The Malawi Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS [MANET Plus] says the project which it was implementing with support from Global Fund through Action Aid HIV/AIDS from 2018-2020 has phased out in Dowa and in all other districts across the country.
MANET Plus said it is conducting district meetings asking councils to work with its volunteers to ensure sustainability of the outcomes of the project of reducing morbidity and mortality rates are achieved and that people living with HIV/AIDS organized through support groups, volunteers are conducting HIV/AIDS and ARVs adherence, psychosocial support and nutrition in related to HIV, among others.
Speaking in Dowa at a stakeholders meeting which brought together support groups leaders, its Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Elizabeth Chiwewe, said the project created a platform which brought together health care workers and people living with HIV/AIDS to discuss challenges they face when they are accessing health services.
Chiwewe said the meetings have brought change in the provision of health services in some of the health facilities saying there is continued feedback between service providers and people living with HIV/AIDS who are on ARVs in as far as the provision of services in relation to HIV is concerned.
She said the project has helped to build a good relationship between health facilities and the support groups of people living with HiV/AIDS who are referring people who stopped taking ARVs or defaulters to the health facilities.
…”Health facilities task support groups to make follow-ups to people living with Hiv/Aids who have missed appointments date and loss to follow-ups…,’’ said Chiwewe.
However, she said the project met some challenges in the course of implementation such as most of the volunteers were commuting long distance and this affected follow-ups and disseminating information on ARV adherences, false names and addresses of some recepients, literacy challenges affected reporting and that they were supposed to receive registers, not all had the registers.
In her remarks, District Principal Nutrition on HIV/AIDS Officer for Dowa, Lusungu Kamkondo, thanked MANET Plus for considering Dowa as a district to implement the project saying many have accessed Hiv/Aids and ARV information easy.
Kamkondo assured the stakeholders that her office is committed to work with all organizations already implementing HIV interventions in the district to take over the project from where MANET Plus has stopped, saying most of the support groups are independent, they can come in the open that having HIV/AIDS is not the end of life but the start of another life.
By Vincent Gunde