Goat Milk: A Feasible Dietary Based Approach to Improve the Nutrition of Orphan and Vulnerable Children
M.A. Belewu and A.M. Adewole
Worldwide, about 15 million children under the age of 18 years have been orphaned by HIV and AIDS of which 80% resides in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Nigeria, an estimated 1.5 million children are orphans. In Nigeria, there are about 5,040,000 births per annum of which 252,000 infants are born to HIV infected women exposed to risk of mother-to-child transmission and annually between 67,000 and 113,400 infants are born HIV positive. It is noteworthy that nutrition is a vital remedy against HIV and AIDS while poor nutrition which affects the immune system of infected patients often result in irreversible outcomes. Numerous studies have shown that the impact of HIV and AIDS can be reduced given adequate investments and political will directed at providing cheap and readily available protein sources. A successful low cost and readily available protein program incorporates implementation and strategic use of communication for progress and program inception should be in the forefront. A review of the importance of goat milk as a cheap and readily available food source for orphan and vulnerable HIV/AIDS infected children are discussed.