By Kiran Ntapasha – Mana.
Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) has introduced Johns Hopkins Programme for International Education in Gynaecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO) as a new partner in the Community Faith Initiative (CFI) project to carry out HIV testing in Thyolo.
CHAM Project Coordinator, Felix Magwira disclosed Wednesday during the District Aids Coordinating Committee (DACC) meeting in the district.
“JHPIEGO is to help us to disseminate messages on HIV and Aids to communities mainly men from 15 years through Faith Based Organizations (FBO),” he said, adding that JHPIEGO’s main responsibility was to offer HIV testing and encourage self-testing among men and young children.
Magwira said despite some successful interventions since 2019, CFI had some challenges such that it failed to achieve most of its objectives.
“Though the project was introduced in 2019, we were able to report the progress of the work from October 2020 to March 2021 due limited number of health technology assessments (HTAs), Covid-19 restrictions and funding modality,” he added.
The Coordinator expressed hope that the introduction of JHPIEGO to CFI would serve more people as more personnel is being oriented to do HIV and Aids interventions in the targeted districts.
District Aids Coordinating Committee (DACC) Chairperson in Thyolo, Derrick Mwenda urged CHAM, JHPIEGO and other partners to have representatives in Thyolo to ensure coordination with other district level sectors to effectively implement the CFI.
“Having representatives that will be able to solve people’s problems and allow consultation would be very helpful to the community as well as DACC as most times we fail to discuss and report issues happening on the ground because partners are not present,” he added.
Mwenda hoped that the CFI would place their representatives in the district for easy collaboration with other sector in HIV and Aids response.
CFI project is implemented in Nanseta, Bvumbwe and Nchilamwera Traditional Authorities (TAs) in Thyolo and four other districts namely Blantyre, Zomba, Chiradzulu and Mzimba.
The project aims at strengthening FBOs in raising awareness and disseminates messages about HIV and Aids and the project has a budget of 7.1 million US dollars from Centre for Development Communication (CDC). Mana/kn/tv/ewc/tha