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Last Updated: Friday, 9 January, 2004, 15:19 GMT
Kenyan schools accept HIV orphans
Orphans at Nyumbani
Kenya's authorities have agreed to ensure primary school places are given to 72 HIV-positive children from Kenya's biggest and oldest orphanage.

Nyumbani home took the government to court after accusing five local state schools of discriminating against children from their orphanage.

Nyumbani's lawyer Ababu Namwamba said it was a victory "over prejudice, stigma and fear".

Last year, Kenya's new government introduced free primary schooling.

A new school year began at the beginning of this week.

Good news

Mr Namwamba said it was a "victory for the Kenyan child, and every member of the human family who values and cherishes the right life in its purest and broadest form".

At the start of the case, Reverend Angelo D'Agostino, a Roman Catholic priest and founder of Nyumbani, said the local schools had refused to let the children enrol once they found out the child was from their home.

"They find some sort of excuse like they're too full, they don't have any room or whatever, so that's where we have the problem," he said.

Meanwhile, preliminary findings of a government survey show that Kenya may have a lower HIV prevalence rate than previously thought.

Planning and National Development Minister Anyang' Nyon'go said researchers found that 6.7% of Kenyans were HIV positive compared to a Health Ministry 2003 estimate of 9.4%.

The director of Kenya's National Aids and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Programme, Kenneth Chebet, said the government believes the reduction is due to awareness campaigns and deaths among those with Aids.

He said that the new figures were the most accurate estimates ever recorded in the country.

Africa's private Aids tragedies
27 Sep 03  |  From Our Own Correspondent
Profile: Kenya's new leader
29 Dec 02  |  Africa

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