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Program for Orphan Girls in Zimbabwe Provides Cost-Effective Assistance

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Adolescent orphan girls are a particularly vulnerable group in countries with limited resources. They are more likely to drop out of school and engage in earlier sexual behavior, marry early, and become infected with HIV. 

Researchers supported by the Population Dynamics Branch conducted a controlled trial of an assistance program for orphan girls in Zimbabwe aimed at improving outcomes for these girls. Girls were provided with school fees, uniforms, supplies and a school-based teacher “helper” to monitor attendance and provide assistance and encouragement. 

After 2 years, girls who received this assistance were less likely to drop out of school. The girls in the program were also less likely to marry early, which is crucially important because early marriage carries a much higher risk for HIV. In addition, the girls who received the assistance had a higher health-related quality of life. The program also demonstrated cost-effectiveness—the estimated value of the program’s benefits exceeded costs by more than 200-fold (PMID: 21493943).

Last Updated Date: 05/29/2014
Last Reviewed Date: 05/29/2014
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology