In recent years, the education sector in low-income countries has come to play an increasingly important role in the health of the school-aged child. The sector has a key role in providing young people, especially girls, a chance to a productive and AIDS-free life, through the social vaccine of education. In response to an expressed demand at national and regional levels for the establishment of concrete mechanisms for exchanging information and experiences among neighbouring countries facing similar operational challenges, the Accelerate Initiative has facilitated the formation of Networks of Ministry of Education HIV and AIDS Focal Points. In 2007, the Networks of Ministry of Education HIV and AIDS Focal Points led a rapid situation analysis to update their current understanding of the education sector responses of HIV and AIDS and School Health and Nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. It was considered that the identification of priority areas in SHN and HIV and AIDS in each country would enable government officials to concentrate resources and programming in these areas, and aid future planning both within each country and collectively across Networks. The findings would also serve as a baseline from which countries and Networks can measure their progress in coming years.
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