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

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More