Mpika alone has more than 23 000 orphans

By Ernest Mwape-Mpika district in the Northern Province has 23, 333 orphans, it has been revealed

This is according to a recent survey conducted on orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Mpika.

The survey was conducted by Development Organisation for People’s Empowerment (DOPE) with the help of Irish Aid.

Presenting OVC survey statistics at CIMS Conference Centre in Mpika yesterday, DOPE Executive Director Paul Muwowo said out of 23,333 orphans, 70 percent are orphaned due to HIV/AIDS, while the remaining percentage was because of other natural causes.

Muwowo disclosed that 12 689 are boys and 10 644 are girls representing 54 and 46 percent respectively.  He added that 44 percent are paternal, 48 percent are maternal and 8 percent are double orphaned children.

He revealed that Munikashi and Chbwa wards in the outskirts of Mpika Boma have the highest number of orphans with 2, 315 and 2, 300 respectively; while Mutekwe and Lubalashi have 340 and 327 orphans each.

He further revealed that orphans between 0 to 4 years are at 10 percent.  And others with percentages in brackets are 5 to 9 years (29), 10 to14 (40) and 15 to 18 (21).  The survey was conducted in all the 22 wards in the district and it took four months to complete.

Muwowo, who on his analysis could not give reasons as to why the two wards which are in far flung areas have the highest number of orphans when compared to wards within the Township, disclosed that 28 million Kwacha was spent on exercise.

And giving the background of OVC survey, District AIDS Coordinating Advisor Daniel Nkondwa said the aim of the survey was to improve on the management of information and come up with the official figures on OVC situation in the district.

Nkondwa revealed that previously the planning had been difficult due to lack of official statistics on OVC in the area.

“This became difficult when it came to planning because each stakeholder had its own data, a situation that led to non uniformity of information regarding OVC in the district,” he explained.

He hoped that since the district had come up with official information on OVC, stakeholders would now be accessing it for proper and accurate planning.

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