Baylor Med School to Partner with UNICEF for AIDS Care in Africa

A new partnership between the Baylor College of Medicine and UNICEF could mean better treatment of millions of African children living with HIV and AIDS. Houston Public Radio's Jack Williams reports.

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The agreement allows the two organizations to join forces to improve access to medications and other treatments for children in Africa. Both already have a presence in the contintent, but by combining resources, will be able to be more effective. Dr. Mark Kline is a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.

"We think that by building this capacity for care and treatment we will vastly expand access of African children to state-of-the-art treatment for HIV, and this treatment is life saving. There's not other way to put it."

There are an estimated 2.3 million African children living with HIV and more than 5 million have died from the infection so far. Baylor already has six HIV and AIDS treatment centers set-up in five countries in eastern and southern Africa. Dr. Kline says the new agreement means good things for children in Africa.

"We're implementers. We are on the ground doing the work and we feel strongly that working with UNICEF, we can help in achieving goals for global access of HIV infected children to care and treatment services."

Kline says between 40-60 percent of deaths of children under 5 years old in parts of Africa are attributed to HIV and AIDS. He says the collaboration starts immediately.

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