By Heather Mpinganjira – Mana.
Mulanje is set to benefit from a five-year HIV project to be implemented by Partners in Hope which is aimed at reducing HIV incidences and HIV-related illnesses and deaths.
Speaking during a District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting over the weekend, Deputy Programmes Director for Partners in Hope, Mike Nyirenda said the project would support government to achieve the 2020-2025 National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS.
“We are supporting the Ministry of Health in addressing the devastating HIV pandemic in Malawi by increasing and sustaining the proportion of people with HIV identified and link them to treatment,” he said.
Nyirenda added that the project would concentrate on improving health service delivery by ensuring that there are adequate and well trained health workers.
“We have employed 206 health care providers ranging from clinical officers, patient supporters, nurses and data clerks,” he disclosed adding that, “We want to improve sustainable viral load suppression, high impact preventive services and improve availability of quality site-level data.”
Director for Health and Social Services (DHSS) for Mulanje, Dr. Alinafe Kalanga commended Partners in Hope for the project to be rolled out, noting that it would go a long way in complementing the hospital’s efforts in mitigating HIV and AIDS.
“Apart from helping the health sector, this project will be helpful because it will also reduce high levels of unemployment in the country,” she said.
Mulanje District Council Director of Planning and Development (DPD), Ernest Kaphuka advised Partners in Hope to work with people from the community for the project’s impact to be achieved.
“Some of the objectives need to be reworked before the project can be introduced formally because they are not quite different from what the project has been implementing in the past years,” he added.
The HIV and AIDS project is being implemented with the support from the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).