Changes in Household Composition and Orphan Living Situations in Selected African Countries Affected by HIV/AIDS

Florence Nyangara, Futures Group International

The study examines changes in household composition and children's living arrangements in relation to parental survival status in countries most affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. The paper highlights the increasing dependency burdens and the importance of child-parent relationship to child schooling. The results show that in the past decade the dependency ratios in most countries have increased nationally and excessively in rural than urban areas, suggesting an increased economic and social dependency burdens for working-age adults and a shift from urban to rural. Non-relative child fostering, which was once an uncommon practice in Africa has also increased. Controlling for other factors, orphans, children living with non-relatives and non-working adults are less likely to be enrolled in school. The long-term effects of HIV/AIDS epidemic include changes in family structures and child fosterage practices, which have negative effects on children. Therefore policymakers need to identify opportunities to assist children in these situations.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health and Mortality