Authorities have appealed for concerted efforts if Malawi is to win the fight against HIV epidemic.
The plea has been sounded as Malawi joins the rest of the world in commemorating the joint World AIDS Day and International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day slated for next week Tuesday on December 1.
Addressing journalists in Lilongwe ahead of the remembrance, Minister of Health Khumbize Kadondo Chiponda said there is need for coexistence if attempts towards battling the virus are to be achieved.
“It’s still a big threat to us, especially that we are still losing lives of people who are very productive citizens for this country, so let’s all come together in raising awareness of the threat that is HIV/AIDS,” Chiponda said.
Speaking at the same conference, UNAIDS Country Director Nuha Ceesay said Malawi is making progress in achieving the 90:90:90 target despite registering new HIV infections.
“We are worried about the new HIV infection because globally a target has been set and a target of reducing new infection to not less than 500, 000.
“And if you take that 500, 000 into the country context each country is supposed to contribute to that effect and we know that in the case of Malawi this actually currently standing at close 33, 000 new infections annually,” said Ceesay.
On his part Malawi Network for Aids Services Organisation (MANASO) Board Chairperson Maziko Matemba has reminded government to withstand its commitment despite the emergence of the novel Coronavirus.
“What we are doing now as Civil Society is continue robbing government for more domestic resource mobilisation but also international resources, we know that resources have been earmarked to COVID-19 so we don’t want to see any disruptions of HIV/AIDS services amidst COVID-19,” said Matemba.
The Day will be commemorated at Mitundu Primary School ground in Lilongwe where President Lazarus Chakwera is expected to be Guest of Honour.
This year`s commemorations will be remembered under the combined theme of “global solidarity and shared responsibility as we remember, take action, and live beyond HIV”.
According to the Malawi Demographic Health Survey, the country`s HIV prevalence has reduced from 10.6% in 2010 to 8.8% in 2016.