of HIV positive
children enrolled under their Anti-Retrovial Programme (ART). “The supplement is expected
to take care of 60 per cent of the child’s calorie, protein and micronutrient needs
per day and it will be available to children across the country free of cost along
with the ART medical support”, said NACO director-general Sujata Rao. This programme
has been backed by other international agencies including Clinton Foundation and World
Food Programme. According to experts, children infected with HIV are more prone to
infections and their nutritional needs are greater than that of an ordinary child.
The programme intends to take care of this aspect. The UNAIDS in its 2006 report released
last week said, the total number of HIV/AIDS cases in India has reached an estimated
5.7 million, surpassing South Africa's 5.5 million cases. And the total number of
HIV infected kids below the age of 15-year is 170,000 children.