Economic Empowerment as a Health Care Intervention among Orphaned Children in Rural Uganda

What role do assets play in reversing the trajectory of HIV/AIDS in Uganda?
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This study evaluates an ‘asset-based family economic empowerment intervention to reduce HIV risks among orphaned children in Uganda.Based on the “asset theory”, the intervention employs assets such as savings accounts and scholarships for education to not only fight poverty, but also to promote health and social functioning.The intervention uses the following method:

  • It assigns children randomly to receive an economic intervention or to a controlarm.
  • It uses data obtained at baseline and 12-month follow-up periods.

The study finds differences on HIV prevention attitudes, educational plans, and child-caregiver relationships for the ‘intervention-arm children relative to ‘control children.It concludes that:

  • AIDS-orphaned children can benefit from family economic empowerment interventions,
  • Macro economic interventions may effect change by giving children a means to improve their lives in tangible and rewarding ways,
  • Whatever the mechanisms for change, family economic empowerment programs warrant further investigation as a way to reverse the trajectory of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa.

About this Publication

By Ssewamala, F., Alicea, S., Bannon, W. & Ismayilova, L.