The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) envisages “a common future, a future within a regional community that continues to ensure socioeconomic wellbeing, freedom, social justice and peace and security”. As the region moves towards achieving this vision, it faces the continuing challenges of the HIV and tuberculosis (TB) epidemics, and of high prevalence of malaria in some countries. Children and adolescents (who represent almost 50% of the SADC region’s population) are particularly vulnerable to these three diseases—not only in terms of direct morbidity and mortality, but also because of orphanhood and the weakening of household economies when parents and caregivers are either infected or affected.
These Minimum Standards are intended to strengthen child and adolescent-specific policies and programmatic frameworks in HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria, to guide the integration of HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria services/ programmes within PHC and with basic child care services, and to facilitate harmonisation across Member States.
Ultimately, these Minimum Standards are aimed at assisting Member States in strengthening and scaling up efforts to achieving the MDGs, and meet other regional and international commitments, and to continue to reinforce child survival and development beyond 2015.