Pneumonia remains the leading cause of death among children under five years of age, with HIV contributing a large share to the burden of disease. But since the 1980s, there has been no updated knowledge of what causes child-hood pneumonia. A new international study involving about 12 000 children is investigating the causes of this disease.

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Labour and Social Security Minister, Austin Liato has described child labour as a social, human right and economic issue which should be addressed by all interest groups.

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First Lady Thandiwe Banda has called on the corporate world to invest in the well-being of disabled children to ensure a brighter future for the nation.

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Every minute, somewhere in the world, a child goes blind according to the World Health Organization. Three in five poor children who go blind are likely to die within two years of losing their sight - yet half of cases of childhood blindness are avoidable.

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The Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development has said the Government is working to develop and implement an integrated social protection system that will deliver multi-faceted care and support packages for health care, education, nutrition and legal protection at domestic level.

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Community Development and Social Services Deputy Minister Friday Malwa has said Government recognises the challenges children with disabilities face and that it has since made progress in the development of policies to protect their rights.

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"I WAS raped when I was 18 years old in 1993. Due to the history of rape I did an HIV test in 2004 as I had not encountered any sexual relationship with any man. I did not disclose anything to anyone because back then, it was very hard.

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Taking a walk in my neighbourhood one day, I witnessed a case in which a pregnant girl was dumped at a home where the man responsible for the pregnancy stays.

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Government has established a Child Protection Programme Unit (CPPU) aimed at carrying out operations to rid towns of street kids.

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At an increased risk of HIV and often unable to negotiate safe sex with clients, sex workers have been a major focus in HIV prevention and treatment. However, away from the streets and brothels, their children have been largely ignored.

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