1 Section of Health Services Research, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Section of Health Services Research, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Objectives:Schools are often cited as a source of support for orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS in populations experiencing generalized HIV epidemics and severe poverty. Here we investigate the success of schools at including and supporting the well being of vulnerable children in rural Zimbabwe. Design:Data from a cross-sectional household survey of 4577 children (aged 6–17 years), conducted between 2009 and 2011, were linked to data on the characteristics of 28 primary schools and 18 secondary schools from a parallel monitoring and evaluation facility survey. Methods:We construct two measures of school quality (one general and one HIV-specific) and use multivariable regression to test whether these were associated with improved educational outcomes and well being for vulnerable children. Results:School quality was not associated with primary or secondary school attendance, but was associated with children's being in the correct grade for age [adjusted odds ratio 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2–3.5, P = 0.01]. General and HIV-specific school quality had significant positive effects on well being in the primary school-age children (coefficient 5.1, 95% CI 2.4–7.7, P 0.2). There was no evidence that school quality provided an additional benefit to the well being of vulnerable children. Community HIV prevalence was negatively associated with well being in the secondary school-age children (coefficient −0.7, 95% CI −1.3 to −0.1, P = 0.03). Conclusions:General and HIV-specific school quality may enhance the well being of primary school-age children in eastern Zimbabwe. Local community context also plays an important role in child well being.
Aids, 2014, Vol 28, Issue Suppl 3
AIDS; children; education; HIV; HIV competence; schools; well being; Zimbabwe