News / Africa

    US AIDS Agencies to Improve Health Care Services in Malawi

    A Malawian child, suffering from HIV, breast-feeds at the Zomba NRU (Nutritional and Rehabilitation Unit), 60 kms south of Blantyre, October 14, 2005 file photo. A Malawian child, suffering from HIV, breast-feeds at the Zomba NRU (Nutritional and Rehabilitation Unit), 60 kms south of Blantyre, October 14, 2005 file photo.
    x
    A Malawian child, suffering from HIV, breast-feeds at the Zomba NRU (Nutritional and Rehabilitation Unit), 60 kms south of Blantyre, October 14, 2005 file photo.
    A Malawian child, suffering from HIV, breast-feeds at the Zomba NRU (Nutritional and Rehabilitation Unit), 60 kms south of Blantyre, October 14, 2005 file photo.
    Lameck Masina
    U.S. agencies that work to fight HIV this week began a five-year effort with Malawi's government to improve health care for Malawians infected with the virus.  The program - targeting seven districts across Malawi - aims to build on the country’s success in combating HIV/AIDS.  The United Nations says that from 2001 to 2011, Malawi reduced infections by 72 percent, more than any other country in Africa. 

    Spearheading the new program is a non-governmental organization, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Malawi is touted as the first country in Africa to provide lifelong treatment to all HIV infected pregnant and breast feeding women.  The country has increased the number of women on antiretroviral treatment by seven fold in just a few years - meaning 7,000 babies who would have been born with HIV are instead healthy. Other African countries are now following in Malawi’s path.

    Deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Malawi, Lisa Vickers, says despite these successes, anyone working on the frontline knows well that the challenges in maintaining and building on these gains are many and daunting.

    "HIV remains the biggest killer of Malawians with about 100 deaths and 30 infants infected today and every day," she said. "The program is designed with these challenges in mind to further support Malawi’s effort to achieve an AIDS free generation."  

    She says the United States government is supporting the Glaser Foundation because it has the expertise and an impressive global track record in fighting HIV with a focus on mothers and children.

    Charles Lyons, president and chief executive for the Glaser Foundation, says in the last 12 years, his organization has supported close to 700,000 pregnant women in Malawi in accessing services that prevent HIV-positive pregnant mothers from infecting their unborn babies.

    "We have specific focus around new pediatric infections," he said. "We think we can bring below five percent transmissions rate. Malawi can do that.  It’s not a question of ‘if’ it’s a question of ‘when’ and with support from PEPFAR and CDC the program that we are launching is taking us in that direction." 

    He says over the next five years, the program will also seek to counsel one million Malawians, test and provide medical male circumcision to 50,000 adult men - which will help avert 15,000 new infections among them and their partners - offer HIV testing to about 400,000 pregnant women as well as providing life-long ARV treatment for 25,000 women expected to be found positive.

    The foundation will be implementing this project with the Malawi government’s health personnel at district levels.

    The seven districts under the project are Ntcheu, Dedza, Mchinji - where the new program was launched -- and Ntchisi in central Malawi, and Rumphi, Mzimba North and Mzimba South in the north.

    Malawi’s minister of health, Catherine Gotani Hara, says they are looking for "observable change" in the government's operations.

    "These systems that will be strengthened during this project should be long term," Hara said.

    She hopes the project and the lessons her ministry learns will serve as a model for a national approach to combating the virus.

    You May Like

    Leaving Scalia Replacement to 2017 Would Mean Unusually Long Vacancy

    History of high court shows Obama not in unique situation during final year of presidency

    US Fact Checkers Debunk Some Republican Presidential Candidate Claims 

    Slim evidence for several claims made by Republican presidential candidates at their last debate ahead of next Saturday's key nominating election in South Carolina

    Uganda Presidential Debate a Small Victory for Democracy

    In homes and bars across country, Ugandans were fixated on their screens as eight political candidates running for president took part in national debate

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.